Running with the Mouse

About the Column

Disney travel experts agree on one thing: relax, take your time. But when it comes to Disney's marathons and other running events, they're wrong. In a race, you can't take your time. And you also can't show up with just your two feet expecting to win - or even finish! Preparing for a Disney marathon requires discipline, hard work, and good advice. We can't help you with the discipline or the hard work. But Robert Mathis, owner of DisneyRunning and one of the few people designated by Disney as 'Perfectly Goofy' for his frequent participation in their running events (since 1996!), has lots of good advice. So relax, take your time, and read his weekly column.

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FROM: Running with the Mouse Published As Needed

Recovery From Long Training Days

Training for a marathon, regardless of length or time of year, takes a toll on your body. Both physically and mentally. Robert talks about recovery methods.


If you are doing the January Walt Disney World Half Marathon, Marathon, or Goofy's Race and a Half Challenge, it is now getting to be the dog days of winter. Your weekly running mileage as well as the mileage of your long training day. Your legs are probably starting to get tired and you are aching a little more. Now is the time to make sure you are doing all that you can to help speed your recovery after your runs so you can feel better and avoid injuries before the big race day upcoming.

Here are a few tips to help recover:

Recovery Drinks: They usually contain a mixture of carbohydrates and proteins(3:1) and are in a powder for to mix with water(or already premixed). These are a quick and easy way to help your recovery immediately. These are taken right after you finish. By doing this right away, it expedites the healing process. These are made my numerous companies and can be found in running or health stores. I carry one(powder packets) with me at the Disney World Half Marathon and Marathon. I grab a bottle of water after I cross the finish line and add the powder to the water.

Food: The speed at what you to replace energy to your body will dictate how soon you can another hard training day. If you eat soon after your long training run, you can replenish your energy levels in as little as 36 hrs. If you delay, it could take up to 72 hours to be back to full energy levels. Eat a balanced meal of protein and carbohydrates is best way to do this.

Ice baths: Physical therapists recommend that runners doing endurance training, to do ice baths to help speed the recovery of the leg muscles. Fill your bath tub with cold water and ice. You can sit in it from 10-20 minutes. I usually do 20 minutes to help my recovery when training for the Goofy. If you are not at home and a bath tub, you can use cold water from a hose to cool off your legs. The key is doing it quickly after you finish.

Elevation: This is a simple thing you can do right after a long run anywhere you are. Just lay down and put your legs for 10 minutes to help reduce fluid buildup in your legs.

Massage: A message(or soft rub) after your long training day helps loosen up your muscles and speed your recovery. If you have someone do it, make sure it isn't a "hard" message as it can actually slow your recovery. I get a message after the Walt Disney World Half Marathon(Disney has a area dedicated for them) to help me get ready for the next day's Marathon. This really makes a big difference. You can also do a self message with tools like "The Stick" which allow you to work your muscles while offering some comfort.

Sleep: This may seem obvious but if you get a good night's sleep before and after your long training day, your body has time to relax and recover. Another good thing is to take a short 20-40 minute nap after your run. This is why it is best to have your long runs on a weekend(or non work) days.

If you follow these tips, you will have a more enjoyable and rewarding training runs. They will also help you have a great race day!