I’m sure there is a right way to recover and a wrong way to recover after an event such as a half or full marathon. What I’m not so sure about is whether my running is advanced enough to be seriously considering whether my recovery programme is adequate yet. All I wanted to do after the Silverstone Half Marathon was sleep. I was truly exhausted! Thankfully my generous wife had accompanied me so I didn’t need to do the 2 hour drive home. I had at least planned in advance and had booked in for a sports massage for the following morning as I expected to be struggling and given my injury history my expectation was to be hobbling round on painful shins.
Thankfully my shins (touch wood) seem to have held up remarkably well. It’s now over a week since I ran the half and I have had a few niggles in the shins but compared to what I have suffered with in the past I am delighted with how things are going. I can’t really put this down to anything specific, other than the overall improvement in my fitness and the work I have been doing with my PT in the gym between runs. My core and legs felt strong during the race and perhaps the strength improvements are starting to have an impact on my running.
I had intended to give myself an easy week following the race and had only booked in a PT session on the Thursday and then to ease myself in with a parkrun on Saturday and a run with Warrington Running Club on Monday. The gym session went according to plan – although I found it really hard and my legs really ached on the Friday. However the weekend plans were a bit of a write off as I picked up a vomiting bug that laid me low for a couple of days, which was less than pleasant. As such I was unsure how I would do with the club run on Monday.
I joined the green group for the club run, which normally averages between 8 minute miles at the front and 9 minute miles at the back. I was hoping that I could replicate my 8:46 half marathon pace and sit towards the back of the group. There must have been something in the air last night though as the pace seemed pretty quick to me. We covered 10K and a check of the Garmin when I got back showed 53:31 and an average of 8:35 per mile. Considering I was well and truly at the back of the group and these times included mustering, I think the run leaders were out to test us :-).
Like I say, I’m not sure whether this is a good way to recover or not but I guess as I do more events like this and if my shins stay calm and I am able to add a little more mileage on, I will start to better understand what my body needs in order to recover in the best way. At the moment though it feels a bit like guess work and just holding off until the shins feel able to cope with the next run. Next stop is the Hale Village 5 Miler on Easter Sunday