If you were one of over 45,000 runners in the Chicago Marathon Sunday, congratulations! That’s an incredible feat and an accomplishment that is yours forever. I hope you enjoyed a well-deserved beer, meal, and party last night in your own honor.
But while you bask in your glory, don’t forget that the post-race cool down over the next few weeks can be just as vital to your strength and training as the pre-race aspects were. Whether you’re planning on competing again, or if Sunday was your “one and done,” you should take care of your body as you recover to maintain your fitness level and prevent injury.
According to Active.com’s guide, you’re in the hardest phase of recovery right now, in the 72 hours after the race. After a good night’s sleep last night, you should eat well today, try to keep moving without running, and massage your trouble areas.
Runtheplanet.com says you'll be fatigued this week, so sleep early and while you should exercise to promote circulation, any runs should be built up on a "reverse taper" schedule. Most runners though, tend to recommend not running one day for every mile-- so that's 26 days off! Hal Higdon has a schedule for this "Zero Week" and beyond to help guide you.
But in my opinion, the best advice comes from Competitor.com, who insists that you listen to your body, and that every runner (and each recovery) is different.