Running three times in 24 hours on no sleep takes a toll on any body, and my body in particular cried out for a serious post race recovery plan after Ragnar DC. I felt like my quads were broken before I even ran my third leg, but with a 10 miler only two weeks away I can’t afford to wait too long before I get my legs working again.
Here’s a look at my active recovery plan for the week after Ragnar DC, updated after the fact with notes in italics so I can look back and see how I felt and whether this plan worked out.
Saturday evening: My recovery rituals on Saturday included taking a long, hot shower, having my favorite pizza for dinner, and going to bed by 9:00 pm. 🙂
Sunday: I slept like a rock until 8:00 am, but was reminded how sore I was every time I changed positions! When I got up, I decided to try to take my dog for a walk to get my legs working again. I had to go really slowly at first, but I think it helped. The rest of the day I was pretty active with unpacking, grocery shopping, and doing some housework. I intended to do some yoga, but my weekend chores ended up taking the whole day.
Monday: I started my day with a dog walk and 45 minutes of strength training. I followed my physical therapy plan, but I couldn’t do the squats very well! I gave my legs some TLC with my foam roller and added some extra stretching. I noticed my quads getting better as the day went on–by the end of the day I could sit down and stand up normally, but taking the stairs head-on was still rough. I ended the day with another dog walk and felt pretty good.
Tuesday: Depending how I feel on Tuesday, I may try to go for a short run, or I may just walk the dog and spend some time with Rodney Yee. If I get up early enough I might be able to do both. By the end of the day Monday, my legs felt pretty good, so I decided to go for a run on Tuesday. It was tough! I changed my usual 4 mile loop into a flat 3 mile out-and-back and did lots of foam rolling when I got home.
Wednesday: Wednesday morning I will do my physical therapy exercises again–hopefully my quads will be fully functional! In the evening I am going to a special Pure Barre class with my Moms Run This Town group. I’m excited to try Barre, but dreading the soreness that I’m sure will result from working undiscovered muscles! More on the Pure Barre class coming up!
Thursday: I plan to go to my favorite indoor cycling class at Revolve. If my legs are still sore, I can take it easy, but I hope to get in a solid ride. My legs did not hold me back! It was a fun class with a mix of low-resistance speed intervals and high-resistance hill intervals.
Friday: Back to those physical therapy exercises! By Friday I was able to do the full squats without hearing too much from my quads.
Saturday: I have a work event on Saturday, but I should be able to get in a short run early in the morning. At least my time constraints will keep me from overdoing it. Friday night I learned that I didn’t have to be at the work event until 10:00, so I had plenty of time for an 8 mile run. The first 6 miles went well, but then my quads felt really tired and tight.
Sunday: I hope to be able to go for a bike ride with my husband on Sunday. If not, I may finally do that yoga DVD. 😉 I started the day with Rodney Yee and have a short bike ride planned.
I also hope to get a sports massage some time this week, but I haven’t quite figured out how to fit one in around my work schedule. Sadly, the massage didn’t happen, but I don’t really feel sore anymore.
After my tough 8 mile run on Saturday, I am a bit worried about my hilly 10-mile race next weekend. I will need to continue to take it easy this week and not set any ambitious goals.
How do you recover after a hard race?