How Long Does Muscle or Joint Pain Last After a Marathon?

How Long Does Muscle or Joint Pain Last After a Marathon?

Embarking on the journey of training for a marathon is a challenging and time-consuming endeavor, but it’s also an incredibly rewarding and exhilarating experience. There’s a unique sense of empowerment that comes from realizing you can conquer 26.2 miles on foot, whether you’re running the entire way or mixing in some walk breaks – absolutely no shame in that!

The only thing that can ruin that feeling is a muscle or joint pain that lingers long after the race has ended.

No one goes into training for a marathon assuming the training process will be pain free. Most people become very familiar with their own combination of bio freeze, ice, massages or foam rolling during their training cycle to combat muscle soreness. 

But for many of my clients, there comes a point in their training when discomfort takes a more stubborn form. In fact, the discomfort eventually progresses to the point of disrupting their training and refuses to budge within the typical 1-2 day recovery window. They may have to take more days off from running or they slow down their pace. Some clients switch from outdoor runs to treadmill sessions, all in the relentless pursuit of their marathon dream. They will just push through the pain until marathon day assuming the pain will magically vanish after the race.

But what if it doesn’t? 

How long should you wait before seeking professional help? 

And which specialist should you go to? 

If these sound like questions you are having, this message is perfect for you. I’m Dr. Molly with Your Goals Physical Therapy and I help runners end their aches and pain to get them back to running at the level they want.

If at any time during your training the pain persists beyond 1 – 2 weeks, then it is time to consult a running specialist. 

Ordinary post workout muscle soreness will resolve within a couple of days, so anything lasting longer than 1-2 weeks will not go away on its own. 

An experienced Physical Therapist who specializes in running can identify the root cause of your muscle and joint problems. They’ll create a personalized program to get YOU back to your desired running performance. 

If you’ve just run a marathon and you are trying to find out why your pain hasn’t resolved, we have 2 ways to start your journey back to running: 

Running Screening: 

This is a 30 minute movement assessment. This gives you an initial, high-level overview of the underlying factors contributing to your discomfort. It’s a preliminary screening so it’s less specific than an evaluation and there is no treatment. Instead, think of it as a guided exploration. During this session, I will observe your movements, assess your running mechanics, and gather general information about your condition. This process reveals any apparent red flags and lets us determine if further investigation is necessary. The Running Screening is an excellent starting point to understand your situation & next steps before committing yourself to a full evaluation.


This is a 1-hour comprehensive assessment that dives deep into identifying the root cause of your pain and discomfort. With this thorough examination, We will pinpoint the precise root causes of your aches and pains. Then we will create a personalized treatment plan to address your pain and get you back to running at the level you want.  

We help active adults end their aches and pain, so they can reclaim their favorite recreational activities and live life to the fullest.

Dr. Molly McDonald, PT, DPT, LMT

Next Steps

Cost & Availability

At YourGoals PT, we recognize that understanding the cost and availability of physical therapy is essential before making an appointment. If you're in this position, we're here to provide you with the information you need. Simply click the button above to explore the details.

Talk To Dr. Molly

If you are not quite ready to go ahead and book an appointment with a Physical Therapist right now, perhaps you have some questions and think it would be good to talk to Dr. Molly first so you can be 100% sure that we can help you, please click the button below and fill out the short form to schedule a call and Dr. Molly will answer all the questions you have over the phone, completely for free:

Discovery Visit

We realize some people may be “unsure” if Physical Therapy is right for them. It could be that you’re not sure it’ll work, or whether we can help with what you’ve got, or maybe you had a bad experience somewhere in the past? If that sounds like you and you’d like to come in and see for yourself how Dr. Molly can help you, please fill out the short form below and tell us more about you so we can answer your questions: