“1 day of easy for each mile of race effort” seemed the general guideline that I have heard/read when it comes to recovery after an endurance event.

While I’ve followed this guideline in all my events (half and full) and incorporated it with a post-marathon recovery training from Hal Higdon , I’m wondering if my personal recovery rate is different from most people.

My Personal Experience
Last year after Chicago, since it was my first marathon, I religiously followed the easy rule for a month and started training in earnest (hitting my goals for intervals and tempos) for New Orleans only in mid-december.
I gave it my all in New Orleans and was rewarded with a near-perfect race and PR. Georgia Publix Half was 2 weeks after NOLA, and I opted not to run it. I just did not want to run it and it didn’t excite me in the least.
Chicago this year has been completely different, but I still gave it all and I could NOT have done a race afterwards even if I had wanted to. And I did not want to.

Yet…
I see first time marathoners effortlessly doing 13.1 just 2-3 weeks afterwards and then some more,
first time marathoners running 5K/10K the very next week,
first time marathoners jumping back into training for their next endurance event.
Not veteran runners, but ‘newer’ runners with 1-2 years of running behind them. Veteran runners of multiple marathons or multiple ironman (yes, you read that right!) are not in the same plane of reference!

The Debate
(I am not debating the wisdom of jumping back into things. To each their own.)

I know that everyone’s level of fitness and recovery is different. But I wonder at HOW they are able to move on effortlessly so soon!

And I am surprised that I am not able to pick back up that easily. I know that I am not the fittest of people around me, but I have a decent amount of fitness training for marathons. I take care to do my recovery nutrition. I do post-race massages but even a hard raced 5K/10K shows its effects on my legs. Yes, I bounce back to perkiness factor 9/10 in 2-3 weeks, but it hasn’t been to a point where I go off and run a half marathon immediately!

What am I missing?
Is there a magic potion I am missing that is not letting me bounce from one event to another? My husband may be happy that I’m not talking about the next thing for atleast a month or so after the last big one, but I look around and I feel very inadequate. Strange that recovery causes this feeling in me while training and racing does not; I recognize that every person has their own merits.


How do you recover from endurance events? Do you just wing it or do you follow a recovery plan?
What is your estimated range for recovery?
Are you the sort of person that jumps from one event to another or do you take time off/off season and then approach the next event strongly?
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The Rate of Recovery from Endurance Events
  • Interesting topic… like you, I need a long recovery, but I think one of the key differences is how hard someone races. A lot of beginner runners run their marathon at a relatively easy pace. If you’re racing at an all-out effort, your body will need much more recovery time.
    But I also think everyone is different, and some bodies can just handle a lot more, as unfair as it is. 🙂