How to recover from half marathon

How to recover from half marathon - main image

Using recovery tips for a half marathon recovery plan and recovery process so you can feel great again

A half marathon can be a gruelling process. In fact, depending on your ability, any distance can make the leg work tricky. A half marathon isn’t to be scoffed at, even by the pros – just over 21k is more than enough to turn you red and give you a stitch.

That is why the post-half marathon recovery period is always worth taking advantage of. With so many options to help you recover, you can even tailor your training plan to incorporate certain volumes of specific exercises. For example, with a solid post-race day recovery plan, you could incorporate more hill sprints into your routine.

Essentially, a half-marathon recovery plan is infinitely useful, incredibly helpful, and in many cases, vital.

So, let’s break down some aspects of that recovery mode and give you the best chances of getting back up to speed and running again soon after.

Immediately post-race

If you want to recover from a half marathon, then you’ll need to do as much as is possible once over the finish line. After your next half marathon, you should do a range of body-revitalising activities. Active recovery is an essential part of both immediately after and considerably after your race, so open your ears and minds to these top tips.

You want to refuel and rehydrate. That’s the aim here.

You could try –

  • Drinking more water: water is of obvious importance, and we lose a lot when we run. Dehydration will halt your body’s recovery. Drink up!
  • Eat something hearty. Eating foods with carbs and protein is a surefire way to boost your energy levels. You also need glycogen for brain power and body power, so look at buying some energy bars for after.
  • Warm clothes: there’s nothing worse than being cold after the race. While you want to let your body warm up slowly so as to avoid fatigue, you also want to avoid being too cold.
  • Next, you could do some stretches. Half marathon training requires a lot of these before racing, but after racing is vital too. If you want to avoid delayed onset muscle soreness, then use some dynamic stretches to help loosen the thin layer of tissue over your muscles (one main reason for tightness).


During the aftermath of your race day, you’ll want to chill out on the exercise front; your body is in deep recovery mode and so adding more stress can do more damage. Making sure you eat right, engage in light cross-training to maintain strength training, a light jog to re-acclimatise muscle requirements and running, and get ready for your next training cycle.


Is my first half-marathon going to be hard?

Most probably – running a new distance is always relatively hard, let alone a distance such as this.

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