The Best Way to Reach Full Recovery After a Marathon

Competing in a marathon, whether for fun, to raise money, or as a professional athlete is a monumental achievement. And there is no doubt that the popularity of these events is growing.

Every year, the London Marathon attracts over half a million applications (around 48,000 end up running) and even the London Half Marathon attracts over 70,000 people to apply, with about 17,000 eventually taking part.

The London Marathon 2024 looks to be no less popular, so if you are one of the lucky ones to gain a place to run, what do you plan to do afterward as a post-marathon recovery?

This is an important question, as almost everyone who participates in the London Marathon thinks about, plans, and executes a training plan, but many do not stop to consider what happens afterward, and marathon recovery is as important as all the training beforehand.

The toll that a long run, even ones as short as the London Half Marathon, takes on the body can be significant. Post-marathon recovery is crucial for allowing muscles to repair and replenish lost fluids and nutrients.

There are several different things that you can do that are all vital to aid you post-run recovery – and we will run through them below (excuse the pun).

The Importance of Recovery After a Marathon

Before delving into the how of marathon recovery, let’s first understand why recovery is essential. Endurance events like marathons push the body to its limits, resulting in muscle fatigue, dehydration, and even micro-tears in the muscle fibres. Taking time to correctly recover from the London Marathon, or even the London Half Marathon (or any other endurance run) allows the body to repair these tissues, replenish glycogen stores, and restore fluid balance to the body. Ultimately, this will reduce the risk of injury and improve your performance in future races.

After completing a marathon or half marathon, runners face many common challenges such as post-run muscle soreness, dehydration, and overall fatigue. Addressing these challenges promptly and effectively is key to promoting optimal recovery and getting back to your training programme feeling revitalized.

Don’t Stop!

The first point to make for your road to recovery is simply do not stop moving after you have completed your marathon event!

Your body is still in “marathon mode” so slow down, but do not stop moving. Walk around, grab something to eat and drink (see below) but try to avoid collapsing to the ground with relief. If you suddenly stop, lactic acid will immediately start to accumulate in your muscles and stiffen them up, making them sore. Instead, a gradual cool down will help avoid much of this trauma you would otherwise experience.

The Many Benefits of a Spa Experience

You will likely still feel some stiffness and soreness in your muscles – and not just in your legs! Before you actually get to your run, plan your recovery after the half marathon or marathon and deal with that anticipated post-workout muscle soreness.

A pre-booked visit to a Russian Banya Spa – either for steam room treatment or (preferably) with a massage treatment booked as well, is one of the best ways to get rid of the lingering stiffness and aches and pains. Having a professional care for you and your body is the ideal way to recover after a marathon.

Post-marathon recovery can be significantly boosted by a trip to a Banya for treatment. With a range of different massage treatments available – including sports massage, deep tissue massage and even hot stone treatments – a spa experience is one of the best ways to accelerate your marathon recovery process.

Professional massage treatment is much more effective than simply doing a few stretches – and usually the sooner the better.

Nothing is stopping you from booking a Banya session timed for just a few hours after your marathon run; especially if you are competing in the London Marathon 2024, for example! But if not, then book ahead for a day or two after your run, as the benefits will make a huge difference to your recovery process.

Russian Banya visits also offer the chance to sample some amazing drinks and food – both of which are also vital to recovery (see below) – so booking a session takes care of all the major elements of marathon recovery in one single visit.

With correct treatment, you will be well on the way to recovery by the time you get back home; it certainly will help you to bounce back faster and fitter than just having a long lie down after the event.

Banya spas, rooted as they are in Russian recovery and healing traditions, offer a unique and holistic approach to post-marathon recovery. Combining elements of heat therapy, cold plunges, and relaxation, the banya spa experienceprovides numerous benefits for runners looking to recover and rejuvenate their bodies after such a gruelling event.

