So, you just finished your half or full marathon. This next phase is critical to complete before you start another training cycle for fall. First rule of thumb is you need 1-day recovery for each mile run in the race. Obviously 13 for a half and 26 for a full.
The reason why is quite simple; you have damaged the muscle fibers in your legs. You may not feel it but its there at the cell level, its deep tissue damage. These fibers have to repair themselves and this takes time and care.
Recovery doesn’t mean no running. It means take a few days off, eat well, re-hydrate and rest. But you can run. This is the time to really listen to your body and do feeling based jogging or running. Take it slow and easy, your body tells you what you can do. In looking back at my training logs, I noticed the day after the marathon I did no running, took a walk only. Then for the next 5 days simply jogged how I felt each day. It was not only a physical rest and repair but a mental one as well. This continued for 3 weeks while I recharged, by week 4 I was feeling good again and mentally ready to start another cycle. While I was disciplined in terms of running most days, I also felt confident taking a day completely off if I didn’t feel recovery progress was being made. And do not underestimate the importance of mental recovery, taking a break from training is actually training.
There are several recovery indicators to watch as well:
Morning Heart Rate: It will be elevated most likely for a few days, monitor it and note when it returns to normal resting rate.
Weight: Watch for weight loss of 1 pound or more. If you are losing weight while recovering it says your recovery will take longer.
Sleep: Keep track of your hours of sleep. During early phases of recovery, it can be less than normal. When it returns to normal you are recovering.
We also find that Oofos sandals are helpful. The foam they are made of absorbs daily impact well and they have a good supportive arch area. The sandals literally cradle’s your foot and aids in recovery for those tired and sore muscles. We have a good selection at Running Niche.
Please join our Lydiard Method informational session on Thursday April 25 to learn about our next training cycle for fall races.