Marathon recovery?

9 messages
27/06/2005 at 11:09
Did the infamous Blackpool marathon and did ok. But have races nearly every weekend for a while.
How should I approach training/racing in the weeks after the marathon.
Should I expect my times to drop off a bit(good excuse) and should I take it easy between races?
27/06/2005 at 13:08
Hi STACman, interesting one and this is one that probably depends on the individual depending on how strong you are and how much the marathon took it out of you.

As a relative virgin to the marathon (just done my 2nd), I am following the Hal Higdon marathon recovery schedule and just reading the advice on there. It lasts 5 weeks and so far I am into the 4th, and everything has gone pretty well. From experience, I wouldn't go flat out straight after a marathon, I did it before and ended up injured.


27/06/2005 at 13:43
Having been sensible last year after my first marathon and followed Hal Higdon's post-marathon recovery plan to the letter, I got back into my training really easily.

This year I thought I'd be clever and bypass the recovery schedule (or at least tweak it somewhat). I got back into fairly high mileage (for me) after just one week off post-marathon, and did far too much hard running as initially I felt so strong from all the marathon training.

Only after 3-4 weeks did I start to suffer - nothing serious, but my legs have felt quite stiff and sore ever since. Although the post-marathon recovery plan seemed ridiculously easy after the marathon training, and I was itching to get back into 'proper' training, I recovered properly the first time by following it. Wish I had been more sensible this year.
27/06/2005 at 13:46
Yeah I've googled that today and its quite scary seeing how little you are supposed to do post marathon.
I have a race Wed and a tough half mara. at the weekend.
Looks like the only sensible thing to do is take it easy and not worry too much about times.
27/06/2005 at 14:43
Gary T Thanks Just looked at the schedule link you posted. Now I know what I've done wrong since my first marathon in Edinburgh 2 weeks ago !!
27/06/2005 at 15:43
It really does depend on the marathon in question, on you, your age, your training level, and how you ran it.

Oddly, the hardest marathon I've done was the one I recovered from quickest. The 3 Forts was a relentless x-country series of tough climbs over rough ground and nearer 30 than 26 miles, but I recovered much quicker than previous flat road ones - I suspect because you use a wider variety of muscles, and that you don't completely exhaust muscles in the same way as 3 hours of relentless even-paced running does. Very sore for a couple of days, but none of that awful deadness after that, and back up to full speed 2 weeks later.
28/06/2005 at 17:07
I did FLM this year then stupidly thought I would be okay to run a 10k the Sunday after and really struggled with it, in fact was 5 mins off my PB and it was a flat fast course.
29/06/2005 at 23:37
Hello STACman. Hurry back slowly from a marathon, I'd say. (Often difficult in the post-marathon euphoria!) Do otherwise you're quite possibly tempting injury. The marathon will have left you with thousands of tiny micro-tears in your muscles and they need time and care to heal.

I seem to remember that there's a rule of thumb that goes something like this: 10 miles easy running for every mile raced. So you're looking at 260 miles of training there. As Tmap says, your running background, weight, how much the race took out of you on the day etc etc might mean that you need less recovery or more, but this generalisation works well for me.

Maybe cutting one or two races from your plans would be a good idea? At very least, I would suggest that all your daily training is run at well-below marathon pace and that you approach the first couple of races with caution, not worrying about PBs.
30/06/2005 at 13:25
Personally I find that gentle recovery runs are good, but straight out racing a week after is asking for trouble. Last year I ran 2 half marathons on successive weekends. The second gave me my PW (personal worse) time for a half, EIGHT minutes off my PB!

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