During my 6 mile run today with 2 miles at tempo of 7:15 pace and 2 miles at MP+15 at 8:00, I was thinking about what enabled me to recover this quickly. I’ve certainly ran marathons where afterwards I was down for a solid two weeks. The Chicago Marathon comes to mind. It is my PW marathon where I was in full death shuffle mode for the majority of the last 8 miles. I can’t remember anything specific that I did post race to try to recover which probably lead to an extended period of burning pain in my legs…not the burning when I pee that I have grown accustomed to.
This time, however was much different. Here are the things that I feel helped me along this time:
- Immediately post race I drank 40 oz of liquids (20 cytomax and 20 water). Sounds like a lot – and it is. Think of it as your own personal Edward 40 hands challenge. DO IT. (Picture above)
- Shortly after I gained some level of consciousness, I tried to eat something. It was hard, but I managed to down half of a Powerbar.
- Then the stretching. I laid out my tin foil blanket deal and went to town. Probably a solid 20 min of stretching.
- During the afternoon of the race, I took a nap. I don’t take naps normally, but I was wiped and it really helped.
- But, probably one of the most important things was a post race massage. I didn’t do it the day of the race, I did it the day AFTER the race. I’ve read that if you do a massage too soon, you’ll actually damage already inflamed muscles. That meant that Monday was a nightmare, but come Monday night, I had some one on one time with Bruce, my masseuse. (Seriously, that was his name… hehe) So, I had Bruce rub / roll me down as deep as I could handle it**. It was super painful at the time, but the next day I was right as rain. Good job Bruce.
I’m going to try to continue this pattern to see if I can continue to recover quickly from long races. If it doesn’t work next time, I can always break out my secret weapon: powdered turtle testicles recovery drink. Specifically sea turtles – only the good stuff. Until then, duck tape a few bottles of Gatoraid to your hands and take 'er easy.
**Can a guy get a “that’s what she said”?