So, you raced this past weekend in the NYC Half Marathon, yes? Now, what do you do with your muscle tears, aches and pains–basically that ‘run over by a cement truck feeling’ you have? There is a method to recovering after a half marathon, and it doesn’t revolve around laying on the couch watching your dvr to catch up on adult swim and housewives episodes–though you don’t have to totally cut that out.
But, here’s what you should do–take a week off of running. Shock. Wide Eyes. Deep Gulp. I know that is counter-intutitive to our obsessed, ‘can’t take day off’ psycho running mentality. But, you have done a decent amount of damage to your body. Even if after a few days, the stiffness subsides there is internal healing that has to take place. That’s right guys, it’s what is inside that counts–get in touch with that! If you don’t listen to that inner voice (i.e. the aches and pains) the result can be injury–and take it from my ‘still healing from injury’ self–being injured sucks!
So, here’s what you should do:
I hope you rested yesterday and even today. Rest is massively key because the body now has to re-fuel its glycogen stores that were stripped during the half marathon. It’s ok. You are not being lazy. Well, you are just a wee bit–but it’s a good thing.
Next, because I know you won’t be at rest long my obsessed buddies, cross train. You can cross-train 20-30 minutes during this week and really focus on stretching and flexibility.
Cross-training is key because you are allowing the body to increase circulation without the muscle-damaging pounding-running causes to your body. So do low impact sports like yoga, swimming and cycling. Don’t take one of the tour du france spin classes either–keep the intensity low.
Best advice: Listen to your body! Those aches and pains are the body’s way to tell you something still needs to heal.
As for that can’t-live-without-DVR feeling, don’t lose that feeling, revel in it since you have more time now in your day as you recover–and check out the United States of Tara on Showtime–the season just started and it promises to NOT disappoint!
Cheers and happy recovering my lovely recoverers!