Recovery after Race? (Read 955 times)

    Hello All, I consider myself new to running (have really started the past year). I have 1 Marathon, three Half-Marathons, several 10Ks, 4M, & 5Ks… but I never seem to take time to recover after the race. I received advice that I should lay off the running after a race. I have heard the general rule of thumb is a day for each mile… This seems like too much time to take off (granted, you can cross train). So, I have been taking a week off after half-marathons, and two weeks after marathons… what would you suggest? For example, I just participated in the Bataan Memorial Death March last week (I did the heavy…carrying a 45lb ruck sack). I only ran the first nine miles and then slowed down to a walk/jog…until the last six miles (which seemed more like a crawl). It has been a week…I’m dieing to go for a run. I think I could take this week to do a couple of easy, short runs, but I do not want to injure myself.

    CPT Curmudgeon

      I ran 2 days after my marathon. Admittedly, I wasn't rucking that one..... Recovery rates vary, so any "rule of thumb" you hear, take it with a grain of salt. The best bet is to start out slow, and short, see how you feel, and increase back up to where you were.
        The 1 recovery day for each mile raced rule of thumb is a best guess at an average, so take it for what it's worth. Everyone recovers at different rates. Also, a recovery day doesn't have to mean no running. It can be a day of really easy running, just keep it short and easy with no workouts.

        Runners run.

          I can't prove it, but I actually suspect taking a full 2 weeks completely off after a marathon (or a week after a half) might actually *slow* your recovery, rather than help it. I'm with Scout - I usually go for an easy 3-4 miler within 48 hours. And I feel better afterward. I've heard that "take a day off per racing mile" thing a billion times, but I really don't think whoever made up that rule of thumb meant no running at all during that period. Just lots of recovery runs, and taking it easy before you think about doing speed work, and laying off the really high mileage. But I don't think anybody really takes a month off after their marathons. Wouldn't you lose a hella lot of fitness doing that? And if you ran 3 marathons in a year - you'd have to take 3 months off?! That's silly. (And by "silly" - I mean "horseshit") For what it's worth, my 5-k PR came four days after a hard, hilly marathon. And I didn't die or have my legs fall off, either.
          E-mail: JakeKnight2002@aol.com

          You'll ruin your knees!

            ...a day off for each mile? ..... Confused Bwaaaaaahahahahahahahh! Now that I've gotten that out of my system...I suppose if you're racing to win or racing for PR's and you have a few goal 5/10k's targeted, well, OK. If you're going into a race with an attitude of just having a good, hard run, I don't think a day off for each mile is realistic. Some of the others who have already posted are much smarter'n me, good stuff there. I believe it's better to get the legs moving in some capacity as soon as your body says it's OK. A little soreness is OK, but if you're still walking funny, maybe waiting another day or two is OK. I did a marathon yesterday and will go out for a recovery run today, not sure how far/fast, my body will let me know later. Good luck, Lynn B

            ""...the truth that someday, you will go for your last run. But not today—today you got to run." - Matt Crownover (after Western States)

            I've got a fever...

              Not only should you not stop running after a race, but you should actually run the day after, and then take a day off. The post-race-day-super-easy run helps loosen you up and hastens recovery. The key thing is to listen to your body, and if it was a long race, lay off of quality work (speed, tempo, hills) for a week or so. Real easy running following a race should be good recovery. Cheers, Jeff

              On your deathbed, you won't wish that you'd spent more time at the office.  But you will wish that you'd spent more time running.  Because if you had, you wouldn't be on your deathbed.

              12 Monkeys

                Not only should you not stop running after a race, but you should actually run the day after, and then take a day off. The post-race-day-super-easy run helps loosen you up and hastens recovery.
                Like he said.
                  I have examples of how running the day after helped...and then when I didn't run how sore I was. When I ran my first 10 miles, I was told to run the next day, just an easy run...and at first it hurt, my quads were on fire. But after running I felt great. Then I took off the day after that. THEN...when I ran my first HM I was foolish and played soccer the very next day before getting to run, and then during soccer sprained my ankle early in the game. I wasn't able to run the rest of the week and my legs were KILLING me all week, along with the pain of the ankle. I was a funny sight to see going up and down steps.


                    Right on! I’m going for a run today! Actually, I normally bike and swim after my big races, but the no running thing has been killing me. I understand I need to take it easy at first…but I’m running today. Thanks for your help!