One week out from the marathon, and I’ve been feeling much better than I expected to feel. At least, until yesterday.
I woke up Sunday morning with some kind of stomach bug, and spent most of the day in bed. Yuck- not my idea of a fun weekend. But, in retrospect, it was probably a good thing to slow me down.
I rested from running for most of the week, but still had spinning classes to teach. We “launched” the latest RPM release on Saturday, so I also used a few days at the gym to practice and finish memorizing the new choreography.
Here’s what my post marathon week looked like, in terms of workouts:
Sunday: Sore! Moving slowly around the house and up and down steps.
Monday: Soreness was mostly gone. I was walking normally, just not as fast as usual. I even made a grocery store trip and don’t think I gave myself away as a recovering runner.
Tuesday: Feeling good. Taught my evening spin class, but kept my resistance minimal.
Wednesday: Itching to move! Did 30 minutes on the ARC/elliptical at the gym to continue to learn my RPM music, and a few light weights from Tina’s BBBC.
Thursday: Ran through the entire spin class again, prepping for Saturday (1 hour).
Friday: First run! I took L on an easy 3 mile jog in the afternoon. It was a gorgeous, sunny day.
Saturday: Spin class, co-taught the new RPM for the Les Mills Launch
My plan was to get out for 4-5 miles yesterday, but the stomach sickness kept me in bed. I noticed that my calf/shins were a little tight following Friday’s run, so the extra rest was wise.
I’m subbing two extra spin classes this week for a total of four, so I will probably continue to lay off the running and give my body extra rest days in between.
Most resources recommend a reverse taper, doing very little the first week and slowly building back up. Both Advanced Marathoning and the RW Big book of Marathon and Half Marathon Training state that your body is not fully recovered for nearly 3-4 weeks.
From Runner’s World’s book:
Many coaches suggest that runners wait at least 4 weeks after a marathon of half marathon to race again… to let the musculoskeletal system recover. ‘There’s a lot of tissue damage,’ says Sean Coster… ‘Muscle fibers and the connective tissue have to work very hard to keep you weight bearing for (that long)… You’ve got to give the body a chance to repair that.’
In general, light cross training is recommended to increase blood flow through the muscles without pounding and can aid recovery. Advanced Marathoning also recommends using a heart rate monitor as you ease back into running and keeping your heart rate at 70-75 percent of max heart rate for the first few weeks back to running.
As boring as it was to lay around all day yesterday, I did get to catch up on Downton Abbey and watch some football. And I know my body was grateful for a little more rest.
How long do you rest from running after a half or full marathon? Have you ever jumped back into training too soon?