It’s been about 4 days since I raced the Columbus Marathon and I feel like I am recovering well. I went out for my first run yesterday (Wednesday) morning; an easy 3 miler with my BRF Amy. We stuck to the indoor track for some very slow miles. I felt little in the way of soreness and my legs warmed up quickly. I felt some twinges of tension in my right quad but that quickly subsided as well. So overall, this is a pretty standard recovery for me. The more races I complete, the less time it seems I need to recovery. I was very intent on walking the 1 mile back to the hotel after the race on Sunday and I think that contributes in a major way to promoting recovery. After past marathons or greater distances (and long runs), I’ve always gone out of my way to not lay on the couch all day post run. I really don’t think that helps me at all. Plus I just can’t get my husband on board with me running for 4 hours in the morning, followed by brunch and a two hour nap haha!
Some of the things I am doing this time around for my recovery are:
- Sleeping in as much as possible and going to bed early. The longer I am a runner, the more I realize just how important rest and recovery are. Hanging out in the ultra runner world sometimes gives me the skewed perception of “just a marathon” which is crazy because a marathon IS a long distance and incredibly taxing on the body and as such requires significant attention to resting oneself. I have going to bed early and slept in (relatively) the last few days and will continue to do so for the next few weeks.
- Utilizing various treatment modalities. I started going to Ohio Sports Chiropractic in late 2012 a shattered and broken mess. I had strained a whole bunch of things while improperly training for a marathon (not enough base miles, low mileage training, no cross training, no strength work, heavy reliance on NSAIDS) and my body paid the price. I was still limping several weeks post marathon and was it was highly recommended that I seek out the treatment from Dr. Leo (and eventually Dr. Matt who I now see in the practice). I went on Tuesday for ART and Graston of my neck and shoulders which have been a chronic source of pain for me for many years and tend to be worse when running long distances. While there, I utilized the Normatec Recovery Boots which rely on a combination of compression and massage to aid in drainage of the lymphatic system to promote recovery. And holy hell did it feel good. About 90% of that lingering quad soreness was eliminated after just 15 minutes in the boots.
The futuristic looking Normatec boots
- All the water and lots of good calories. After a hard effort, my body seems to tell me what I need in the form of cravings. So far that has meant extra water each day and lots of carbs. As a current vegetarian and sometimes vegan, I have been focusing on using a lot of the Fall veggies I have around right now which has mostly been various squashes, eggplants, and root veggies. All of those things have been aiding in my recovery.
All the squash-Loving all the fall veggies right now!
- Foam rolling. Ok, I am going to be the first to admit I’m not the best at this but when I do it consistently, it helps oh so much with my poor quads (as you can probably tell, that’s my usual trouble spot).
- Eating some not so ideal calories. I’ve mentioned before that I have kind of an obsession with Justin’s Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups. So I’ve been indulging. After all, I’ve got another marathon to run in a few weeks (in denial, it’s actually 9 days from now!)
So that’s about if for my first few days post race. I’m happy with how things are going thus far. I plan to continue to work on maintaining my focus on recovery for a few more days followed by another week of taper before Run with Scissors. Weekly goals are to continue to train smart-no wandering over into the realm of overtraining for me!