Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Recovery after 50K Training Run

I was amazed at how good I felt after running over 30 miles on Saturday. What seemed like unending pain during the last few miles of that run, was almost gone as soon as I stopped. The usual lingering soreness remained, but it only lasted about a day. In fact, I felt better after this run than my 26 miler 4 weeks earlier. The main difference this time was the ice bath, but I think it's worth noting everything that may have contributed.

  • Ran most of the 30 miles at an easy training pace (13+) using 1:1 intervals. I did the same for 26, but I remember getting cut up at one point with those that were running short and speeding up early on before I realized I still had double digit miles to go. This time I ran a steady easy pace the whole time.
  • Walked an entire mile after the run before getting in my car and driving home. This was partly because I wanted to cross that 31 mile mark, but it actually felt really good to just let my legs cool down and loosen up. Thankfully my ride home is not very far.
  • Sat in an ice bath for 20 minutes as soon as I got home. I never thought I would do this because I am a wuss when it comes to cold, but I also never thought I would run 20+ miles in the rain. You do a lot of things on your never list when you train for a marathon and it doesn't phase you. The ice bath was actually nowhere near as bad as I expected and I will certainly be doing it again.
  • Spent the rest of the day, about 8-10 hours, wearing my compression capris and socks. I've been doing this after most of my runs since I bought them, but usually only for an hour or two while I iced. 
  • Spent the majority of those hours relaxing in bed, watching tv, with legs elevated. My knees and ankle joints on top of the foot where the most sore.
  • When I finally took off the compressing off before bed, I put on biofreeze on tender areas.
  • Did an hour of yoga the following day. The fact that I was even motivated to do this is amazing. I'm usually too sore to even try it.
  • Had a 90 minute massage the following afternoon. I've been getting hour massages after every long run (20+ miles) all season, but I think this one went even better because I wasn't as sore and I had an extra half hour to enjoy it. 
  • Leading up to this run, I took care of my body all week. My hamstring had been bothering me, so I iced it after every run, use my heat pad, and used the stick all week. It didn't bother me at all during the entire 30+ miles or after.
  • Went for a short walk on Sunday and Jason had to tell me to slow down. That's how good I felt but it helped to continue my recovery because I had a great run on Tuesday without any soreness.
I'll be following this place after the marathon to ensure quick recovery. What else do you do to recover after a long run or race?

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