It is depressing to me that this is the second last week of August. Where did my summer go?
What is NOT depressing to me is how fast I was back on my feet after the marathon. I had some sharp IT band pain the day of after I was done but I was doing stairs normally the day after and by Tuesday, I was able to run up and down the stairs without a problem.
I have never ran a marathon faster or harder and I have never recovered more quickly. I will be doing a recap of the race on Friday, but I wanted to talk about what I did to recover so quickly and why it worked.
Before the marathon:
- Quite simply, I trained. I aimed for 12 hours of cardio a week and when I couldn’t safely reach that in running, I filled in the gaps with swimming and biking. I also did that adventure race that gave me practice with 8 hours on my feet.
- I tapered. I slowly drew back my milage and the final week, I focused only on a few quality sessions with one practicing my marathon pace. It was only in this week when things stopped hurting everywhere and began to isolate only in certain places. By race morning, I almost felt perfect.
- I ate right. By right, I mean for a marathon. I cut caffeine the entire week before the race and went carb free for 4 days, switching to 80-90% carbs 3 days leading up. The final day before, I laid in bed all day and ate like 25 pancakes with my Creemore maple syrup while watching TV. I wish I was lying about this.
During the marathon:
- I fuelled properly. I drank at every aid station and I took SIX gels. (65 g of carbohydrates an hour and I never bonked).
- I paced properly. More later, but I kept it more or less consistent and it didn’t destroy me in the end.
After the marathon:
- Immediately after crossing the finish line, I had a protein drink with Genuine Health chocolate peanut butter protein powder and headed to the massage table where they worked on my IT band. I have a chronic injury in my right IT band that I have learned how to manage and I am able to run through it if I treat it properly.
- I ate anti-inflammatory foods: I ate a heaping plate of veggies and protein after the marathon and started popping a few extra Genuine Health fish oil tablets for extra omega 3’s.
- I wore compression tights.
A while ago, I was given these SKINS compression tights to test out and not only are they super sexy, they are super effective.
The company calls them the little black dress of compression tights and I am not going to argue. I have never had such a specific sizing regime when ordering tights before and honestly, they fit like a glove. I found myself trying on different tops on Monday morning to see if I could wear them to a business meeting. (Turns out, I can’t but they still look rad).
- They feature something called Dynamic Gradient Compression which is just a fancy way of saying that is increases oxygen to muscles if you wear them while exercising and reduces lactic acid to speed up recovery.
- They have specific muscle focus which wraps and supports key muscle groups, reducing movement, soft tissue damage and getting rid of soreness.
- The fabric itself is wicking and has Memory MX fabric which means the tights will never stretch out.
- They feature 50 + UV Protection which means for all of those long runs where I naturally forget to put sunscreen on, they have me covered.
- They retail for $139.99 and are available online with free shipping.
- No exercise. I’m taking the week off of running entirely. I am doing light spinning and starting a new to me exercise class, but other than that, I am doing lots of reading, relaxing and watching TV this week before my training plan for Scotiabank Marathon in October begins.
- I didn’t wear heels. In fact, all I have been wearing since the marathon are my SKECHERS GoWalks.
I was recently at a race and at the finish line, I was chatting with two other females who finished in the top three and we all reached in our bags and pulled out our GoWalks. They are probably the most comfortable post –race shoe I have ever worn and I use them to run errands but I am loving the new line that is stylish enough to wear to the office.
- Hot and cold therapy. The day of the marathon, I spent about half an hour in the hot tub chatting with my sisters and the following day, I was icing my IT bands to speed up healing.
- ART and massage. My coach specializes in Active Release Therapy so I went and saw him the day after the race while we chatting specifics for my Scotiabank marathon training plan. The following day, I went to Waterloo Sports Medicine for a massage. Both things flush out my muscles and speed up healing.
Angela @ Eat Spin Run Repeat says
Sounds like you’re doing the whole recovery thing perfectly, and those are some sweet looking tights! I love my Go Walks as well but didn’t realize that they have a new line out. Mine are just black and I want to check out the other colours! Recovery tricks wise, I’d say nutrition and sleep are key. Sometimes I’m not hungry in the couple of hours post-race, but by dinner time and usually the day after, that all catches up with me! As you described, lots of anti-inflammatory foods and ALLTHEVEGGIES! 🙂
If I can learn ANYTHING, from ANYONE, it’s eat veggies…FROM YOU! 🙂
What’s the theory behind going carb-less for 4 days and then carb-crazy the next 3 ?
Oh, and I have to concur, those tights ? Yup, sexy as all get out ! 🙂
Maybe I should do a bit of a post on that too, but basically, carb-less speeds up fat burning optimization which makes your body able to run longer and carbs, well? That is fuel for your running fire.
And thanks! 🙂