Marathon Recovery: What’s Your Style?

So you might or might not have heard, but I ran a marathon last Sunday. I think I might have mentioned it a couple of times.

I felt pretty good the next day–a bit sore, as was to be expected, but nothing major. We walked a couple of miles to stretch our legs out and then just took it easy all day. I took Monday off work, which I think was a great decision, since the last thing I needed was to sit at my desk for eight hours the day after running 26.2 miles.

Tuesday, I didn’t feel ready to run, so Steff (fellow crazy Sunday marathoner) and I made up our own upper/core workout at lunch, followed by 15 easy minutes on the exercise bikes. This was really just an excuse for us to share marathon stories and relive how awesome we are.

Wednesday, I decided it was time to try running again. Steff and I headed out for a few slow miles during lunch and ended up going four. It was slow going, and we took it really easy, but it felt really good to get back out there and run. Plus, you know, we talked more about our awesomeness and marathons and things (we do talk about things other than running, honest!).

marathon recovery

Second post-marathon run… forgot my watch for the first!

On Thursday morning I got up and ran before work with Ben. I knew I wanted to go at least four again, but wanted to play it by ear and do what felt right. That ended up being a really awesome five mile run. I felt so happy to be out running, enjoying myself, and not worrying about distance or time. It was actually pretty freeing. I followed my pre-work run with a lunchtime yogalates class and a much-needed stretch-out.

Fridays are off days for me running-wise, but Steff and I hit up a total body class at lunch. Holy ouch! My legs were thankful I gave them a break from squats and the like this week, but I definitely made up for it today!

This got me thinking… what do other people typically do for marathon recovery? Is there a certain number of days you take off from running post-race? The last marathon I ran, I probably took at least two weeks off from running and really didn’t miss it, but this year I couldn’t wait to get back into it. Tomorrow we plan on doing an early 12-miler, which seemed daunting when I thought about it at the beginning of the week, but now I can’t wait to get out there and run those miles.

So please share your race recovery with me–do you have a plan, or do you just play it by ear? I’m pretty happy with what I did this week, and my legs feel great, but I suppose the real test will be tomorrow’s long run!

Oh and also, here is a close-up of my medal, which I failed to take until today. Isn’t it pretty?!2014 Flying Pig Marathon medal

14 thoughts on “Marathon Recovery: What’s Your Style?

  1. Do they serve wings and bacon after the race? They should. You know, flying pig. Never mind that chickens don’t fly.
    They say you should take a day off for each mile of your race – so 3 days for a 5k and 26 for a marathon. I know most of us won’t do that though. I take at least a week, usually two. Most importantly,
    I listen to my body after a full. It will tell you when it wants to run again. After a while you just get kind of ‘itchy’ and need to move.

    • They sometimes try to fly. Or maybe they just flap a lot.

      I’ve heard that before too, but 26 days seems like such a long time to take off!

  2. It looks like you have a pretty good schedule going!! Nice job on your marathon and have a wonderful weekend!!
    After my half marathon, I took off a week!! I swam and did yoga though!

  3. LOVE the medal! I’ve only run one marathon thus far, and I think I took a whole week off before I tried to run again. I was sore, naturally, but my biggest issue was dehydration. I ran a half marathon a couple of weeks after the marathon, and I probably shouldn’t have. It took me about a month (and a few bottles of pedialyte!) to feel normal again. Have a great 12 mile run tomorrow!

    • Wow, yeah, it’s definitely important to listen to your body. Hopefully that didn’t put you off running any future marathons! 😉

  4. I think everyone is different in terms of recovery. What’s going to work for you may not work for someone else. But I have found the more marathons I’ve run the easier it becomes for me to recover. I have run 10 of them total and typically I do an easy week following a race. I never run the next day and always get a massage and do some active recovery. You are awesome for bouncing back so quickly!

    • I took two full days off with LOTS of rolling out and slow walking. For some reason I was just able to get back into running quickly this time! A massage sounds like an excellent post-marathon idea though. I might get me one of those next time!

    • Awww, thanks, Rob! I will put this one on my list for the weekend! I need to display all these in the sidebar like you do… I’m getting pretty decorated over here! 😉

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