Marathon Recovery

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lporter229
lporter229 Posts: 4,907 Member
Just curious, how do YOU recover form a marathon? How long do you wait to run? Do you do any cross training or other healing activities? What does your two week post marathon training look like?

I finished my last marathon on Saturday and have another planned for May 2. I don't want to take too much time off, but I also don't want to push it and cause injury. I have been doing lots of yoga/stretching, a couple of rides on my bike trainer and did a 3 mile easy run last night that was a little rough, to be honest. I think I took too much down time after my first marathon and it made it really hard to get back on track. But I also did not have another planned, so there was nothing real to motivate me.

Replies

  • sjohnny
    sjohnny Posts: 56,142 Member
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    My (only so far) marathon was on a Sunday.
    Monday - 3 reaaaaallllly easy miles
    Tuesday - rest
    Wednesday - 2 easy miles
    Thursday - 4 easy miles
    Friday - rest
    Saturday - 10 miles
    Sunday - rest

    Monday - 4 miles
    Tuesday - 6 miles
    Wednesday - 5 miles
    Thursday - rest
    Friday - 5 miles
    Saturday - 12 miles
    Sunday - rest

    I'm also running another marathon in 3 and a half weeks (nine weeks after the previous one) so I didn't want to take full-on down time but an easy enough couple of weeks that I could recover. Which I felt like I probably did pretty well.
  • lporter229
    lporter229 Posts: 4,907 Member
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    Yeah, you got right back at it! Glad to see you did not suffer from that. I am reading things where they suggest a day of rest for each mile run! Seems excessive. I am thinking I will run 6-8 this weekend, 20-25 next week, then jump back into my groove. Thanks for the info.
  • sjohnny
    sjohnny Posts: 56,142 Member
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    lporter229 wrote: »
    Yeah, you got right back at it! Glad to see you did not suffer from that. I am reading things where they suggest a day of rest for each mile run! Seems excessive. I am thinking I will run 6-8 this weekend, 20-25 next week, then jump back into my groove. Thanks for the info.

    I've seen that recommendation of a day per mile before and it seems ridiculous to me to rest for almost a month.

    I probably didn't do it right. And I'm pretty tired right now but this weekend is my last long long run so I figure I should be tired.
  • MeanderingMammal
    MeanderingMammal Posts: 7,866 Member
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    I'll be doing similar thinking later in the year as there are two marathons that I'm interested in about 8 weeks apart. Both trails and the second of them has a cut off at the HM start point so whilst I'm not aiming for a specific time I'll need to be faster than the cut off.
  • CarsonRuns
    CarsonRuns Posts: 3,039 Member
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    I take 3 weeks off from running. I start walking for 30+ minutes a day after a week of total rest.
  • SteveTries
    SteveTries Posts: 723 Member
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    As you know, I only have 1 marathon behind me, by the Thursday following the race the worst of the soreness had eased and I really didn't want to lose my hard earned fitness......so I went out for an easy 5km run and exacerbated some soft tissue damage from the race and couldn't run for a couple of weeks and then had to gradually ease back.

    I won't be doing that again. I now think that a full couple of weeks off shouldn't materially detract from one's fitness level and is probably smarter in the long run.
  • wombat94
    wombat94 Posts: 352 Member
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    For me, after my only marathon back in November, I walked 2 miles a day for the two days after the race and then did one very easy mile on the third day. Day 4 post marathon was Thanksgiving and I had a turkey trot 5K - did it very slowly, but felt no soreness. I ran a couple of miles a day for about the next 4 or 5 days and then took some time off.

    From a soreness, muscle ache perspective, I would have been fine continuing to run every day and building back up to my normal weekly mileage quickly in December, but I realized that though I was uninjured, I was VERY fatigued. I came to the conclusion that I had overtrained and the best way to get back to normal running volume was to THEN take it easy so from 1 week post race until 5 weeks post race, I totaled only about 35 miles.

    After that rest, I was able to start back into regular running - every day, though shorter distances - and have been back to my usual 25 - 30 mpw for the month of January so far with no residual fatigue.

