I can happliy say, that as of today my legs are working again, and i can run again, sort of, for at least for a few metres anyway Not that I'm planning on going for a 'run' until later next week but the spring has returned to them which is a nice feeling, meaning I am recovering. I hope yours are too!
It's normal to feel a little deflated after the marathon, regardless of how you performed on the day. After such a long intensive build up of training, running long runs every weekend, and when you're not running working on your recovery, and when you're not doing that thinking about the marathon, and talking about the marathon. Let's face it, It's pretty full on!
Most importantly, I hope that you all have been spending this week revelling in your achievements, and basking in the glory that goes with having just run the marathon. It's a very rewarding and satisfying time, that you should enjoy as much as possible. And don't hesitate in letting them all know that yes, you were out there on Sunday and yes, you ran the 'full' marathon!
This is a good time to reflect on your training, your race plan and how it all unfolded on race day. Looking at your overall time, your splits and your HR you can review your race performance stage by stage. From that you might think about what & where you might change your plan for next time, or what you might have done differently in training and on the day. Of course, you'll never know whether that would produce a better outcome or not, but it's worth considering.
Each time you race the marathon will be a different experience and much can be gained from every one. With analysis, time & experience you will become better at racing the distance. The only catch is, you have to do all that work again, and it's a while before you get another crack!
I particularly love the fact that after only 4 days we are all thinking about our next marathon, aren't you? It was the last thing in the world you were thinking at about the 36km mark, but happily this all changes.
After a race, many runners want to capitalise on all that training and hard earned fitness, and not let it go to waste. Some will be searching for the next race to try to make amends for a bad day, whilst others might be looking to continue their successful run and see where else they can push the limits.
My advice, is stop now. You, your legs, your body and your mind needs time to recover.
Rule #1: No running for 2 weeks!! You need to recover.
Your muscles have taken a battering which is why they are so sore and you couldn't even walk properly for 3 days, let alone downstairs! Thus, they will take 2-4 weeks to fully recover & regenerate, maybe longer if you are very sore. Even if you feel like you can run before this time ( < 2 weeks) you are still in recovery mode, so only short, easy runs please. Only easy runs for the first month, starting with small distances of 3-5 kms, and building by only 2 kms each week. No fast running for 4 weeks.
If you do too much, too soon, you risk developing soft tissue injuries that may hang around for months. It's been a long and intense haul to get to the marathon, so it's important to take some time off.
LET YOUR BODY AND YOUR MIND RECOVER!
You can however, still exercise in the mean time, as other forms of active recovery will be helpful. Naturally, you don't just want to sit around ( if only), but walk regularly, swim, gentle cycle, pilates, yoga... and of course don't forget your roller, massage & stretching etc.
And then we can look ahead to what's next.
I am already planning which events I will be training for next year, which for me will and of course culminate in running the NYC Marathon in November 2016!
But in the mean time, and for probably the rest of the year, i will look forward to running again just for the pure freedom and enjoyment of it all.
Who knows, I may even leave my Garmin at home and run naked. Oh the freedom of running by feel!
Real, take it easy, run easy but Run Well!
You can however, still wear your running watch! Thankfully it also tells the time!