There is nothing like a boring, recovery cycle to make me slack off on blogging, apparently. But maybe it’s for the best. After all, recovery runs aren’t very sexy. The thing is though, while a recovery cycle isn’t very sexy, it is very important.
In the words of Pete Pfitzinger:
“You have little to gain by rushing back into training, and your risk of injury is exceptionally high at this point, owing to the reduced resiliency of your muscles and connective tissue after the marathon.”
As an injury-prone runner, this is key. I don’t want another stress fracture, and I have high expectations for myself next year. The only way to meet those expectations is to stay healthy and whole. Therefore, I’ve been following the 5-week recovery program from Advanced Marathoning very closely.
Here’s what my schedule has looked like:
As you can see, easy easy easy! Yellow indicated all recovery/easy-paced runs (these can be as slow as my HR requires, sometimes 2+ minutes slower than marathon pace!). Navy indicates general aerobic (faster than easy, just a smidge slower than long run-pace, or about 7:50-8:10 for me), and red indicates long run-pace (7:35-7:50).
I’m only getting back to double digits this week! And I’ve only had five runs so far at faster than easy pace!
But I really, really needed it. I ran all my runs with my heart rate monitor, and it’s amazing to see how—even after the physical soreness disappears—the impact of the marathon lingers.
My heart rate for the first three weeks was very skittish, jumping at the slightest incline or any gust of wind. It was really only today that I felt like it was more normal, more consistent and steady. And I guess that makes sense. I’ve heard that it takes you one day per mile to recover from a race. For a half marathon that means 13 days. For a marathon, that means 26. As of today, it’s been 24 days, so pretty close!
Still, I have nearly another two weeks until I start workouts again. I will start training for the Boston Marathon on Monday, December 28. I’m doing a 16 week cycle, a tad shorter than my usual 18, but I really felt that it was important to carry out this training cycle for the full five weeks. I’m looking forward to mixing things up again, but I’m trying to embrace the easier weeks while they last.
I’ll leave you today with a couple of my favorite pictures from the Philadelphia Marathon 😀