Tuesday, April 3, 2012


With apologies to Eminem for stealing the title of his most recent release, let me preface this by saying rather then recovering from some drug additicion, I am talking about recovering from a half marathon. I know, not nearly as exciting.

When I was running my first half, back in 2009, I saw a sign along the course that said "you don't need toenails anyway." This being my first long run, I kind of chuckled and kept going. After the race, when I changed my shoes, I saw one of my toenails was black...very appetizing. Sure enough, it fell off and I was sans one toenail for a while.It took me FOREVER to recover from this race. I believe I went home and took a 3 hour nap. I did not move for a couple of days and certainly did not run for a few weeks.

After this last half, I did nothing you could call exercise till Thursday, and then it was a 30 minute bike ride in the gym followed by light weights. This time I was happy with my recovery, and I ran a good training run on Sunday. This week it is back to the normal 4 and 6 mile runs during the week with some weights mixed in. I hope to one day be able to run a half and then get that twitchy leg feeling I get if I have not run in a while the day after the race.

My good friend, RA, just ran a half and had to take a few weeks off, and she is way fast, so I do not think there is a correlation between fitness level and recovery time. Some people just keep right on trucking, and there probably is a correlation between average miles per day and recovery time. If you are used to running 12, then a day with 13 is no big deal.We are all different, and it amazes me how different people and different bodies deal with the stress of running a half or full.

So here are some questions:

1. What do you do to help your post-race recovery?

2. How long do you usually wait after a half to resume your running schedule?


  1. Great question, JD! I looked back at my work-outs after the half, and I see that I biked a lot. I think when it comes to recovery, I'm really conservative, perhaps more conservative than I need to be. This weekend, I'm looking forward to a 4-mile run. I really can't wait to be back in the 4-6 mile zone for long runs :-)

    That's great to hear that your recovery has been pretty swift, especially because spring running can be so lovely in the North.

  2. I think conservative can be good though. We are not out to make the Olympic team or anything, just to keep our bodies in good shape and enjoy the run, so I always say follow your bodies intuition.