Recovering from your marathon, Runners World Magazine offers some good advice
We are at the end of the marathon season, and now many runners are looking forward to next spring and summer. While it is normal to have soreness from your half or full marathon, a four week period of recovery makes sense, however, you may also look at it differently; was my body in good enough physical condition and is my soreness a consequence of my form becoming problematic due to fatigue of other factors I did not understand at the time.
If you think that is a huge concept to wrap your head around, really it isn’t. Many runners have mechanical problems that cause injuries including stress fractures which can easily sideline their training ambitions. Some say they get injured because they run. While this is true, others rarely or never get injured because they run. Should you be asking yourself what is different about those who rarely have injuries? Are they superhuman, do they concentrate on form more or perhaps, are they built differently?
To fully appreciate how your body works, a great way of improving your understanding is to take a video of yourself on a treadmill for about a minute from the side which can be quite revealing. You may see over and under striding, hunched or hiked shoulders, a very short stride or other aberrations that can cause injury since the unequal distribution of forces at the ground and how they affect your feet, legs, foot or heel strike and even your upper back may be an accommodation for how you are built.
Another test is a squat in front of a mirror that will show you dipping or leaning to one side, which can also show asymmetries which may be part of why you are perhaps more sore than the next person during marathon recovery.
Of course, hiring a professional who understand running injuries such as Charschan Chiropractic and Sports Injury can offer additional insight, correction, advice and treatment can definitely help, in the end, you need to improve your form which can take months of practice and stabilize your core. Part of this regimen should include foam rolling which is a form of myofascial release you can self apply (check out our foam roller video on your youtube link on the site).
Check out the Runners World article here
How Can I Recover from My Half or Full Marathon?
Try this “reverse taper” to return to training refreshed and healthy.
I’m running my third half-marathon this spring and a marathon this fall. Do you have any tips for recovering after the races? Thanks, Breanne
Good luck in your races this season, Breanne. You are wise to think about recovery, as it is a very important ingredient to continued progress without detours. Some things are best explained visually, so I created these downloadable four-week recovery programs for the half and full marathon distances.
Please keep in mind that every runner’s plan is unique and this is a guideline to the flow of a recovery rather than an exact plan. You can tweak it to make it your own. The idea is to emphasize the intensity and volume as you heal, because poor recovery is a common mistake that’s easy to make when we’re in the postrace high.
Also important to mention is that every recovery is like a fingerprint—unique—and the secret truly is to listen to your body and serve up what it asks. For instance, you may run the half at a harder effort, or the weather ends up being hot and demands much more from you. This race will likely take more TLC than a race that is in perfect weather (54 degrees) where you race less intensely.
Recovery begins the minute you cross the finish line and extends for weeks post race. Read this column to learn what to do in the first 24 hours to speed the rate of recovery.
If you notice, both start with a week of a lot less running and light effort, short duration cross-training. This allows the body to heal while maintaining fitness and increasing circulation to aid in recovery.