Monday, April 5, 2010

How to recover after a race??

I am not a good judge of how long to rest after a big run. In fact, I probably need some schooling on how to recover after a race. I've read you should take a week off. I've also read a day for every mile of the race. But, rest days are boring! I just can't sit still and sometimes going for a run is just easier. I know, I know. I should probably cross-train for a few days and rest my legs. But, it is so nice out and I sit in a windowless office all day long, so the thought of going to the gym or doing any type of exercise indoors does not appeal to me at all. I want to be outside whenever possible after work!!

Even though it was probably not the best idea after running a half marathon two days ago, I went for a very slow run around my neighborhood tonight. I thought about going to the gym, but I had meetings all day and didn't even get lunch (I took my lunch to a meeting, but it was 2pm and I was starving, so I threw all professionalism out the window at that point). Plus, after work, it was raining and my two dogs were outside at home. To avoid a total disaster, I knew I needed to get home to let them in before getting any more wet and muddy. So, I bypassed the gym and headed home. It was about 7pm when the rain subsided, which was not convenient to head back into the gym. Driving to the gym, getting in a working, and then getting back home takes about twice as long as just heading out my front door for a run. So, I went out for a 3 mile run and kept a slow and steady pace, around a 9:10 mile. It felt okay, but I definitely felt very tight. My knees are a little sore, but not painful. What does hurt is my lower back. It was bad after the race and felt a little better yesterday, but it is still a little bit bothersome. I am not sure if it is from all the hills or what, as my back is usually not a post-race issue.

In addition to running, I have been walking my dogs a lot in the last couple of days. They love to walk around the neighborhood and act like they own the place. Their little tails are way up in the air. It was so nice yesterday on Easter Sunday that we took three walks! We covered at least 6 miles throughout the day. Tonight after my short, slow run, we walked about 2.4 miles at a pretty decent pace. It's nice to get in a little extra walking workout in the evenings thanks to the dogs.

I am planning to run tomorrow night, but do plan some cross-training and rest for the remainder of the week. I need it, especially if I want to be ready for my other upcoming races! What do you do after a race to recover and how many days do you rest or cross-train? Help, comments, and suggestions are welcome!!


Anonymous said...

You are crazy, and after a half marathon, I usually take 5 days until a light run, or 7 days until a heavier one.

Andrea said...

I have no clue what is the "right" thing to do after a race, but I kind of have my own personal rule to just listen to my body and act accordingly. I took Sunday off completely, cross-trained (elliptical) on Monday, and ran 5 easy miles today. That all felt good. As long as you listen to your body and don't do anything that causes pain I think you'll be fine. :) Take care of that back, though! Back injuries are no fun.