The Role of Hydration in Recovery

One of the most critical aspects of post-marathon recovery is proper hydration. During a marathon, you will lose a significant amount of fluid through sweat and become dehydrated.

Rehydrating quickly is essential for replenishing lost fluids, restoring a correct electrolyte balance, and also helps to promote fast muscle recovery. However, simply drinking water may not be enough to rehydrate effectively, especially after intense exercise. How to get hydrated quickly and efficiently involves drinking the right liquids as soon as you can – or even during your run if it is possible.

How to Rehydrate Fast

To rehydrate quickly and efficiently after a marathon, incorporate some electrolyte-rich drinks such as sports drinks, or coconut water, into your post-run routine. These help to replenish sodium, potassium, and many other electrolytes that you will have lost during the event, aiding faster hydration and muscle recovery.

Understanding how to hydrate fast after a long-distance or high-endurance event is key to fast recovery.

Heat Therapy for Muscle Recovery

In addition to hydration, addressing post-run muscle soreness is crucial for marathon recovery. The repetitive impact of running can lead to muscle fatigue and inflammation, which can result in soreness and stiffness in the days following a race. Incorporating recovery strategies, such as massage, will promote fast muscle recovery and help alleviate the soreness that would otherwise follow.

One of the highlights of a banya spa experience is the use of heat therapy, in the steam room. The heat helps increase blood flow to the muscles, and this promotes relaxation and a reduction of muscle tension. These treatments are particularly beneficial for runners experiencing post-run muscle soreness and stiffness.

Steam room Banya Chiswick

Cold Plunges for Recovery

Opposite the heat therapy discussed above, cold plunge pools (or ice baths) are as vital a part of muscle recovery as anything else we have discussed. Cold water therapy helps to reduce inflammation and swelling in the muscles, provides relief from post-run soreness, and accelerates your recovery process. Jumping into a cold plunge after a marathon can help to minimise your muscle damage and enhance your overall recovery.

Relaxation and Sleep

Finally, after all the best treatments received at the banya, the best recovery step is sleep. Rest and relaxation are an excellent recovery mechanism – but only after taking the steps we have discussed above. As we saw at the start, the worst thing to do is just stop after your run – which would negate your muscle recovery process.

But once you have received some muscle treatment, rest and relaxation (and sleep) is the best follow-up.

Beyond the physical benefits that the banya spa experience offers, you will also get mental relaxation and stress relief, which are equally important for your post-marathon recovery. The tranquil environment of a spa allows runners to unwind, de-stress, and recharge both body and mind after the demands of a long-distance race. And ultimately, that is the best precursor to a restful night’s sleep.

Incorporating a Banya Spa Experience into Your Recovery Routine

To maximise the benefits of a banya spa experience for marathon recovery, book a session within the first few days of your race, as this will allow you to take advantage of your body’s heightened ability to repair and recover, which it will have immediately after your run. Aim to spend time alternating between heat therapy, cold plunges, and relaxation to reap the full benefits of the spa treatment process – and don’t forget to book a massage treatment too!

Accelerate Recovery at Banya No.1 - Chiswick!


Recovering from a marathon requires more than just rest and hydration; it requires a comprehensive approach that addresses both your body’s physical and mental needs. Incorporating a banya spa experience into your post-marathon recovery routine can provide numerous benefits, including muscle relaxation, faster hydration, and stress relief. Whether you are about to complete the London Marathon 2024, London Half Marathon, or any other endurance race, consider treating yourself to a banya spa session to rejuvenate your body and better prepare it for future running endeavours.

Special offer

And, yes, we have some special for you: 2 spa vouchers for your choice.

Help your body recover after a marathon. #GoBanya

Buy Now, Use after Marathon:

–> London Marathon 2024 Off-Peak Special – Recoverysauna & massage – £99 only

–> London Marathon 2024 Anytime Special – Recover, Rehydrate & Refill sauna, massage and lunch – £139 only

Group booking up to 6 persons.

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