Trade Mileage for Recovery Time
Two weeks ago, I ran my first marathon in Sacramento, CA. The race was full of ups and downs, highs and lows, a beautiful 20 miles and a painful 10k. I planned for all sorts of eventualities in my marathon buildup and in the race itself, but one thing I didn’t think about was the day after the marathon.
What now? I shouldn’t - and most likely can’t - run for a while, but after a couple days of R&R it sure gets boring and you start getting antsy. The smart part of my brain knows that rest is an important component of any training cycle, but there are days when forcing yourself to sit on your butt and take it easy is just as hard as waking up for that 6 a.m. workout. Last week, I was served with an unpleasant reminder of the importance of recovery when I tried to go on a short shakeout run 4 days after the race and tweaked my SI joint (sacroiliac - where your spine meets your pelvis) from forcing a run on unevenly fatigued muscles.
But just because you’re not ripping a long run doesn’t mean there’s nothing you can do to train. With all the free time I have from not running, I’ve been beta-testing the hell out of the Recover app with a focus on rebuilding the muscles that were damaged in the marathon and rehabilitating the tendons that were inflamed by the injury to my SI joint. When your body is banged up, it becomes invaluable to have a menu of low-impact options to keep away the cabin fever and get the most out of your recovery cycle.
My personal recommendation: Throw on a little holiday music, crack a cold beverage or mix up a hot toddy, and get in a solid 10 minutes of work that will turn your marathon recovery into productive launchpad into your next training cycle. By the time your New Year resolutions kick in, your body will be stronger, healthier, and rearing to run.