Recovery “Training”

I’m halfway through my race plans for this “season” (i.e. the next two weeks); clearly the first adventure went better than I could ever have expected (thanks for your comments!!), and set a pretty high bar! DC has a tendency to do that.

Race #2 Countdown: 12 Days.

I took Sunday off to play with friends, shop in the city with D & enjoy some couch-and-catch-up time with Kate before heading out on Monday morning. I traveled at the crack of dawn on Monday morning, and found myself back in Mountain Time at 1:30 p.m. with a sunny day ahead of me.

Easy Run, two days post-race? Worth a try! {Of note: I wasn’t sore, so it seemed like a safe decision.}

A friend, Ali, was in so we met and headed to the CC (nice & flat) Trail for a few miles. I quickly realized that’s all the legs would cooperate with, and actually pressed stop as the uphill end approached. Nope, they did not want that today. 3.5 miles, avg 9:15 pace & muscle-check-in. Verdict: thanks for the shake out, don’t push it!

To keep in line with a Recovery Week combined with Continued Training, yesterday was all about the stretch. Yoga, 75 minutes “All Levels Flow”.  Hip-openers., warrior 2 variations & wheel (or bridge) seemed to dominate – and my legs seemed to be totally okay with that.


Next up, Today: Bikram + Tester Run

Somehow I’ve repressed memories of way-too-sweaty hours and challenging poses, and signed on to join some coworkers for a Bikram class today. I haven’t done it in well over a year, and my fingers are crossed that I’ll find it easier this time around (you know, as an “experienced” yogi). From what I do remember, it’s more about the flexibility than the strength – I think I can show improvement there.

The tester-run will be decided on after class – I’d love to do a progression run (negative splits, end Fast), but I’d also love to stay free of injury for the next 12 days. The speed isn’t going anywhere in one week; I can be patient if I need to…


My Question for those of you Experienced in this area: If you’ve Raced back to back, what does the “recovery training” look like in between?

I’ve done races back to back, but never wanted to actually race them both (i.e. one fun run, one speedy run). So, I’m all eyes here!



Filed under cross training, days OFF, things that make you go Hmmmm, training, Yoga

15 responses to “Recovery “Training”

  1. Liz

    I’ve never done races back to back, but I would probably try to take it easy if I were you since you are already in such great shape (clearly shown by your PR!)

  2. I always go from endruance race-to-race by doing a reverse taper. So think about the types of/diatances of runs of speed work you did in the 3 weeks leading up to the race and then go backwards as you start training again. Does that make sense? If not, I swear I can explain it better!

    • Heather C

      Nope, makes sense! I’ll probably do that exactly – just look back at two weeks before the National Half and see what I did.

  3. Elizabeth

    I did a recovery run on Monday, weights yesterday, and I’m going to do a longer run on Thursday for a Sunday race. We’ll see how it goes. But I’m sure you can fit a couple speed workouts into those 12 days, if that’s your goal.

  4. Lucas

    As you may have guessed, I’ve done that a lot. I think one stretch last summer I did five 1/2s in a five week span. When I race that much, I obviously had to cut back in other runs and keep the effort low. After the first race, I’d typically run a few miles the next day to loosen up. Do a faster 6 that Tuesday, rest Wednesday, trails at moderate pace Thursday and race again Saturday.

    With 2 weeks between, I’d get back into a normal-ish routine until Wed or Thurs next week and do a short taper before the next. Your legs will still be tired by next week but a day or 2 off from running and doing yoga or something else will have you feeling good right before your second 1/2!

    • Heather C

      You are definitely one brain I’d love to pick about this stuff – 5 in 5 weeks?! How many of those did you WIN (all, I’m guessing)? 😉 Thanks for the tips!

  5. I think it sounds like you’re right on track. Get in some mileage and a little stretching to not only maintain, but stretch out some tired legs. I’ve done some races within close proximity to each other but never like I’m doing this weekend and next with the tri and 20 miler. Should be fun. But I also think it’s important to note that I’m not planning on going crazy (well at this point anyway) on the tri and I want to run fast on the trail, but I don’t have a specific time goal.

  6. Sounds like you are feeling good! As you know, the focus is RECOVERY this week so you are ready to go again next weekend!! AWESOME!!!

  7. I wish I had good tips for you! I’m 3 days out from Sunday mornign’s race and going to attempt 2-3 miles with lulu run group tonight. I have plans for a vinyasa flow yoga tomorrow morning…I’m not sure I’m ready for Bikram again, but I have some friends who have been asking me to go. We’ll see! 🙂

  8. I love the blog! I also posted the same thing, “race recovery” today on my blog. Great blog minds think alike I guess.

  9. Whats your next race?!?!?

  10. A lot of people make the mistake of looking to the next race before recovering from the first, regardless of the time between the two. It could be a HS track athlete trying to double within a couple hours, or back-to-back weekends for the road racer, or even a six month stretch between marathons. Bottom line, is your focus needs to be on recovering from the first race before you worry about anything leading up to the second one. As evidenced by your “thanks for the shake out, don’t push it” conversation you had with your legs, they will want to remain in that mode for a couple days even after you feel like they’re back under you. If you took a couple days to do your post-race easy run and they still were mad at you, then it will take a good 3-5 more days at the minimum, in my experience. The longer the race, the more time you need to recover. If you were fit going into the first race, you really can probably get away with mostly easy runs between now and your next race, and will not have lost anything. There is also a good chance you can gain fitness simply by some of the recovery running you’re doing. At the absolute maximum I would suggest two runs next week (maybe 2-3 days out from the race and 5-6 days out from the race) that may have just a ‘hint’ of turnover in them. Fartleks are terrific for this purpose. Easy ladders like 1-2-3-2-1 or 4-3-2-1 mins are good, as are cutdown runs. (My suggestion for cutdown runs is to just start out SUPER easy, then slowly pick up the pace throughout the run… once you get to a point where the rhythm is no longer comfortable to maintain, then just back off and make the rest of the run the “cooldown” … whether that’s 10mins or 30mins left to go.) If for ANY reason you feel like your legs are still a little beat up as you finish this week and continue through next week, maybe instead of doing any kind of harder “run” just add a few strides at the end of a couple of your runs. Non-measured and non-timed. Just relaxed.

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