Once the endorphin high of completing the Two Oceans Marathon has worn off and your legs are recovered enough that you don’t need to do the crab shuffle down stairs anymore, the question begging to be answered is, What next?
One of the biggest mistakes I see regular club runners making is returning to training and racing way too soon. You might be feeling recovered after a few days, but you still punished your body through 56km and you need to give your body and mind time to properly rest out. Remember, it is still an long long journey to next year!
Of course if you still have the Comrades marathon coming up you don’t have the luxury of too long a rest, but even still, you should ease back into training slowly.
So what should you do?
Non Comrades Runners
- Take two weeks off completely. Don’t even think about running or read running magazines, have a total break. In the second week of the two, you can go for light walks or bike rides with the kids, but nothing too strenuous.
- Week 3 – ease back into things with very light and short jogs (no more than 30 minutes). Mostly do other physical activities you never get time for with all the marathon training – go for a hike, do some kayaking, go for a bike ride.
- Week 4 – start getting into your regular running routine again but still keeping the runs fairly short, no longer than an hour. (no need for 30k LSD’s !!!)
- Take at least 3-4 days complete rest, then start building up with short runs, 15min then 25min, then 30min etc.
- Add in walks to keep the legs ticking over without straining your energy system
- By the end of the 2nd week you can be running up to an hour maximum
- In week 3, resume Comrades training
It sounds very conservative, but if you rest well, you will gain massive fitness benefits from Two Oceans, if you don’t, you will gain massive fatigue benefits that could cost you a great Comrades.
So what to do with all the extra time?
- Get in some quality family time
- Re-design your garden
- Take a cooking class
- Catch up on all those missed coffee dates
- Do those physio rehab exercises you said you did but never really did!
Enjoy working on the laugh and live while the running takes a break!