Sunday 16 May 2010

The Dangers of Post-race Recovery

All of the advice you read following a big race involves some form of "make sure you recover".  What the various articles, books, and coaches don't tell you is just how dangerous it can be to break out of your running routine.  Now, as a result of too much free time and not enough soreness in my legs, I managed to catch a cold and enter another marathon.  Beware!  Idle feet can get you into trouble!

Following the big race - the farthest I've ever run before, I had a good easy week of recovery planned.  Then, a business trip to Madrid for a few days ensured it.  For the first multi-day trip in over a year, I didn't take any running gear, to make sure I didn't get tempted to explore the delights of my host city and endanger my long-term running.  A full week of non-running, for the first time since before Christmas - and with all that free time, I managed to pick up an unpleasant chest cold to help my recovery go into its second week.

So, I spent time analysing the 3 Forts performance, comparing it to other races, and decided that I'm in good shape to try something that's been on my list for a few years now - a 'fast' road marathon.  I went in to the race thinking that a road race in the Autumn would come in at about an hour faster.  A sub 3:30 would be great, but what I really want is sub 3:15.  I looked for the latest marathon nearby, and found Amsterdam.  Amsterdam as a marathon location is pretty much the opposite of everywhere I run - maximum altitude of 33 feet.  Now, instead of aiming for a fast half in October, it's now a fast marathon.  Five months of speed sessions loom large.  Who knows, I might even enjoy it...

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