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How Long Do You Need to Recover After a Marathon?

Women’s Running discusses the recovery after running a marathon and why it’s important to take time off according to experts including Todd McGrath, MD, sports medicine physician at HSS.

In the days following the marathon, the body is sore. That soreness is the result of microtrauma in your muscle cells from the repetitive stress of intense exercise, explained Dr. McGrath, and it generally peaks around 48 hours after the event.

“It doesn’t matter how fit you are or how fast you go or how hard your effort is relative to your fitness, everyone experiences some degree of muscle damage and breakdown over the course of a marathon,” said Dr. McGrath—and repairing that damage takes time.

“A week or 10 days out, you could certainly start to return to some regular running—nothing to make you too sore, no efforts that are too hard, just loosening up,” noted Dr. McGrath.

Yes, you will lose a little bit of fitness if you stop running for a few weeks, however according to Dr. McGrath it comes back fairly quickly. “You don’t lose the long-term gains and the huge aerobic base that you get from months of training,” he stated.

Read the full article at Womensrunning.com.