recovery time after 100 milers

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08/10/2012 at 13:55

I'm due to do the SDW in June as my first long ultra and I have seen a marathon that I would like to enter at the end of July but I have no idea whether my legs will be recovered enough, I hope they would be by then!

So I was wondering how long does it take people to recover after the longer ultras, assuming no major injury?

WiB
08/10/2012 at 14:04

Touie - Assuming no injury you will easily be back running by then. How well depends on how you manage your recovery etc. I would say with that time gap you would be ok to run it, don't expect a PB.

I am in for the SDW100 with a 50 booked for last weekend July which I will be running although not expecting to break any records at it

WiB
08/10/2012 at 14:07

thanks, thats what i was hoping for, as long as I can plod around I'm happy

08/10/2012 at 18:25

Interesting question, and one which I tested this year .

Did my first 100miler early March, Thames Path (okay I got to 91m, then they cancelled the race cos of the weather, but I still had 4hrs+ allowed time left to finish it ). However, I had already pre-entered the Connemara marathon a year in advance, well before I knew I would be contemplating TP100. This was set for early April, giving only 4wks recovery.

So, Connemara is generally regarded as a tough marathon (the 'Hell of the West'), I was expecting, based on my times for Cape Wrath marathon which I would say is comparable with the climb, about 4hr 30m, in the end it took me 4hr 50m to complete Connemara. So, my price for 100miles - 20mins added to the marathon time, and legs that did not want to climb hills . I plodded it and finished, and that finish felt good .

Rather strangely maybe, another 4wks after that, I did the Highland Fling, 53m on the West Highland Way, and knocked 15mins off my finish time for the previous year!! Horses for courses maybe, but I felt the 100 had made me stronger, given enough time to recover, and running trail rather than road.

08/10/2012 at 18:43

thats good 20 mins isn't much extra! I was actually looking at swiss alpine marathon which I think is 6 weeks after the 100 so just a little bit hilly!!!  

Edited: 08/10/2012 at 18:46
08/10/2012 at 18:51

LOL - just a bit . The hills on the SDW should hopefully make you stronger for the Alps, given you will have 6wks recovery and you will be used to covering such a large distance by then. I would take SDW easy though and not go for bustin' a time .

I will be 'aiming to finish' SDW in the 30hrs .

Edited: 08/10/2012 at 18:53
08/10/2012 at 18:53

Yes I have no idea how I will get on with the 100 so just aiming to finish in one piece!

08/10/2012 at 19:24

I don't know about an alpine marathon but then, why not? I did SDW this year and then pretty much nothing for seven weeks because of the school holidays, but what running I did manage to get in felt OK, I just lost fitness because I couldn't get out enough. The first few times I went out it felt like I had dead legs though! Plus I had a hip flexor niggle that took a while to go.  I imagine if you give yourself some decent recovery and then ease back in you will be fine.  

 I am pondering similar stuff in a way ... based on assumptions ... am going to be applying for WHW race and UTMB, one is end of June, one end of August and am hoping that providing I don't pick up injury I can do both but don't know if that's realistic?!

08/10/2012 at 20:59

Maybe its all down to prioritising which is the most important race?

So for instance CC, WHW would be a considerable undertaking no matter what, BUT, if in your mind you take it as a training run, and are not pushing for a time, then it could be the perfect jumping off point for UTMB.

For some people WHW alone would be too much, but with the proper training and recovery, and especially with your previous mountain experience Cragchick, this could be the perfect formulae.

08/10/2012 at 21:00

It's 6 weeks since I did the Ridgeway and I don't think I'd be able to enjoy a marathon just yet. Have started putting more miles in the last couple of weeks, 14 this weekend was the longest yet and my legs were quite sore by the end. Things seem to be improving quite quickly though so if you get back on it sooner than I did you'd probably be ok.

The toughest thing for me was actually wanting to run again. I found the step up from 40-45 miles to the best part of 90 was brutal. For about 48 hours after finishing I couldn't walk, movement was very slow and painful. Things gradually eased up over a week but mentally the last thing I wanted was to get back out and run. I'd been building up to the race in my head for about 2 years so having finished, there was a now big void.

Whether having that next race pencilled in is enough to keep your motivation up isn't something I can really comment on. I think it depends how much weight you put on finishing SDW and how you go about doing it. Completing a race of that length is a real achievement so you should be able to enjoy it and not feel like the moment it's done it's back to business as usual. I'm signed up to SDW for next year too though so whatever post race blues you get, rest assured that they do eventually pass

08/10/2012 at 21:21

I always feel completely flat after a big target race (eg lakeland 100 last year). takes me 4-6 weeks to feel like I have got any "edge" back but longer to get back up to serious miles. but then I'm an oldish git and recovery is obviously probably not great anyway. Other thing is that I was still carrying remnant ankle injuries 4-6 weeks after race day. Wish I could go wizzing around a few weeks later but it doesn't seem to happen - is it all in the mind I wonder?

08/10/2012 at 22:27

I think the psychological thing shouldn't be underestimated definitely. I did the SDW race knowing it was bang at the start of the Scottish school holidays, I KNEW I wouldn't get much running in for the next seven weeks so it was a natural breaking point anyway and I could chill. I won't deny how absolutely dreadful I felt on the Sunday night after the race - travel down (driving over several days with 2 kids in car!!) plus race plus no sleep = hideous, nothing that a good 8 hours sleep didn't sort. I ran on the Thurs post-race as I felt I needed to, to find out what wasn't mended!! After that I didn't run again for another couple of weeks. Like muddlingabout, I did carry niggles for a fair while (the hip thing - probably a good 4-5 weeks) but I think that flared up cos I missed training time due to illness so on the day some muscles took more battering than they should.

TP - absolutely bang on about priorities. I think tbh, having never done WHW (well just the Fling part) it will be a case of doing it to complete but I also know how bad I am at trying to reign myself in (all things being relative as I am NOT at the sharp end of these races for sure!!). Oh well a few more weeks to ponder these things!!

09/10/2012 at 00:02

I did NDW100 this August and then Ridgeway 85 two weeks later.  I only got to mile 83 in the latter before I had to stop with muscle breakdown and complete loss of use of my left leg.  SO I would say two weeks is definitely not enough!

09/10/2012 at 13:47

I did the GUCR in 2011 and 25days later was in a100mile race, ok I did not finish had to pull out due to injury at 32miles in. However there were 3 other guys that did the same and finished. So I guess its down to how you feel on the day.

09/10/2012 at 15:40

Ok I'm finding some of these comments quite reassuring T-rex to get to mile 85 only 2 weeks after 100 = amazing!!! I only have to get to 26 miles and have 6 weeks (totally ignoring the fact it involves climbing a mountain!)

09/10/2012 at 16:16

climbing a mountain = excuse to walk = you'll be fine

09/10/2012 at 19:26

Crikey T Rex - couldn't you have hopped? Its all downhill from mile 83

13/10/2012 at 23:22

Too risky.  In far too much pain with that leg.  I did contemplate crawling, but there were quite a few mountain bikers out and scrambler bikes and the sight would have been rather pitiful.  Also I didn't even have the strength for that.  Ended up in A&E for 24 hours with drips and having to drink gallons of water.  They were worried about rhabdomyolysis.

As we all should be.

15/10/2012 at 09:05

Very True T rex, I spent 2 weeks in hospitial with rhabdomyolysis in June & i am still not fully right now, still cant run with any consistency..... I think all Ultra runners should make themselves aware of this condition (I was blissfully unaware of it).

15/10/2012 at 21:05

Sounds horrible T Rex you obviously made the right decision - I'd have done the same.

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