Recovery Tips from Sunday’s NYC Marathon

Dr. Maharam: I am running the NYC Marathon. Any tips to be less sore the next day? Nancy K. White Plains, NY

Thanks Nancy. Post-event muscle soreness is an issue everyone complains of the next day. Follow these tips to lessen the ache:

* Do not get a post-event massage until a minimum of two hours after finishing the race. The lactic acid needs a chance to buffer to a neutral pH before it gets moved around. And even then, do not allow any “deep tissue” work for a minimum of 72 hours since the muscles/ligaments/tendons are all still inflamed and friable.

* Make sure you include protein and carbohydrate in your post race diet. Chocolate Milk is a great recovery drink.

* Do not try any new stretches or have someone stretch you out again until 72 hours have passed to allow for those soft tissues to heal and not be injured more.

* Non-steroidal anti-inflammatories (again: Advil, Motrin, Alleve, Ibuprofen, etc.) that we told you not to take during the event, can be taken after you finish and have urinated once. By then you are no longer at risk for hyponatremia that these meds can help cause. These meds do reduce inflammation and if they don’t bother your stomach can be taken as recommended on the bottle.

* If you feel really sore the next day, besides cool showers and NSAIDs, see your sports doc for an inection of Torodol. This is an injectable NSAID that is so powerful, it has the pain-relieving effect of morphine without any narcotic side effects. It is a miracle injection; you will feel great within two hours of the injection.

Give yourself two or three days of rest before starting your training again. Try a nice swim in these days, but allow yourself some recovery time. You will feel better for it.

Again, congratulations. We hope to see you at many events in the future.

Lewis G. Maharam, MD

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