Friday, September 24, 2010

Half Marathon Recovery

Woo hoo!  A couple days after the half marathon, they posted pictures.  They even have video footage of you as you approach and cross the finish line - crazy!  (Available for purchase, of course).  Here's a pic from somewhere along the course, can't figure out when it was taken:

I'm still riding the recovery wave following my 13.1 miles last Sunday.  My quads and the muscles around my knee were a little tight/sore for a day or two after.  I took a break from wearing heels to work.  Wednesday, the soreness was mostly gone.  Thursday morning I went for an easy 1.6 mile run before work on a nearby path (flat surface, dirt).  I felt really good after!  And now on Friday night, as I write this, my leg muscles are feeling completely back to normal.  I didn't take any pain medication/anti-inflammatory.

Aside from Thursday morning, my physical activity over the past 5 days has consisted of walking the dog.  My plan is to go for a bike ride Saturday, and I'll start up with the running again sometime after that.  I don't have any specific goal in mind to train for right now, I just plan to resume running about 3x/week and to enjoy some fall bike rides.  I was up to running around 20-25 miles per week at the peak of my half-marathon training.  I don't necessarily plan to maintain that level but I will probably strive for about 15 miles per week (maybe a 7-8 mile long run on the weekend, an easy 3 mile run and a 4-5 mile tempo run or some kind of speed work during the week).

I'm actually really looking forward to some cooler weather for outdoor exercise.  Here's an article from Runner's World on fall running and what your runs should look like in the fall based on your summer running accomplishments/fall running goals.

Some Tips on Half Marathon Recovery from a few sites:
Some sources say you should do an ice bath; I couldn't convince myself to get into a cold bath tub.  Some say you should get a gentle massage (sounds awesome...actually it's been a really long time since I've treated myself to a massage, probably over 2 years.  Maybe it's time!)  I have read some things that say to take a day off for every mile you raced (!) but there is no way I can be sedentary for nearly 2 weeks.  I think it's most important to just listen to your body.  If you're still sore --> rest.  If you feel comfortable starting up again, go for it, but take it easy for your first couple runs.

And here are a couple of pictures from Competitor's website from last Sunday:

Tons of people waiting at the Start Line
 View of the Finish Line from the Art Museum Steps, looking toward City Hall

What does your post-race recovery/rest routine look like?
What are your fall running or fitness goals?

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