I wrote a post a little bit ago about training for a half marathon. My husband and I have never ran one before but it was a goal of mine. My husband would rather go out and run without a crowd, wherever, for however long, and then go back home. I love setting goals and accomplishing them so he acts as my running coach and partner and is so supportive, for which I am immensely grateful.
Our training plan looked something like this:
It ended up more like: run 3 miles a few days a week and an increasingly long run on Saturdays. That was going great for a while. No problems. Then Thanksgiving came along and we didn’t really run again until 2 weeks before our half marathon. We also went on a cruise the week leading up to our race, just a little tip: NEVER plan a vacation leading up to a race. We went on a sailing excursion during the cruise, another bad idea. We were both feeling sick on race day but managed to wake up and get to the race start early. It was pretty cold and windy outside, about 48°-50° while we were running and overcast skies. We did it though! We completed our first half marathon and we did it together.
Recovery is so important. We were both extremely sore after the race. Parts of me hurt that had never hurt before even with running. We found that was to be expected since it was a longer distance. Ask a friend or search the internet for some great stretch ideas. It is also important to continue drinking water and to be easy on your body for the next few days.
My favorite recovery methods:
- Keep walking! Do not stop moving after the race until you must, at least 30 minutes. This walking will greatly reduce that tension in your muscles.
- Plenty of stretches for the hips, hamstrings, and quads.
- Sip on a good electrolyte drink such as coconut water.
- Have a recovery treat with a good carb to protein ratio like chocolate milk or a banana with peanut butter.
- Take an ice bath, or my preference, a warm Epsom salt bath.
- Ice any areas needing the extra attention.
- Get some quality sleep.
- Continue with daily stretches to help out all those muscles.
- Slowly ease back into your fitness routines.
- Treat yourself somehow and set your next goal. Give yourself a pat on the back and maybe a small slice of cake for accomplishing something great!