Beginners and Beyond

1

A thought about post race recovery (Read 95 times)

    Dtothe2nd made a comment in a follow up to his race report about how he thought he was recovered from his last race but found out he wasn't.  His comment specifically was that it is one thing to feel good on an easy run but it is quite a different thing to attempt to race a distance at race pace.  I couldn't agree more.  I think too many of us, me included, try to start doing our regular workouts and our regular mileage far too soon after a race.  We are somehow terrified that we'll lose fitness if we allow for full recovery when the reality is that letting our bodies recover reduced the risk of injury and allows us to absorb the post-race supercompensation from the race effort.

    Short term goal: 17:59 5K

    Mid term goal:  2:54:59 marathon

    Long term goal: To say I've been a runner half my life.  (I started running at age 45).

    Awood_Runner


    Smaller By The Day

      I've been struggling all week trying to keep my mileage and intensity down.  So, this is just what I needed to hear.  After setting a big PR in the half, and then running the best race of my life in the 10K just 3 weeks later, I promised myself that I'd take it easy this week.  It's hard to do.

      Improvements

      Weight 100 pounds lost

      5K 31:02 Sept. 2012 / 23:36 Sept. 2013 (Same Course)

      10K 48:59 April 2013

      HM 2:03:56 Nov. 2012 / 1:46:50 March 2013

      MARATHON 3:57:33 Nov. 2013

        Yeah I seem to be somewhat in the same boat. I had essentially no taper before my HM last weekend, other than one reduced mileage run 2 days before it (the day before was a normal RD anyway). The HM felt fairly easy, but was definitely a race pace for me. I immediately went back into regular training for an upcoming full. However I am having a lot more aches & pains this week; trying to just run through it & hoping things do not get worse. As you say, afraid to lose fitness. Not sure if I should be doing it differently.

        Dave

        kristin10185


        I race in SparkleSkirts

          After injury, I try really hard to listen to my body. I'd rather take an extra rest day, cut a run short, or drop to sub-recovery pace than lose another entire month of running. When I get annoyed at myself for missing miles, I remind myself that if I don't listen to my body I could lose far more. I missed the signals that the ITBS was coming. I ran a race, and jumped right back into training for the next. That is not how I got injured per se....because of my body mechanics (according to my PT) the ITBS was bound to happen at some point....but the lack of adequate recovery between races couldn't have helped. I ran a 10K (distance PR for me, used Hal Higdon 10K Novice plan, which has the longest run before the race be 5.5 miles) and then ran a weekly mileage PR the next week because I wanted to jump back into training mode. Oops...

          PRs:   5K- 28:16 (5/5/13)      10K- 1:00:13 (10/27/13)    4M- 41:43 (9/7/13)   15K- 1:34:25  (8/17/13)    10M- 1:56:30 (4/6/14)     HM- 2:20:16 (4/13/14)

           

          I started a blog about running :) Check it out if you care to


          Refurbished Hip

            I don't think I gave myself enough time to recover after my first 50 miler.  I'm still suffering the repercussions a year later.


            Pura Vida

              I kinda wonder if that happened to me after my 10 miler.  It wasn't a goal race, so I just went right on ahead with my regular plan.  Then ended up flat in my goal race.


              And yet here I am just a few days after my first half really wanting to get back to "normal" running.  It's just just the race recovery, it's the taper and then the race recovery that makes me feel like I barely run anymore.

              PRs: 5K: 25:35 / 10K: 53:03 / 10mi: 1:26:15 / HM: 1:55:02 / FM: 4:50:35

              Upcoming: Rest!

              daisymae25


              Squidward Bike Rider

                I don't think I gave myself enough time to recover after my first 50 miler.  I'm still suffering the repercussions a year later.

                 

                That's awful.  I knew you were injured, but didn't realize it was THAT long.  Sad

                 

                I know one thing they say to do after a race is to NOT do any hard/speed workouts for the same amount of days as miles the race was.  Do all easy runs instead.  For example, 3 days for a 5K, almost 2 weeks for a half, and almost a month for a marathon.  YMMV.

                  I should caveat this by noting that how hard you run the race makes a huge difference.  If I go out and run 13.1 miles at my easy run pace, I probably wouldn't want to do a hard workout the next day but I could easily do it two days later.  If I go race a half marathon all out, then I need that two week recovery.  What that means for me is:

                   

                  Week 1 - 50% of normal mileage and no speed work at all

                  Week 2 - 75% of normal mileage with some very light speed work such as strides or fartleks.

                  Week 3 - Normal training

                  Short term goal: 17:59 5K

                  Mid term goal:  2:54:59 marathon

                  Long term goal: To say I've been a runner half my life.  (I started running at age 45).

                  happylily


                    It's true that it greatly depends on your race effort.

