Happy Happy Friday! Oh, I’m so happy it’s here. I’m looking forward to catching up on some much needed sleep this weekend! I feel like I haven’t woken up since Monday.
I’m almost 3 weeks post marathon and I finally feel like I am getting a little bit of myself back. I have moments that are great and then moments that just absolutely suck. That’s to be expected.
It’s hard some days because I see others who can bounce back so quickly after a marathon, but my body just does not recover as quickly. I’ve learned this by doing things the wrong way.
I’ve really made it a focus this time around, and I am keeping my fingers crossed it pays off! After Kiawah, I jumped back into workouts about a week afterwards. I was able to do them, but didn’t realize I was quickly burning myself out.
This time, it took me two weeks to really begin any kind of running workout again. I use the term “workout” loosely because for me they aren’t taxing workouts, but simply focused on getting my legs turning over.
So, how should you tackle adding workouts back in post-marathon?
There really is no rush to do workouts again. I took 2 weeks; some people take a whole month. It really is an individual thing and you have to be in tune with your body in order to know what it can take.
When you do begin to add back in workouts, go slow. Don’t go all out, simply focus on keeping your legs moving and turning over.
My work out on Thursday morning, my first and only one this week, was a simple fartlek type workout. I did a warm up, then 10 x 45 seconds (5k-10k pace), 1:30 recover, and a cool down. It wasn’t taxing, but it helped my legs wake up a bit.
Quit Looking At Your Watch
This has been a staple for me with almost all of my runs since my marathon, but even during my workouts I don’t look at my watch.
On Thursday morning I went off effort. It’s important to remember that effort may not be where it was before your marathon, and that’s okay. Just go off of feel, the paces really aren’t important.
It’s Better to Come Back Out of Shape
I have to credit my husband’s running coach for this one. As they were on the phone coming back from Chicago discussing his next steps he said: “I’d rather you come back to me a little out of shape than burnt out.”
My husband is taking a month off from heavy training due to a rough residency month and to help recover from Chicago.
When you start training again it’s okay to be out of shape. It’s okay to struggle, because I promise you that I would take that any day over the feeling of being burn out; where your body simply no longer wants to run.
Don’t Think of It as a Workout
On my very first quicker run back, my husband and I were out on the track. It had been months since we’d been to the track due to our schedules, so we jumped at the opportunity.
The entire time I was out there, even though I had a plan in mind, I didn’t think of it is a workout. Often times we stress ourselves out when we think too much about it. Instead, I went out there and just did what I could.
Once I got tired, I quit. There was no reason to push too hard.
Adjust When Needed
My workout last Saturday, that I just mentioned, didn’t turn out as I had planned. After a couple sections I could tell my body was tired. At that point, as I said, I stopped.
Learn to either adjust your “workouts” or even just cut them when your body tells you to.
Cut Back Your Miles
Did you know you aren’t supposed to run you’re the same amount of miles all the time that you did during your marathon training? Seems simple, but for some reason after Kiawah I kept my miles up.
Remember, even more important than adding back in faster stuff post-marathon is the importance of true recovery. A majority of the time that means: cutting back your miles.
It’s not always easy, but it is essential to recovering and being able to get your legs back to doing small workouts.
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If you are anything like me, then you’ve probably struggled with wanting to get back to workouts ASAP. I finish my marathon, start brain storming like crazy, and want to jump right back in to working towards getting faster.
There is a time, place, and season for training and the month or so post-marathon is just as important towards helping you reach your goals.
Good luck to all those running NYC Marathon this weekend!
When do you add back in workouts after a marathon?
What do your off season miles look like?