Marathon Recovery

Some people say that after a race, you should rest a day for every mile you ran.  Resting for 26 days?  Yeah, that’s not going to happen.  I have another race soon!  So I had to find a better plan.  Since I used a modified Hal Higdon plan to get me to the marathon, I’m following a modified version of his marathon recovery plan.

One interesting thing I learned – it can take 2-3 weeks to recover from running a marathon.  Admittedly, I walked at least ten miles of the marathon due to the heat and my sister’s injury, so I fully anticipate recovering a bit more quickly.  That said, I’m trying to be careful.

So for what Higdon calls zero week, the week immediately following the marathon, I was mostly a slug.  I stretched a bit and massaged a particularly stubborn knot in my calf.  By Thursday, I hopped on my bike.  I cleaned the house and took down the Christmas tree.  And on Sunday, I set out for a nice easy 5-6 miles.

This run was not all I hoped it would be.  It was only 6 miles!  Shouldn’t that be easy after training for 26.2?  But I just felt sluggish.  I couldn’t get into my running groove.  I kept looking at my watch and realizing just how slow I was going, but couldn’t convince my body to speed up.  All in all, it was a frustrating run, but it was still good to get it in.

But I guess that’s what marathon recovery is all about.  I’m trying to ease back in a bit more this week, adding cycling as a more regular bit of crosstraining, seeing as I have a triathlon in a few months.  I’m also planning to hit the Team Fight group swim tonight.  It kind of terrifies me, but I’m going to do it anyway.

The major key to this plan is to take everything easy.  I might seem like I’m doing a lot, but each workout is going to be light.  Low stress.  Easing back in.  No time for injuries, after all!

2 thoughts on “Marathon Recovery

  1. I experienced similar frustrations with my 4 miles on Sunday. I knew the first run after the marathon wouldn’t be the best run ever, but I was sure glad to have that one over and out of the way!

  2. I don’t know anything about recovering from marathons, except that I’ve heard of a guy named Dean Karnazes who ran 50 marathons on 50 consecutive days in 50 different states, so I assume that the way to recover from a marathon is to go run a marathon. Is that not the norm? 🙂

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