    If I had it to do again (which I don't plan), I think I would have taken something like Carson's approach - week 1 no (or almost no running), week 2 begin a reverse taper to get back up to normal pre-race training volume by week 4 or 5.
  • kristinegift
    kristinegift Posts: 2,406 Member
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    My first marathon (and only, so far) was on a Saturday. I didn't run the following Sunday or Monday. Then I ran/walked 2 miles Tuesday, rested Wed, ran 3 slow miles Thursday. Ran 3 Saturday, 5 Monday, 3 Tues, 4 Thurs, 1 Sat and then a half marathon that Sunday just two weeks after my marathon. My legs felt great, and I PR'd at the half marathon. Maybe not the ideal recommended recovery plan, but it worked for me!

    I find that I recover better when I don't let myself laze around too long. After all my long runs, I'd still run at least a mile the next day to keep everything moving and that helped my recovery. Additionally, I didn't feel any aches/twinges after the marathon, so I wasn't worried about exacerbating any kind of potential injury.
  • DavidMartinez2
    DavidMartinez2 Posts: 840 Member
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    I like to go for an easy run the next day. After your first you probably won't be up for that so 30 minutes on the elliptical may be a better choice. I then take the second day after off and run whatever feels comfortable the rest of the week. I think getting my legs moving the next day keeps them from tightening up and gets me back going again sooner.
  • aldousmom
    aldousmom Posts: 382 Member
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    lporter229 wrote: »
    Just curious, how do YOU recover form a marathon? How long do you wait to run? Do you do any cross training or other healing activities? What does your two week post marathon training look like?.

    It depends. If I have another race within a month, I may only take an extra day off, have the next two runs be easy runs (instead of speed or hills) and move on to another long run weekend (15-25 miles). I continue my cross training as usual. If I don't have a race, I'll do a couple of easy runs and then maybe 10-12 on the Saturday after. The next week is back to normal.

    If I'm sore or something, I'll do a couple of epsom salts baths and maybe a tune-up at the chiropractor.
  • vcphil
    vcphil Posts: 79 Member
    edited January 2015
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    I am in a similar situation. I ran a marathon 11 days ago, and i am running Boston on 4/20/15

    What do I do? (Keeping in mind I've ran 10 marathons/ultras in the past 20 months) Usually run 65 MPW year round. I'm on a 220+ day "run streak". I ran my last marathon on 1/11/15 at 7:30 pace (ran a half at the same pace the pervious day). I'm just now feeling normal again. I personally do not like running for over 60 min for at least 3 weeks after my marathon... historically it just burns me out. I also don't do anything faster than "easy" pace for 10 days- workouts/speed any sooner usually burn me out/leads to injury. Here is what I did

    1/12- 1 mile (12 min pace)
    1/13- 2 miles (11 min pace)
    1/14- 5 miles (10 min pace)
    1/15- 5 miles (10 min pace)
    1/16- 3 miles am/ 4 miles pm (9 min leave)
    1/17- 4 miles (8 min pace)
    1/18- 4 miles (8 min pace)
    (28 miles total)

    I'll be around 45 miles this week. Probably 45-50 the following week. Then 50-55.. Then eventually hit 60 again.

    Again, this is just what I do.
  • Carrieendar
    Carrieendar Posts: 493 Member
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    I take a week off. My goal is a sub 3 Boston, if I make that goal, I'll be taking 3 weeks off!!! Maybe more! ;)
  • litsy3
    litsy3 Posts: 783 Member
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    I do the 5-week recovery schedule out of P&D's Advanced Marathoning. It's like a reverse taper but all easy running.
  • SonicDeathMonkey80
    SonicDeathMonkey80 Posts: 4,489 Member
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    If I feel like I'm up for a run, I do it. After Air Force, I took a day off, Chicago/Columbus, I was out there the next day. Just felt good and went with it YMMV
  • Paul_Collyer
    Paul_Collyer Posts: 160 Member
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    I did my first one last May, and the next day one of my toenails fell off - so I waited a week before venturing out again ;-)

    I expect I'd do a bit of walking and cycling and maybe an easy run midweek next time, toenails permitting!
  • Roxiegirl2008
    Roxiegirl2008 Posts: 756 Member
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    I was going to ask this same question today. I ran my first marathon on Sunday and experienced little to no leg issues (soreness or cramping). I am dying to get back to running but I don't want to start to soon and risk injury. I am planning a 1/2 in March.

    I get so frustrated because on my drive home from work I see people running and I just want to join them. I have gone to my spin class, worked with my trainer (arm and core stuff) and a yoga class.

    Thank you for posting and for everyone that answered. I guess I will wait it out just a few more days.