Thursday, May 08, 2008


There's no doubt about it, I have some recovering to do after Boston and the Green Jewel. The good news is that nothing is injured and so far I have identified muscle soreness only as a lingering effect.

Though I have rebounded quickly from long ultra runs in the past, I will stress the importance of listening to the body and to determine my recovery needs based on merit, rather than what I have accomplished in the past.

While I've employed active recovery methods by walking, cycling, swimming, and massage, it's important for me to reflect back and to understand that I am not Superman. The body can and will recover, if I let it. And there are methods to help speed the recovery along.

On my first short recovery run yesterday, I felt the lingering muscle soreness in the leg muscles. Nearing the end of the three mile run, the soreness subsided and the running gait felt normal. I will continue to monitor the soreness.

Key to my recovery has been the use of "active recovery" techniques. Starting immediately after the Boston Marathon, I used walking and self-massage (insert testimonial for the "The Stick" massage product) to help speed recovery. Since the Green Jewel, I have cycled each day to promote blood flow to the sore muscles to help accelerate the healing process.

Doubts - I sometimes get them. To help with uncertainty, I go back to my running log at a similar point in time in the past. After a long ultra race I ask, what was the first week like? How much or little did I run?

After the Presque Isle 12 hour run, this is the week of training I found in my log book:

Sunday: rest
Monday: swim 800 yds
Tuesday: cycle 30 minutes
Wednesday: rest
Thursday: Run 3 miles
Friday: cycle 30 minutes
Saturday: run 6 miles

The following week I was able to increase and return to a running volume in preparation for the next goal event in the following month.

Reviewing the log book has become a useful exercise when doubt is cast in my mind. Seeing what has worked in the past offers a glimpse at the solution. As my body gets older and feels more beat up after multiple races, I intend to implement all the tools available to me -- by resting, active recovery, and by reviewing what has worked well in the past.

Let me not forget the forgiving trail surface. Time to get dirty!


Post a Comment

<< Home