It’s been nearly two weeks since I ran my first marathon. On one hand, it’s hard to believe that I let my body endure that much intensity and pain. On the other hand, I emerged completely uninjured. After a few days of rest, I’ve found myself back in my usual routine—attending music festivals, trying new restaurants, and swimming (always my first love).
Up to the race, I’d been hearing horror stories of how people ran marathons and were destroyed for weeks afterward. But nothing of the sort happened with me. Sure, my IT bands felt like the ninth circle of hell and I had to be carried up the stairs to my apartment, but those were short-lived. So what gives?
I attribute my speedy recovery and lack of injury to a few things that I was maniacally strict about. I call it preventative training, which consisted of:
- Physical therapy sessions
- Regular massages
I’ll break it down:
Many people think that for races, you should be doing only that sport and dedicate everything to it. False. This video is a great example. You see Phelps doing tons of stuff that isn’t swimming. And considering he’s the greatest swimmer in the world, that says something.
I took a page out of his book to spend my weeks running, but also swimming, doing yoga, and interval training.
After a race, massages are great to relax the body. But before, they’re even better to restore muscles faster and loosen them up to build strength without injury. I found Backspace.care, a massage coop that specializes in at-home appointments, and it changed my training completely. By getting massages every 2-3 weeks, I was able to recover much quickly and train harder each week.
If you need more proof, check out Backspace for yourself! Use my promo code STARTER10 for a discount on your first appointment.
I cannot emphasize enough the impact PT has on preventing injury. I’d argue that it’s even more important before races for this reason. By working with Keri, I learned so much about my running stance, problem areas, and specifics to train on so I could be at my best for race day and not debilitated after. Check her out—if you are thinking about training, I cannot recommend her enough!
This goes without saying. We often forget to allow ourselves 8 hours or more to truly rest. I had to learn to say no to a lot of social outings in order to sleep, but I’m so glad I didn’t let fomo get the best of me. And even though I’m more or less back to my pre-race exercise routine, I’m making sure to maintain my sleep time. Call it getting old, but sleep is amazing 🙂