The old age saying, one mile per day rings very true in my eyes… I write this on Friday 20th May, the 26th day since the 2017 VLM, hoping my legs spring into action in this morning’s tempo run.
For the past couple of weeks I’ve been feeling flat and lethargic on my runs, some days better than others but for the most part it’s not been smooth sailing!
Why does it take so long to recover?
Muscles, tendons, ligaments, and almost every physiological system is challenged when running a marathon. It doesn’t matter if you smashed your goal or struggled to walk/jog to the finish, 26.2 miles is a long way to go and your body endures tremendous physical duress, even if you don’t feel sore immediately afterward.
What have I done since London?
Having spent a few days off following the race I did my first jog back the following Saturday, which surprisingly felt better than I expected. Normally by this time I would of had a couple of easy runs or a bit of light recovery in the pool but this didn’t go quite to plan with a couple of days in the Royal Hospital in Liverpool (long story regarding three bags of fluid, a lot of vomiting and some antibiotics for pneumonia!) and a slightly worse for wear right foot!
Normally I think two weeks of doing very little is fine, but this should be judged on an individual basis. For example, Olympian Alyson Dixon takes a full two weeks rest after a marathon. If I were to do this I’d stiffen up and come back like a plank of wood causing a long list of problems so running very easy to feel every other day tends to work best after a marathon for me and a number of athletes I’ve helped previously.
After the initial two weeks of very easy running I progressed to adding strides before running my first fartlek type workout around 19-days post London – nice and controlled and just getting everything ticking over again.
Three weeks since London and I’ve now built my long run back up to 13-miles and this coming weekend I have 15-planned.
Before today’s tempo run I ran a short session on Tuesday, 12x30sec hills followed by a light tempo. The hills are really just about form and getting everything fired up and moving again with a bit of tempo work after to shuffle the lactic. For those interested this was ran at around 5-minute mile pace around the 1km loop in Woodbank Park, Stockport a favourite training venue of mind and the Team New Balance Manchester group.
Time to go through some activation exercises now and get ready for my tempo run, until next time.