That’s it all over – all those months of training and 26.2 miles around London all done. For charity, for fun, for your own PB, just to say you’ve done it or for a million other great reasons. 5 days on from the big event, the aches and pains just about gone, walking normally, going down stairs freely and back maybe doing a few easy runs!
The first few days are difficult and the legs don’t work as well as they should and stairs are very painful. It’s amazing how different a 23 mile training run is to the actual 26.2 mile race. For all my training runs over 20 miles, just showered and stretched after each and then carried on as normal and no issues the next day. But add just 3 more miles and race conditions and it’s a whole different ball game. When I did the London Marathon first back in 2009 it literally took about 2 weeks to recover. This time 5 days – so something in the training worked.
For the recovery a number of things you need to do:
- Move – don’t just sit down and do nothing.
- Raise the legs – when you can when you are sitting down.
- Massage – to help those muscles, as soon as possible after the run.
- Ice packs or ice baths – haven’t tried these myself but people swear by them.
- Nutrition – water, carbohydrates and proteins.
- Active rest – do some easy exercise soon.
Number 6 is what seemed to be the transition point for me. Legs – just legs nothing else really – very sore, until yesterday when I went for an easy 4 mile run with my gorgeous wife (owner of Snowballs in Summer). Very easy and slow pace. And after that legs pretty much back to normal.
Some great other links for articles on post-marathon recovery are:
How are your legs?
And then once recovered, what do you do next? Training for these babies is full on and gives you a real focus. Running 4+ days a week and doing more and more miles and seeing improvements along the way, really gives you a boost and focuses the mind. So when it’s all over, there’s a gap – at least for a bit. For a lot of people if you don’t enter races that often, what now? Enter another race. This year is London’s year and there are lots of great running events on. One I’d only just heard about is the British 10k London on Sunday 8th July – a week or so before the London Olympics and covering part of the planned Olympic Marathon route. Covers a lot of the great sights you see on the London Marathon and the Royal Parks Foundation 1/2 and “only” 6.25 miles (10km) and 25,000 people – so a great crowd running through normally busy roads in central London. See the route plan below:
Even better as well as the ballot places, there are guaranteed places for a bargain price of £50 – only £18 ish more than the ballot place. What a deal. I couldn’t refuse and got myself a place last night. A very different distance to the longer runs and needs different training. Need to figure that out next and what sort of time I want to try and aim for.
And the event video from 2011…
Don’t forget of course the ballot for the Virgin London Marathon (VLM) 2013 opens on Monday 30th April – next week – and the number of ballot places are expected to fill up very quickly.