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An open water swimmer

Training

18-02-2021
3

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The rules of running recovery

Two runners in official New Balance Virgin Money London Marathon training kit go for a run

Virgin Money London Marathon Training Plans

Got a place in the ballot (hooray!) but now don’t know where to start? Our 16-week Beginner’s Training Plan will guide you right through to the Start Line.

If you’ve run a marathon before and are hoping to better your performance this time, the Improver’s Training Plan is a good choice. 

Finally, our Advanced Training Plan is for really experienced runners who want to push themselves – remember even if you’ve have conquered 26.2 miles several times before, there’s always something new to learn!

Chill out

Ice and cold water can help relieve any pain you might be feeling after the Virgin Money London Marathon. Sit in a bath or pool of cold water to ease pain in your legs, or wrap ice in a wet towel to target a particular area. Do not put ice directly on to your skin without a towel though, as this could cause an ice burn.

Take gentle exercise

If you want to exercise in the days after the race, start with walking. A steady 15 or 20-minute walk will help get you back into the swing of things and help your legs recover, without putting your body under too much strain.

You can then build this up to gentle jogging and low-intensity running.

And it’s not just in recovery that going for gentle runs between hard sessions is key. It’s equally important to recover before the race by tapering your runs.

Run on soft surfaces

Running on the road is tough on your muscles, joints and tendons, so when you start exercising again, keep to soft surfaces like grass to reduce soreness. Please note, you’ll need to be careful in wet weather in case the grass becomes slippery, and you’ll also need footwear designed for off-road training.

Take to the water

Like running on soft surfaces, exercising in water is low impact and great for your recovery. The water pressure will also help to remove the waste products and extra fluid that have built up in your legs from all that running. Another benefit of swimming is that it gets your arms working too, so you won’t deplete the energy stores in your leg muscles any further.

Feel refreshed

Contrast therapy takes your body from cold to hot several times in a short period. It has similar benefits to using ice and cold water, only it’s more intensive and should leave you feeling refreshed and wide awake.

After sitting in a cold bath or applying ice to your body, go straight into a hot shower or spa pool. Stay there until you feel hot and your legs are flushed red with blood. Then go back to the cold water or ice and repeat the process several times.

Have a massage

Many runners get a sports massage after the Virgin Money London Marathon. If you’re not used to them, just get a very light massage or ‘recovery rub’ instead.