My Recovery Rules for a Half Marathon

The week before a race is really hard for me: the taper of distance and time running gets me anxious, restless, and leaves me less happy than my usual self.

The first week after a race is even worse for me: not being able to run as much as you want, not from your training or common sense telling you to run less but the actual physical soreness and pain stopping you. Recovery post run is important!

Here are what I deem the most important RECOVERY RULES post half marathon:

The first rule: HYDRATE, HYDRATE, HYDRATE!!!

Your body needs to replenish the water you lost during the race for the first couple days after

The second rule: LISTEN TO YOUR BODY!

This means taking time off from running and truly letting your muscles recover. Eating a healthy, balanced diet, and hydrating will help your torn muscles rebuild themselves.

The third rule: STRETCH!

Yoga after a race is AMAZING! I definitely recommend it!

This training cycle I have been really tight and haven’t worked on my flexibility as much as I should have and have lost a lot of my range of motion: this is NOT good! Stretching is very important! So after this race I have done quite a bit of yoga. I also plan on focusing on my flexibility and possibly looking into some training or therapy for it before my next race.

The fourth rule: LISTEN TO YOUR BODY!

I know I already said this, but this is the most important rule so it gets in the list twice! When you should start running again really depends on you! You should not start running again until you feel up to it! The last thing you want to do is hurt yourself by jumping right back into it.


Pretty picture of Melbourne during my second run back to break up this post

My problem with this rule is my mind tends to want to run a whole lot sooner than my body does.

This week I have taken it very easy and listened to my body for pacing (not using a running app) and distance. I only took two days off after my half and on the third came back with a very slow 2 miles. Each day from then I have run 3 miles or so. My first semi-long run this week was 6 days after the half on Saturday when I ran a nice 6 miler.

A selfie after my first run back after some recovery days!

A selfie after my first run back after some recovery days!

My 6 miler was a beautiful run that made me very nostalgic for my Saturday morning runs with the Philly Runners especially my awesome friend Ally!

It was full of skylines, parks, a slow Saturday start for the city, and rowers on the Yarra River. It was the perfect first long run back!

IMG_20141018_101843 IMG_20141018_103323 IMG_20141018_105027

Happy running friends!

How do you recover after a race?

What was your favorite thing you did this weekend?

Mine was definitely my first Halloween party of the season! I went as a social butterfly 🙂

34 thoughts on “My Recovery Rules for a Half Marathon

  1. I’ve never ran a race before, but after I run I make sure I drink plenty of water without guzzling it all. Not to mention getting a good stretch in afterwards.

  2. I was a runner since I was in 6th grade. Over time, degeneration took it’s toll on my body and I now can barely walk most days with 3 herniated discs and pinched nerves :-/ I’m happy to live vicariously through my blogging friends though 🙂

  3. Stretching is so major. I am super flexible and haven’t had any health issues but I didn’t stretch one time and I suffered for weeks for it. I cannot stress enough how important stretching is. Don’t learn the hard way people! Follow this girl’s advice!

  4. I walk 6 miles or more regularly, and the last time I ran that far was in college daily for practice. Frankly, I probably should try working toward that again… lol.

    Stretching is definitely huge and so is keeping hydrated. Also, making sure you’ve had good rest too… being tired before running will end up becoming a discouraging factor as you will want to rest rather than get the race done.

  5. Great information on recovering from half marathon. It is very important to hydrate before and after the race indeed. Listening to our body is important for anytime actually I believe. I love your pictures and your weekend sounded amazing. I didn’t do anything this weekend because I was not feeling good. Thanks for sharing,

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