Clearly, not much.
Most plans, athletes, humans — will recommend that you take at least 10-14 days completely off after a goal-distance race, such as a marathon.
Leading up to the last few weeks of marathon training for New Jersey, I was completely spent. I had overuse injuries, negative thoughts, anger, frustration – you name it. I didn’t feel like running anymore. It went from something I looked forward to, to a chore, to a burden to a pain the ass (and leg, and ankle, and bank account).
So you’d think I’d embrace recovery head first and just live a blissfully run-free life? Think again.
Being a slave to the grind with the New York Road Runners 9+1 program, I knew that I had the Air BnB Brooklyn Half Marathon on deck 21 days following the marathon. A week before that, I was committed to running a “fun run” 10K in the park with my friend and our boyfriends. Sure – 6 miles, and then another 13 over the course of 3 weeks, that’s fine right?
I don’t know.
Something tells me, no, that’s not fine.
Long story short, TL;DR – I’m starting my NYC Marathon training and I wish I could tell you my legs feel “fresh” or ready. They don’t feel awful, and *touch-wood* I’m in pretty solid shape, but the biggest shame is that because of poor recovery, I now find myself nursing injuries I developed at the tail end of my training for New Jersey, instead of focusing on pre-habing for New York.
Recovery is huge. Recovery is a part of training, not a day off from it.
I find myself using more self-discipline to take a rest day than to get out to run. I’m sure this may seem like “a good problem to have” but I’m doing myself a huge disservice.
One of my personal goals during training is to not skimp on the days off. I can already tell that’ll be hard since Hansons Method requires 6 days of running, with 1 day off where you’re cautiously allowed to do some form of other exercise – but highly, HIGHLY recommended to just rest.
I’m sure my training won’t be perfect, and I’ll find ways to recover less, or sometimes under-train because I haven’t properly recovered.
One promise that I do want to keep to myself is if to embrace stillness when I can, modify when I have to, and as my mom always tells me, not be a hero.