Congratulations!! You finished the ultimate human race

What do you do after the Comrades Marathon

What you do now in the next few days and weeks after the Comrades Marathon is just as important as the days and weeks before. Your fuel stores are most likely depleted, you’ll have accumulated fluid in your muscles, might be dehydrated and have some damaged muscle tissue. This all means that you are more susceptible to injury and infection after the race. 

Our bodies are all different, and recovery time may vary. An elite athlete will bounce back quicker than a novice for instance. Make sure you listen to your body!

Here are some recovery tips:

Muscle Soreness

Delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) can begin 8+ hours after the race and can hang around for up to a week after Comrades. Elevate your feet for at least 30 minutes a day for the week after Comrades. 

Hydration is key! Dehydrated cells can’t transport nutrients around the body, you also can’t produce glycogen correctly. Drink little and often until your urine is clear and produced in normal volume.

Lack of Energy

This is quite normal the week after Comrades. You just completed 87km!

Try to eat meals with 50-60% carbs to replenish your glycogen stores, and food rich in protein to assist with repairing your muscles and tissue. You are going to love this one, indulge in any cravings you might have – it could be your body’s way of telling you what is needs!

Eat foods rich in iron during the week after Comrades.

Weight Gain

This can most likely be water retention as your muscles repair and rebuild. Don’t start any weight-loss programs – your body now requires a full complement of nutrients to recover from the stress of running 87km. You can adjust your calorie intake to suit your activity levels post-Comrades, but you still need to ensure that you feed your body with the correct nutrients. 


Your immune system might be depressed due to the stress of running The Comrades Marathon. This leaves you susceptible to colds, flu and other respiratory infections. Make sure you get plenty of sleep, eat well balanced meals and drink enough water. Added supplements like Zinc and Vit C will also be beneficial.

The big question on every runner’s lips – resuming training

It is advised to take a break from running for 2-3 weeks.

  1. You deserve the break
  2. Your muscles will return to normal quickly. 

This is a break from RUNNING, not a break from EXERCISING. 

You can incorporate some light walking, swimming, cycling, gym etc. At some point during your running break (preferably after the 1st week), a visit to a massage therapist can be beneficial to get your muscles into a relaxed shape. 

It takes 4 weeks for your muscles to really return to normal, therefore during your 3rd or 4th week post-Comrades only run 30-60% of your usual mileage, and don’t try to run for more than 15km at a time. 

Measuring your heart rate is another good indicator for when you are ready to resume running. 

Try this simple test:

  1. Measure your heart rate before getting out of bed
  2. Measure it again 20 seconds after rising

If the difference is more than 5 bpm from day to day, your body is still suffering from fatigue. 

Again, recovery will vary from runner to runner. Always ensure you listen to your body and don’t compare yourself to your running friends if you see them resuming running before you do.

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