>Racing>Marathon recovery tips
Overweight per CDC BMI
I have my first marathon this coming Saturday and I know I will be hurting/sore all next week. Anyone want to provide some tips/tricks they have developed over the years to help get their best recovery?
I have also been having pain/tightness with my Peroneus Longus in both my calves the past 6 weeks which will likely come back after the 26.2 so injury mitigation tips would be helpful too.
Memphis / 37 male
5k - 21:01 / 10k - 45:20 / Half - 1:40:17 / Full - 3:38:10
Looking at your running log, you are going in with VERY light mileage. Frankly, I wouldn't run at all for 3 weeks after the marathon with your history. If you want to go for some long walks after a week off, that is okay. Otherwise, maybe get a massage a week after? There's not much you can do after the marathon except rest. The biggest mistake someone can make is getting back into training too soon and injuring themselves.
5K: 16:37 (11/20) | 10K: 34:49 (10/19) | HM: 1:14:57 (5/22) | FM: 2:36:31 (12/19)
I used a McMillan recovery plan as a guide. Looking at my log, I am not sure what I was thinking because it looks like I jumped into workouts in the 3rd week. My mileage game team had already lost long before this.....
Many people subscribe to the idea that a very short slow jog the day after the race is helpful. I don't dispute this, necessarily, but I've come around to the belief that it deeply sucks and isn't necessary. I do make a point to get out and walk a couple (very slow) miles the next day, though. Just getting the body moving again in a very gentle, easy way does seem to help. From there it depends how beat up I am as to when I start mixing in some running. Jumping right back in and paying the price for doing so is not fun, and is ultimately counter productive and frustrating. Just get out and move without forcing anything for the first few weeks.
A list of my PRs in a misguided attempt to impress people that do not care.
Interval Junkie --Nobby
It allows the muscles to get the blood flowing with no impact. I found this better than a "sports massage", which I've also done.
Just don't fool yourself into doing 2miles in the pool a couple of days after the marathon just because you have endurance for days . . . it will destroy your rotator. I couldn't lift my arm to shampoo my hair for a week.
2021 Goals: 50mpw 'cause there's nothing else to do
Recovery will depend on how bad you wreck yourself. Muscle soreness you can go with active recovery the next day. Sharp pains, joint or foot stress will need more time. In any case, eat and drink healthy items soon post race. Seems to help. Have a great race.
12-22 Last One Standing
2-23 Sun Marathon
4-23 Zion 100
In my experience, it's a great topic for a discussion. After 10 years of doing this thing of running, I concluded that (for myself, personally) couple of things working very well.
1. The more miles I run during training cycle, the less time I need to recover after a marathon. Basically, I could go for a recovery run the next day after a marathon if my cycle had 80-90-100 miles per week in it. Because everything that could go wrong, either went wrong during the training cycle or not. The race, marathon itself is an icing on a cake after all that heavy training.
2. Nevertheless, even if do not need much recovery after a race, I still might take a complete week off - not for physical recovery, but for emotional part of it. Training and racing takes a toll on me, again, sometimes more from the emotional side than from physical - I just need some kind of recharge - a week off and then a couple of very easy weeks without any workouts usually work miracles.
3. Kind of an extension of point No 1 - the lighter your training cycle, the harder the post-race recovery - usually with light training the race itself might be such a grind that runners might have a bad taste from it for a long time.
paces PRs - 5K - 5:48 / 10K - 6:05 / HM - 6:14 / FM - 6:26 per mile
Thanks for the comments so far. I expect to be very sore and in pain which is why I am asking. Not only is it my first marathon but because I got injured right as I was getting close to my peak weekly mileage, I know taking it easy for the last 6 weeks is going to have me even less prepared. My log looks pitiful 5 out of the past 6 weeks but I wasn't going to quit and couldn't run 26 miles if I was still injured.
I do plan on doing many short walks the week(s) after the race and I have a 12-week old puppy so that will help give me incentive to take 3-4 1-mile walks per day. I will try the easy swimming and put in some easy miles on the bike to get blood flowing. I am already planning for December to be a rehab month and any easy running I do will just be for recovery and not training.
I always said I never had any interest in running a marathon but here I am. I just need to get this first 26.2 completed.
As Cal said, the less your mileage, the worse the recovery will be.
I'm sure you know this already, but you are putting yourself at serious risk of major injury during this marathon. Your peak mileage was only around 120 miles per month, which is the absolute bare minimum you need to run a marathon. You effectively haven't run for 6 straight weeks, which in and of itself makes the marathon a major risk, but you also are already injured.
The race is tomorrow and this won't convince you otherwise, but just saying you should go in with eyes wide open: you most likely will not enjoy the race due to the lack of fitness with the 6 weeks off / low mileage and you have a good shot of injury. Perhaps more importantly, know that it's okay to pull the plug. There is no shame with a DNF given an injury. It's better to do that then push to finish the race just to say you ran a marathon. There are always more races to run.
I appreciate the brutal honesty from someone with more experience. Yes, I know the risk involved here and I expect to be at least slightly injured after the race. The medical boot will be back out even if just to be proactive to aid recovery.
My log doesn't tell the complete story because there were some easy runs I did which I didn't import to RA because I was on IR in the game and it doesn't show the cross training I did on the bike/elliptical to keep up fitness. There was only one week which I did zero running. I just had to take it easy the past few weeks to ensure I didn't show up to the start line injured.
The course is the exact same for the half marathon up until mile 9. I have told myself if I am not feeling 100% by mile 9 then I would make the turn and just complete the half. They allow you to shift down in distance during the race and your time still be official. If later in the race I have pain which I cannot work out by stopping to stretch, I will consider taking the bus back or walking the majority of what is left.
That is perfect. The worst are marathons where you're at mile 18 and know you can't finish, but the only way to get to the finish is to walk the entire way. You should have a pretty good idea by mile 9 whether you can make it the whole way or not.
The basics, good sleep and good nutrition. Then.... active recovery without doing further harm. Walking will be your friend. You will need time off from running. My favorite recovery modality when not walking is MarcPro. You can use it watching TV and while sleeping. So good. Active recovery at its best. Good luck.
Run Coach. Recovery Coach. Founder of SMART Approach Training, Coaching & Recovery
Structured Marathon Adaptive Recovery Training
Safe Muscle Activation Recovery Technique
Half Faster Runners 2023
Congrats on finishing your first marathon, Andy! I hope you are feeling good about your accomplishment.
I favour active recovery so something short today. 15-20 minutes with no watch, no tech.
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Game Admin for RA Running Game 2023.
I finished the 26.2 miles! It got rough at miles 15-20 with lots of walking breaks. No signs of injury so far and I had no pain during the race. The ice bath and warm shower felt so good when I got home. I have walked at least 2 miles today and will try to do at least that every day this week. I'm going to be stretching the best I can.