Sunday, October 18, 2015

Slow Recovery

After previous long races, like 100 miles or 24-hour races, my experience has been that it takes about 1 day per mile raced until I feel 100% recovered. That happens to be an old formula often applied to marathon recovery and I was surprised to find that the same recovery schedule still seems to hold true for much longer races, but it certainly was for me. There is nothing to indicate that things should be any different this time round so I guess I should not be surprised that things are happening at a very slow pace. In all likelihood it will take 5 months until I feel fully recovered - that would be towards the end of February!

Thankfully recovery does not mean I cannot run - I have run the Dingle Ultra or the Double Marathon in Sixmilebridge during those recovery phases in the last few years (as well as paced Dublin at 3:15 or 3:10 every year), but obviously never a as a goal race and never at full race effort (not that I was hanging around for either). This time I will take things easier. I have definitely decided not to run any marathons (or ultras) until those 5 months are over and I feel fully recovered. Once I have gotten over the worst, I still intend to train hard for my next marathon, but that will have to wait. I can clearly feel that things are still far from right at the moment.

The legs felt pretty good on most days but as soon as I hit a hill I can immediately feel the hamstrings. They feel achy and tired, as if in the last few miles of a marathon. I can still run on those legs just fine but it's obvious that I have to let them recover. I need to be patient - not always my strongest point, admittedly, though I am well used to working with a long term goal in mind.

The mileage has gone up to 10 miles by now. I don't feel much different after 6 miles or 10, so it's hard to say where the optimum lies. I'll cut back again when I feel I need to or when Real Life interferes. My main concern right now is that the HR is rather high on each run and doesn't really reflect the relatively easy effort I am putting in. I would have hoped for that to have come down a little bit by now but no such luck. Patience. Patience, please.

16 Oct
8 miles, 1:07:27, 8:25 pace, HR 142
17 Oct
8 miles, 1:03:36, 7:57 pace, HR 150
18 Oct
10 miles, 1:20:52, 8:05 pace, HR 149


  1. Yeah patience... that's all (patience and running loves each other but we're gonna put ourself in the middle 😉)

  2. I like that one day per racing mile formula. Although I rarely have 3 easy days after a 5k race ;-) But I'll take it easy this week following Melbourne.
    Not having any big races (even if training races) until the new year seems prudent.

  3. Funny thing, in the ultra world, the rule I have heard is one day off for every 10 miles run. Which, when you compare it to the non-ultra rule... well, yeah. It does seem to be a good rule for me for time off, anyway. Full recovery, that's another matter.