Monday, August 15, 2011

Balancing Recovery and Gearing Up

I will conquer this choco-dipped piece of nutritional heaven
Since my husband and I returned from California to Iowa just a week ago, I've been busy trying to savor the last few days of my summer and the delicious relaxed mental state of recovery training. Yes, recovery is training. It's a weird balance, though, for sure. Especially since we brought the fine California weather with us. The humidity has dissipated, and it has been beautifully sunny and 70's for the last 8 days! That makes me want to be outside...running, biking, whatever. At the same time, I want to rest. My body wants to rest. I've been enjoying the little running I have been doing--no more than 6 miles--but sometimes I wonder if even that is too much, too soon.

I checked for some plans to speedy recovery. Few (including me--I am so guilty) actually plan their recovery after a tough race, despite it being an incredibly important part of training. Here is what I found from Runner's World:

Recovery Plan:,7120,s6-238-244--8957-3-1X2-3,00.html

Weeks After the Marathon1234
Training Goal for WeekRecover as quickly as possible.Resume regular running.Get your legs moving fast again.Consolidate fitness gained during marathon training.
Key Ways to Meet the Week's Goal
Combine minimal, easy running with walking and other forms of cross-training, such as easy cycling or water running, that will improve blood flow to your legs.
Get a massage and try to get extra sleep.
Eat frequent high-carb meals to replenish your energy stores.
Stick with easy runs from 20 to 60 minutes long.

Run mostly with friends and maintain a conversational pace.

Wear a heart-rate monitor and don't go above 70 percent of your maximum heart rate.
After one run, do six to eight 100-meter pick-ups, focusing on a quick turnover while remaining relaxed.

Do the middle few miles of another run at your marathon pace.
After warming up on one run, do an unstructured fartlek workout, with six to 10 surges of 30 seconds to three minutes, and with as much recovery between as you feel you need.

Do a long run that's between 2/3 and 3/4 of your normal premarathon long run.
Mileage Goal for the WeekUp to 25 percent of average premarathon mileage25 to 50 percent of average premarathon mileage50 to 70 percent of average premarathon mileage60 to 80 percent of average premarathon mileage

cocktail hour at Wawona: Sierra Nevada pale ale
I'm now on the third week post-San Francisco. The first week I spent hiking in Yosemite (part of our five year wedding anniversary!). It was perfect to walk out the aches and relax in the mountains. And get my carbs at Wawona's verandah and dining room. The goal I set for myself during some of the thinking time on those hikes was to build strength where I felt I was lacking during the marathon. I was especially sore in my back--and unsurprisingly, my glutes and hammies. So this past week I've been trying to balance short jogs with some focused strength training at the gym and doing Pilates. I got a massage on Saturday. Mentally, I'm giving myself until September--mid-September if necessary--to do whatever. In other words, to listen to my body, and not run or exercise longer than feels good.

Finally, don't forget to donate at my personal page for Bolder Options. Big thanks to those of you who already have!!! Here is a particularly apt piece I came across in the New York Times last week: "For Better Grades, Try Gym Class" It is just one more piece that helps legitimate what Bolder Options does.

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