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The Importance Of Recovery After A Marathon

  • By Jeff Gaudette
  • Published Sep. 26, 2013
  • Updated Oct. 1, 2013 at 6:45 AM UTC

How long should you plan to rest?

Most coaches and elite runners suggest you should take off one week off after a marathon, with a few very light jogs or even easy walks if you get too antsy. After a week off, training should be very light for two weeks post-race. It might sound like you would be holding yourself back by being so cautious, but your long-term progression will actually benefit as you allow your body to recover and get fully rested for your next training segment.

Here is a sample schedule I suggest to runners following a marathon:

Monday Off – hot tub and stretch
Tuesday 2 miles easy shakeout run (slow and easy)
Wednesday Off – hot tub and stretch
Thursday Off
Friday Off or cross training – easy
Saturday 2-3 miles easy
Sunday Off or cross training – easy
Total
Monday 3-4 miles easy
Tuesday Off or cross training – easy
Wednesday 3-4 miles easy w/4 x 20 sec strides
Thursday Off or cross training – medium
Friday Off or cross training – easy
Saturday 6 miles easy – no strides
Sunday Off or cross training – long (90 minutes)
Total
Monday 4 miles easy
Tuesday 5 miles easy w/4 x 20 sec strides
Wednesday Off or cross training – hard
Thursday Off or cross training – medium
Friday 5 miles easy w/4 x 20 sec strides
Saturday 8 miles easy – no strides
Sunday Off – recovery

 

 

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Jeff Gaudette

Jeff Gaudette

Jeff has been running for 13 years, at all levels of the sport. He was a two time Division-I All-American in Cross Country while at Brown University and competed professionally for 4 years after college for the Hansons-Brooks Distance Project. Jeff's writing has been featured in Running Times magazine, Endurance Magazine, as well as numerous local magazine fitness columns.

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