It has been three weeks since my last run. I didn’t really plan on having such a long break after the marathon. I wasn’t particularly broken or injured afterwards – just a bit of tightness and discomfort, but I guess my body needed a bit of a rest after all those month of training.
Today though, I decided that I had rested enough and that it was time to dust of my running shoes and get back out there.
I’d been using a run-walk-run strategy for the last few months to help get me through the marathon without injury, but I really wanted to get back to running continuously without walk breaks again. I wasn’t sure how my body would cope with this, so I set myself a target of 2-3K of continuous running for this morning, depending on how things went, and planned to gradually build up to 5K over the next few weeks.
It was nice and cool when I headed to the seafront just after 7:00 am. There was a bit of a breeze, but nothing to worry about, as I set off along Hove Lawns to the cafe just before Peace Statue. The plan was to run there and back, which would be pretty much 2K, and then maybe do a bit more if I felt like it.
As I had no clue as to how I would manage this, I started off nice and slowly, pretty much ignoring the Garmin and just running by feel. And it felt pretty good, so much so that as I approached the 2K mark, I decided to keep going for another half kilometre.
According to the Garmin, my pace was picking up a bit too, although I couldn’t really feel it. In terms of running by feel, the effort was consistent and comfortable, so I continued to ignore the Garmin and keep going to 3K, then 3.5K.
After that, however, I did start to feel a bit tired so, not wanting to push things too hard on my first post-marathon run, I decided that I would stop when I got to 4K.
I felt really good afterwards and pleased that I had managed much more than I’d expected. The left hamstring was a bit uncomfortable and my calf started to tighten up as I walked home, but it was nothing compared to what I’d been having before, so maybe the three weeks of rest wasn’t such a bad idea after all.
The most surprising thing about the run though, was that I managed to run negative splits for each kilometre. I hadn’t expected that at all, but perhaps it was just my legs waking up after their rest.
How’s your training going? How much time off do you take after a big race? Please share your thoughts in the comments.