The Dublin Marathon was 18 days ago.
You hear a lot about how to train for a marathon from… everyone. But not many people talk about the after. My friend Cat wrote a great blog on the post-race blues but other than that all you’ll probably only see a few training plans mention that you should take “a few days off after the marathon.”
For me the problem with most of the advice out there is that it focuses on THE MARATHON as the be-all end-all of your running. “Now that you’ve got that out of the way, a) you never have to run again, or b) you start training up to your next race.” I think there is an in-between for people who enjoy running as a part of their life, not some activity that is added-on to their life for 16 week chunks.
We’ve all heard about the physical stress your body undergoes during a marathon. I’m no expert but even after the DOMS faded I could tell my bones & muscles were weaker than ever. They were begging for some time to relax and rebuild. So I agreed. I did nothing for a week. I didn’t go out after work, I was home by 5:30, fed by 7 and really relaxed each night. No stretching, no foam rolling. Just good ol’ fashioned not moving. When I did go back to my lunchtime pilates & yoga classes I kept to the beginner options and didn’t push.
I’m loosely following a reverse taper & no-run-vember by building back up my running the same way I tapered down. Social 5ks with my run group and a few XC races (where I come in last anyway so it’s not like I’ll get any slower) are upcoming. I’m leaving my Garmin at home for the month and enjoying my life rather than worrying about running. I’ve also signed up for Jasyoga‘s Monday Night Reset which (not to exaggerate) is changing my life. If you don’t follow Jasyoga’s blog then do it right now. It’s a new-to-me approach to yoga & athletic training that really hits the spot both physically and mentally. In just 1 session Erin has completely changed the way I think about running & resting and re-introduced balance into my body.
Training for a big race is great, and looking back I’ve been doing that since January 1, 2014, but now it’s time to just run.
There is definitely not enough advice out there for runner regarding post-marathon. All the books for marathon training I have ever gotten dedicate a page (max) to what to do next. You feel as though you’ve been following this fantastic guide for sixteen weeks and then all of a sudden…nothing!
I totally agree. Would love to see more run coaches add the month after the marathon to their plan!
I like this a lot Laura. Too many times it seems like a rush to get back into hard training for the next race, instead of just letting your body recover. I’ve taken a full week off running post ultra, with just a long bike ride and some swims, and done a couple of runs, and I can still feel the ultra in my legs- long races take so much more out of you than you realise!
And that’s not a bad thing! I think we need to all talk more about running for fun and add those kinda runs to poat-race plans!
No one warns you about the post-race blues, and that’s why I’m so grateful to have amazing friends that ‘get’ it – you, Simon Lamb, Liz G… and of course, amazing Erin at Jasyoga. Love those Monday night classes – they feel so good!
I totally agree. And I feel like the blues get stronger the more you don’t/can’t do what you enjoy… Running! It’s so great to have an inbetween of fun running or other activities to manage the blues.
Liking the reverse taper, I always take a week or two off post mara, definitely needed! I felt completely lost after my first marathon, and definitely had the post race blues, but taking some time away, and then getting back to running for the fun of it helped a lot.
This is such a good point. It’s all well and good having a 16-week training cycle for whatever race you’re planning, but after it’s done it’s easy to feel lost without a plan to follow. A reverse taper would definitely be handy! Though it’s as much about the mental side of things – switching from ‘training’ mode, to running for fun.
And I think we forget so much about how important it is to reset after a hard effort. I’ve been going to the Jasyoga classes and my body feels so much better for it rather than just stopping all together!