Saturday, April 07, 2018


Well, no shit Sherlock, after a big race comes a big recovery. If you have been reading this blog before you know my standard recovery protocol by now. It works very well, so why change it. It's based on the theory that active recovery is better than full rest. Actually, it's not really based on any theory, I just stumbled my way through trial and error a few years ago as I experimented a bit and this particular practise emerged as a clear winner. It wasn't until later that I found out about coaches or scientists who talked about active recovery and it perfectly matched what I was doing already.

Anyway, it means no matter how tired and achy your legs are the day after a race, you go out and run, at a very very easy effort for 30, 40, maybe 45 minutes. The day after a long race this is well and truly going to suck, certainly at the beginning, but after 2, 3, maybe 4 miles you can feel your legs loosening up and getting better. The next day will suck a bit less and after a while you start to to feel reasonably good again and can pick up training once more.

"What are you going to do on Monday?" asked Niamh before the 100k. "Probably lie on the bed and feel sorry for myself". Actually, it turned out I felt reasonably good. The run that morning sucked but afterwards I was fine, able to do a big weekly shop and do the dishes and wash some clothes and go out for a walk and a few other things that I expected I'd forgo for a day of pain and misery. I didn't even realise it at first but I habitually walked down the 3 flights of stairs from the apartment instead of taking the lift and my quads didn't even hurt a bit - that came as a major surprise, once I realised what I was doing.

I might have gotten slower with old age but it looks like I have become more resilient in the process. That's not a bad thing.

Having said that, while the legs were not as damaged as expected, recovery was still slow. Every day was a little bit better than the one before but all week the hamstrings kept feeling heavy and stiff, so I kept my little recovery runs going for longer than usual. It's only now, a week later, that I'm finally starting to feel like a runner again and ready to do a bit more.

3 Apr
4.15 miles, 42:46, 10:18 pace, HR 117 (!!)
4 Apr
4.5 miles, 39:37, 8:48 pace, HR 123
5 Apr
am: 4.6 miles, 37:58, 8:15 pace, HR 135
pm: 2.15 miles, 16:24, 7:37 pace, HR 128 (downhill)
6 Apr
4.5 miles, 38:05, 8:27 pace, HR 127
7 Apr
4.5 miles, 36:22, 8:04 pace, HR 131

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