I’ve read somewhere that the body needs at least half a day of recovery per mile run in a race, which would imply that it takes less than two weeks to physically recover from a marathon – which strikes me as a rather simplistic and optimistic estimate! Personally, it makes much more sense to me to to simply accept that recovery needs as long as it takes…
It’s been sixteen days since I ran my first (almost) marathon, and I have enjoyed the recovery almost more than the training itself. I’ve been out running wild and free on most days, with no regard for speed, pace, distance or elevation covered. It’s been a wonderful time to indulge in zen running at its finest.
Today, however, I felt a shift in the gears. For the first time, there was some genuine power in my legs and I felt like running fast. This was the first easy run since the marathon during which my pace had naturally, unnoticeably and comfortably dropped back to well below the 9-minute mile mark.
I don’t think it’s a coincidence that today I also suddenly felt the urge to start training again and thought seriously about racing. When I got home, I scanned the horizon for my next potential target race. I’ve identified two serious contenders: I could revisit my favourite race distance and shoot for a new half-marathon PB at the Inverness Half Marathon, or aim for redemption by tackling the Rome Marathon – both of which are in March.
“In a moment of decision, the best thing you can do is the right thing, the next best thing is the wrong thing, and the worst thing you can do is nothing.”
– Theodore Roosevelt
In that spirit, I’ll sleep on it tonight, brew over some training plans and triangulate them with my diary tomorrow and make a decision by the end of the week. I can’t help by marvel at how natural all this has been and that both my body and mind found the perfect time to make it known that recovery is over. It’s time to get serious about running again…
Those are both tempting, for very different reasons!
I completely agree! I could always enter both and only race one of them (and totally doddle the other)…?
I read it was a full day per mile. Which sounds much more reasonable.
Yes, I agree, that does sound much more adequate. It also depends entirely on the nature of the race, and I don’t think that it’s a linear equation!
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The body gives the signal when we’re ready, so much more in tune than any program. Your photo on this post entices me to go out running down that trail – or one near me.
I couldn’t agree more – it’s so important that we listen to our bodies. As for the trail, I did a lot of long runs on those trails over the summer, including several 20 milers. There’s a big loop, but it’s just short, so whenever I got to that junction (at around 19.2 miles), I ran up that hill for a few hundred yards to complete the distance. I took that particular photo as it reminds me that I can dig deep even on tired legs! It’s a great place to run. =)