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How To Beat The Marathon DOMS…

Running a marathon is an amazing human feat.

The training required – both physical and mental – to prepare for and then complete such a race is hard to quantitate.

Whilst the ecstasy of completing a marathon often masks the physical pain and agony immediately afterwards, the later hours and days will most probably be quite painful ones!

Today I want to look at the techniques which can be done to reduce this, and in turn promote the fastest and most efficient recovery.

These techniques are relevant whether you’ve just completed your first ever marathon or are an experienced marathon runner.

Without further ado, here are my four main recovery techniques to get you back feeling great and out running again:


You’ve probably heard how you should keep moving and not stop/sit down immediately after completing a marathon.

This theory extends past the immediate aftermath and into the next few days!

By going on short low intensity runs you are providing controlled blood flow to the sore areas of your body.

This will help provide the required nutrients to these areas as well as removing the waste and damaged tissues.

This is vital to aid recovery.

I suggest on the 3-4 days prior to the marathon you go for a very slow 10-15 minute run.


After completing the marathon it is common place for the runner to want to eat as much junk food as possible – avoid this!

This is not so much that you don’t deserve the feast, but rather the negative effect it has on your recovery!

The body is in desperate need of repair after the stress and strain of the 26.2 miles!

At this point your immune system is at its very weakest.

By ploughing into those pizzas, burgers, cakes etc you are not giving your body what it needs to recover.

Whilst you have fuelled up on carbs pre marathon, don’t be tempted to go carb free straight afterwards.

Your body will need to refuel and re-generate cells in the hours and days after the race.

By eating lots of vegetables, whole grains and fruits you are giving it the perfect opportunity to do this. Combine this with plenty of protein from lean meats, fish, eggs and beans.

EXTRA TIP: Replace vital potassium and electrolyte losses by eating foods such as bananas, raisins, baked potatoes and consider a electrolyte enhanced recovery drink.


Having an ice bath will constrict the blood vessels in your legs, thus reducing the swelling.

You can create an ice bath simply by running the cold water and adding a bag of ice for that extra chill.

The real magic of the ice bath will work once you’ve left the bath and warmed back up.

This will create good blood flow which provides much needed fresh oxygen to your muscle cells to aid repair.

ice for recovery


Whilst there are often massages available immediately after completing a marathon, these quick rubs aren’t going to have much effect, even if you manage to beat the queue and actually get one!

A full professional sports massage 36-48 hours after the race is what you need and well worth the investment.

This sports massage will prompt your body to flush out the build up of lactic acid and muscle waste.

Most people see such a massage as a treat or luxury, but for a good and efficient recovery they are a necessity!

Whilst no two humans are the same and there are a whole range of variables for each runner, the above techniques will certainly help.

Any questions fire them over.

Ian David Worthington
Creator, Owner and Coach at

gymwolfpt training

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