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Sports / Orthopedic

Running 101: Post-Race Recovery Tips

May 6 2022

Congratulations to everyone who participated in the Mercy Health Glass City Marathon in Toledo, Ohio on April 24! Now that the race is over, it’s time for you to make sure you are continuing your recovery process.

Intermediate muscle soreness and delayed onset muscle soreness, or DOMS, are very common up to seven days following a race like a half or full marathon. However, getting good sleep, eating, drinking fluids, gentle massaging and stretching are all effective strategies for recovery.

“After the race, you should take two weeks off after a marathon and one week off for a half marathon,” Jeff Swartz, one of our physical therapists who specializes in running, shares. “This includes running, high resistance exercise and structured workouts.”

There are times though when aches and pains do not go away or worsen. Although runners are known to endure some discomfort and pain, there are some symptoms that should not be ignored after a week because it means something is going on beyond normal soreness.

  1. Night pain that wakes you up.
  2. Limping or compensating while walking.
  3. Pain that lasts longer than one week, is trending worse and is greater than three on a scale of 0 to 10.
  4. Sharp, stabbing pains.
  5. Exquisite tenderness on a bone.
  6. Swelling around a joint.
  7. Feeling of instability of a joint or painful weight bearing on a leg.

So, if you still have any of these symptoms at this time, it is probably time to seek help.

“If you experience any of these symptoms, you should contact a local sports medicine physician,” Jeff says.

The sports medicine physician can assess your injury and instruct you on an effective plan of care, that may include further diagnostics, physical therapy, anti-inflammatory medications or other self-treatment strategies.

If you need assistance with a running injury, contact the Mercy Health – Toledo sports medicine department at 419-517-8178 to schedule an appointment.

Also, learn more about the sports medicine services our ministry provides.

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