As to the running, I learned a lot from my experience in January. I know that I’m in better shape this time around, however there are still lessons from the post-marathon recovery that I am definitely putting in to action. In fact, I went back and read through my own advice the day I returned from D.C. It was written about seven weeks after the Orlando marathon. (It’s here: Respect the Recovery) In short, I am applying the following:
- Listen to my body. Right now, everything feels pretty good. As I start to run again I will pull back on the slightest twinge or tweak in order to get stronger sooner. It’s not worth having to deal with an issue for months, when I can get over it in a week or two.
- Listen to the experts. The general rule of thumb is that you need to take a day off for each mile of the race that you have just completed before you start back with a regular running schedule. Three rest days for a 5k, 13 for a half, 26 for a marathon, etc. This doesn’t mean to avoid cross training or a few “tester” miles here or there, but you will not lose your conditioning by giving your body a break for this amount of time. Enjoy it.
- Stay motivated. Take a few weeks to consider the next challenge. Whether it’s a local race, a destination marathon or some completely different experience all together. This process will keep you motivated to eat right and continue checking in at the gym.