Planning recovery…

Two weeks after my half marathon and I suddenly stopped to think about recovery from the race.

  • My first half marathon I took a 3 days off running afterwards to recover.
  • The second – 2 days
  • The third – 1 day !

The first and second the rest of the week was fairly gentle runs.  This time, first run back was a club track session.  I decided to go, but take it easy.  But then when you get there, you are on the track, your legs start to warm up……  I ended up pushing far more than I’d planned to!  I don’t think it has really done any harm though.

Do you plan your recovery tactic just as you plan your training?

I’ve also taken some time in the last week or so to run on my own.  As much as I love running with others, having the support and gentle competitiveness, I also NEED to run on my own sometimes.  It is my time, my space, time to sort the head out.

I’m struggling at the moment to find quiet time (very well described by Duff Running here).  My sleep and concentration are affected.  I’m fine, just busy and thinking lots but I need to find a way of dealing with this – and for me, that is running on my own.

The weekend after the half I set off on the Sunday morning with my OH and the dogs.  I’d already said that I would probably go off on my own so after about a mile and a half he turned round and I carried on.  I was pushing a bit so decided to do half a mile tempo efforts with half mile recoveries at a pace that was still good but comfortable.  I ended up running 6.2 miles, at an average pace of 8:49 per mile.  I was very pleased with this!  And did it do my head any good?  Yes!

A few good runs during the week and I made the decision (only in my head, didn’t admit it out loud) that I was going to push at parkrun.   I ended up chatting after my quick warm up so didn’t make it to the front of the starting group, but several rows back.  At a parkrun with a narrow section very soon after the start this can make quite a big difference but I didn’t get held up too much and I was off.

The start of Sewerby parkrun is along the land train route – tarmac, relatively flat, straight.  Easy to go off too fast!  I glanced at my watch and spotted that I was running a sub 8 min mile pace so slowed up a bit to try and save enough to complete.  My leg were letting me know that I was pushing heading back up the cliff path and the mind games started with me wondering if my legs would fail me.  There wasn’t much of a smile for our club coach who was marshalling at this point…

Sewerby parkrun
Sewerby parkrun – no energy for a smile!

My worst bit on this parkrun is just after the 2 mile point, where you head back to and cross in front of the house – I really tried to keep pushing but know I slowed down a bit.

Approaching the final section that takes you on a loop through the woodland I caught up with someone who I knew can run faster than me, and that if I overtook he would definitely respond and I didn’t think I’d keep with him.  I decided to stick behind him and see if I could keep up.  Although I do like this section of the course, I don’t keep pace very well therefore having a pacer would be a good idea – and I think it worked!  He gained some space after the set of steps which just turn my legs to jelly, but I pretty much made that back up in the final 400 metres finishing just 2 seconds behind.

Finishing time 25:39 – 7th female

This is my fastest time in nearly two years!  Very happy!



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