I’m back! Sorry for being so non-existent on Run Sisters Run. The truth of the matter is… this sisters wasn’t running.
After my first marathon in March, it took me a while to get the running bug back. And then when I did, all those marathon pains came back like a bad nightmare on my very first (and very painful) 30 minute run.
Coming back from a marathon is different for everyone. My one runner friend is doing two back-to-back half marathons in the next two weeks after running the LA Marathon the same weekend I ran my marathon. Another friend just ran a 3:13 marathon and the following week was lacing up for a handful of 4 and 5 mile runs. Me? I took a solid 2 weeks completely off and have gradually been getting back into running.
My time off and the subsequent struggle to start running again has taught me a few things, though. Here are my tips for how to come back from your first marathon (or any tough race!):
- Ease back into it.
You just ran a marathon. Relish in that for a few days. If you’re like me and took a couple weeks off, don’t just jump into 10 mile runs. Remember that you tapered for a few weeks prior to the marathon so you weren’t putting in as many miles as you were before. Start slow and ease back into it so you don’t get injured or irritate any lingering injuries.
- Don’t forget your injuries.
Those miles put a toll on your body, pure and simple. I had nagging IT issues before the marathon and, although they haven’t bothered me since then, I’m still treating them religiously. I started doing yoga and do hip stretches and foam roll after every run because I remember how bad it hurt at mile 20 and don’t want to experience that again.
- Do something with your extra time.
Wait, what? I don’t have to devote my entire Saturday night/Sunday morning to my long run? Take advantage of the extra time (because, let’s be honest, you’ll probably be training for something else soon anyway) by taking up a new hobby or doing something you’ve missed out on for the past weeks or months. Instead of wallowing in the fact that I wasn’t running, I used my extra weeknight and weekend time to catch up with friends I hadn’t had time (or energy) to see because of my training.
- Mix it up.
Now that you don’t have to focus on hitting your weekly mileage, why not try something new? Take a bootcamp class, start cycling or focus on something that’s taken the back burner during your training. I gave up spinning while I was training, but now I’m back to going twice a week.
Whether you PR’d or DNF, take the time to reflect on your marathon to assess what went right and what you can improve. I was stumped looking back at my injuries; even when I was running 70 mile weeks in college, I never was injured. What changed? Two things stood out: I stopped running on trails and I stopped doing daily ab workouts. Guess what two things are going to be incorporated into my new training schedule?
These are just what I came up with based on my experience. Do you have any to add?