Top Tips For Recovering From a Half Marathon

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It may take 1-2 weeks to fully recover, though proper rest and recovery, eating properly and even some supplements may help speed up recovery. Your recovery time will depend on many factors, including your training status, nutrition, hydration, and how sore you are.

How Long Does it Take to Recover From a Half Marathon?

“When recovering from a half marathon, it’s important to refuel your body as soon as you are physically able,” - CSSD, Jill Merkel. Easy recovery meals/snacks include: – chocolate milk – greek yogurt smoothie – eggs and toast – deli sandwich or burger – string cheese with a banana

Focus On Carbs, Protein and Fluids

Your half marathon diet plan should have included a plan with more carbohydrates than your normal plan. This is because you’re asking more of your body for performance and recovery, so more carbohydrates are warranted. Ideally, within an hour after the half marathon, you are able to get a post-run recovery meal in. 


“It is important to understand that allowing your body and your mind to recover from your race is just as, or even more important than the training that went into the race” - Kelly Maurer


Protein after endurance exercise is very important for several reasons. Firstly, ingesting protein and amino acids (especially leucine) helps move the body from body breakdown mode to an anabolic state. In other words, it helps repair those muscles you’ve broken down during the race. And, it starts the muscle rebuild process, which is how we get stronger and faster.


Water Replacing lost water and fluids during the race is important. Electrolytes – These are important in the rehydration process, since they help your body absorb fluids. Tart Cherry Juice – The anthocyanins in tart cherries have been shown to reduce inflammation and oxidative stress, reduce muscle damage and provide pain relief.


“Your recovery is like your training plan, it will be different for everyone, but if you take care of your refueling, sleep and sore muscles, you will be on your way to better recovery.” - Kelly Maurer


While we don’t talk much about fats during the process of training and fueling during exercise, they come into play for your daily diet and definitely for recovery. Healthy mono- and polyunsaturated fats, such as fatty fish, nuts, seeds, avocados, olive oil and tofu products can be great for reducing inflammation associated with high volume training and racing.


Antioxidants are natural or artificial substances that can delay or prevent any cell damage that may be caused from free radicals. Exercise can be a source of free radicals. If we don’t have something to counter the oxidants (which is what anti-oxidants do), these free radicals can cause inflammation in the body.


“Your training is not over until you start your recovery program, which starts as soon as you cross the finish line.” - Kelly Maurer


More Half Marathon Posts

01 Race day breakfast  ideas

02 What to eat before running in the morning

03 Easy recipes for marathon runners