Marathon Recovery

Marathon Recovery

It’s been 10 days since NYCM. I haven’t run.  I won’t say I’ve focused every ounce of energy on recovery because that isn’t the case, but I have made recovery a primary concern.  I feel good, in the fact that I know I’m healthy and could run, but I strongly believe everyone needs at least 2 weeks of rest sometime during the year.

Most long-term readers know but I’m injury prone, so I can’t get away with not taking rest. At this point, I don’t even try too.

My old college coach told me that days off save seasons and I think it’s some of the best advice I’ve ever gotten. Not only do I apply this with injuries, but also now with resting after a race.  There are some people that could get away from running

Here are a Few Ways I’ve Been Personally Recovering:

Active Release Technique:
I’m a big fan of active release. It flushes out acid from your legs and muscles quicker and you recover faster. I’ve always recovered faster when I opted to get a deep tissue massage or ART.

Active Release is a hands-on approach to injuries of the muscles, tendons, fascia, nerves, and the surrounding tissues. This manipulation softens and stretches the scar tissue which can result in an increased range of motion and improved circulation.  Both optimize healing.

If you are local, I highly recommend Dr. Kemenosh and his staff (and no they aren’t paying me to tell you that and I pay the same price as every other person who goes). They have helped me in multiple situations from fixing my hip/piriformis after my last marathon to loosening up my calves, and even feet.

active release technique

Compression:
There are so many different brands of compression out there. Many brands are just glorified tube socks.  I personally use CEP and have for most of my running journey.  CEP uses medical grade compression and forces blood to appropriate places.

Compression helps to enhance performance and recovery through the targeted compression which improves blood circulation and speeds up lactate metabolism.

Cross Training:
I’ve done a couple of short walks and I think I’ll do a hike this weekend.  Even though I could have done “a lot more” this week, I have walked as cross training. It feels good to get blood pumping through my legs.  I’ve been walking about 20-30 minutes which has been fun. I haven’t felt the urge to go further.

Take Mental Break:
Running can be exhausting.  For me thinking about adding a long run into the weekend, or workouts during the week can be mentally tiresome. Taking a mental break is one of the most important things I personally do.  Right now I’m not planning “the next big thing.”

Sleep:
This is an obvious one, but more sleep allows muscles to repair. We know sleep is important, but there are so many distractions that make it difficult to get to bed. I try and log off the internet around 9 pm. Sometimes I read, sometimes I go straight to bed.  I’ve been having a hard time adjusting to the time change. Has it really been nearly 2 weeks?

Recovery from anything, whether it’s a race or hard training cycle takes time. Just like training, there is no secret that does it all at once.

Questions for you:

How do you recover?  

How long do you take off after a big race? 

 

2 responses

  1. Hollie,

    Thank you for sharing about your recovery approach. I think a lot of marathoners tend to skip recovery because they feel like they need to keep up their base. I know I struggle with taking rest days even when I am in training so I also struggle with taking breaks after a race. It is nice to see that others DO take a break and in turn that means I CAN take breaks too!

    p.s. I LOVED the Bridge-Way Diner review! Such an AWESOME diner … wish I lived closer!

    • I think a lot of people skip recovery which hurts in the long run. I know for me personally, if I don’t take a break I hurt myself. Do you have any races you’re training for Lindsay?

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