                     

                    Boston was my 6th race in 11 months. I ran a marathon 13 weeks ago as a training run (finished 10 minutes slower than Boston, but on a slightly harder course). The first week after my January race, I ran 30 miles recovery (half of my regualr mileage at the time). Then the second week, I decided to increase my mileage a bit and I ran 75 miles, with some speedwork. Third week, I was running 80 miles with regular speedwork. My body is now used to getting back into training pretty quickly.

                     

                    This time, though, feels different. My legs are still killing me. I haven't run since Tuesday. I have 24 miles on schedule for the week. I'm going to try 5 recovery miles tonight. I know that they will be painful. Either my effort on Monday was greater than usual, or the course more challenging than what I usually do, or, I've done too many fulls in the last 12 months and my legs are saying enough. But whatever it is, I feel that this recovery period is going to be a lot tougher than usual.

                    PRs: Boston Marathon, 3:27, April 15th 2013

                            Cornwall Half-Marathon, 1:35, April 27th 2013

                    4 years racing, 16 marathons, 16 BQs     

                    Awood_Runner


                    Smaller By The Day

                      It could all be in my head, but when I drop my mileage after a race I like to get my bike out of the garage.  I know it helps me feel like I'm doing something, instead of just sitting on the couch.  I feel like my legs loosen up quicker though too.

                      Improvements

                      Weight 100 pounds lost

                      5K 31:02 Sept. 2012 / 23:36 Sept. 2013 (Same Course)

                      10K 48:59 April 2013

                      HM 2:03:56 Nov. 2012 / 1:46:50 March 2013

                      MARATHON 3:57:33 Nov. 2013

                      Just B.S.


                        Both my husband and I ( a sub 3:30 marathoner) take an entire week of running after a full marathon. We

                        hike/walk/cycle or swim instead. It has never affected our running or fitness negatively and we have

                        never had any post marathon injury issues.

                         

                        That week off gives our bodies the rest and recovery they need and we come back to running physically

                        and mentally renewed. Since we are also cyclists and swimmers we have lots of fitness options to keep

                        us moving during a post race recovery.

                         

                        We will usually take two days off after a hard run half and then get back to it but with easy runs only

                        for the first week.

                         

                        If I feel that something is "tweaking" or doesn't feel "quite right" I have no problem skipping a run or two

                        to rest/ice or whatever is necessary. I guess I've been running long enough that I know a few days or

                        a week isn't going to make a difference at all in my fitness.

                         

                        I know we have a lot more conservative approach than many people here but it works for us. In 14 years

                        of running and 10 years of racing (almost 100 races for me)  I have never been to a chiro and only been

                        to a P/T 3 times (the last time was 2.5 years ago) and never DNF'd or DNS'd a race for any reason and

                        never run a race with feeling injured.

                         

                        We know many many runners and I find the ones that worry about losing their fitness in a few days or a

                        week are those that usually haven't been running more than a few years.


                        Mmmmm...beer

                          To expand a little, I think a month would have been enough time for me to recover, if I had skipped my long runs and actually taken it easy.  I did a 20 mile double two weeks prior to my race, and then just a week before the race I did a very hilly 16 miler with a brutal 3/4 mile long hill at the end.  I should note that I don't run hills, it is perfectly flat where I run, the only time I get to run hills are when I'm visiting the inlaws.  Oh, I should probably also mention that those hills are at elevation too.  So that run took a lot more out of me than I realized and definitely wasn't something I should have done a week out from a race.  My easy runs leading up to the race felt fine, which is what gave me the illusion of being fully recovered, but there's a huge difference between an easy 5 or 6 miles and racing a half all out.

                           

                          Part of it for me was not taking this last half seriously.  My focus all winter was on the Shamrock, and after hitting my goal, I didn't feel focused on the Swamp Stomp at all.  But I think if I had actually taken it easy the month in between, I would have been primed for a very nice PR, the conditions were much better than at Shamrock, and the course is a lil faster.

                           

                          But that's how we learn.  So I'll make sure to not make the same mistake going into my next half, and even my smaller races.  I've decided to skip my long run this weekend to try to make sure I'm good to go for my 5k next weekend.  It's just a 5k, but I have a goal I'd like to hit, and skipping a long run isn't going to affect my overall fitness.

                           

                          I agree with Zel too, between tapering and recovery, your mileage can really take a hit.  I think that's why I'm going to try to carefully choose the races that I really want to put forth a PR effort.  If I try to race like that every month, I'll be worn out all the time, and I'll never be able to keep my mileage up.

                          -Dave

                          My running blog

                          2015 Goals | sub-18 5k | sub-37 10k | sub-1:23 HM | sub-3 M

                             

                            I agree with Zel too, between tapering and recovery, your mileage can really take a hit.  I think that's why I'm going to try to carefully choose the races that I really want to put forth a PR effort.  If I try to race like that every month, I'll be worn out all the time, and I'll never be able to keep my mileage up.

                             

                            Agree completely.

                            Short term goal: 17:59 5K

                            Mid term goal:  2:54:59 marathon

                            Long term goal: To say I've been a runner half my life.  (I started running at age 45).