Time To Recover

Posted: March 27, 2011 in Uncategorized

Now that the 21 miler is in the books the tapering process begins in earnest.  It’s important to take several complete days off from running to allow the muscle soreness to completely disappear.  The residual effects of yesterday’s long run can actually cause soreness to worsen on the second day so don’t be alarmed if this occurs.  Walking and other forms of low-impact cross-training (i.e., spinning, water running, yoga, elliptical, etc.), along with getting sufficient rest, eating well, and staying hydrated will speed your recovery.

Many first-time marathoners can’t imagine how they’ll be able to run another 5 miles after the incredible effort it took to make the ascent up Heartbreak Hill yesterday.  There are two very compelling reasons that contribute to this doubt.  Once your mind knows the precise distance you’re running on a given day it communicates that to your body.  If you were only scheduled to run 13 miles yesterday, I can assure you that you would have been looking forward to just getting to 13 miles.  And you would have been just as grateful the run was over at 13 miles as you were when you completed yesterday’s 21 miler.

Most importantly, Marathon Day is a completely different experience.  Yesterday doesn’t even constitute a dress rehearsal for the Boston Marathon.  Despite running with several hundred other runners as you made the trek from Hopkinton to Boston College, you were largely running alone compared to what your journey will be like on April 18th.  Very few of the cars on the marathon course were happy about all the runners slowing their progress.  But in just a few short weeks, all of New England will be focused on the Boston Marathon.  The marathon course will be entirely yours for as long as you need it to be.

Those same drivers that were frustrated by your presence on ‘their’ roads yesterday will be laying out the red carpet for you and providing a heroes welcome as your make the journey into Boston.  You will plan to run 26.2 miles on April 18th and your mind will communicate that to your body to ensure it’s prepared to cover the entire marathon distance. 

And the unimaginable excitement of everything the Boston Marathon entails is your assurance that you will make it to the finish line!

  1. Meghan says:

    This does make me feel better!!

  2. Hello Meghan,

    You did so well yesterday! Now is the time to allow your body to fully recover and put the final touches on your Boston preparation.

    Your Coach,


  3. Mark Duffield says:

    Yesterday’s 21 miler felt great! Without a doubt, the best 21 miles that I’ve ever run. I felt like I could go the distance at the end of the run, whereas in the past (both in training and in previous marathons) I felt spent somewhere between 18 and 20. I attribute the great run to several things: A new gel that I’ve been using that levels out the delivery of fuel, taking Endurolyte capsules throughout the run, keeping myself hydrated, running the miles mindfully, and to applying several (most) of your suggestions throughout my training. Combining both the exceptional experience that I’ve had training under your direction, and the fundraising that I’ve done for Jumpstart, this journey to the Boston Marathon will no doubt be the most memorable, meaningful, and rewarding of my life. Thank you, Rick!

    • Hello Mark,

      Your post made my heart smile. As a marathon coach, I could not ask for a better response to the Marathon Coalition experience. You are undoubtedly in a very good place with your training. I’m grateful that my advice has proven beneficial but, more importantly, I am thrilled that the fundraising you’ve done for Jumpstart is integral to this entire experience. Your efforts will help students develop their language and literacy skills and provide an opportunity for a better education!

      Thank you for all that you’ve done for Jumpstart and the Marathon Coalition!


  4. Lori B. says:


    Saturday was grueling beginning mile 16 I started to cramp and I did all I could to get up those hills beginning at the fire station. Your smiling face and encouraging words throughout lit the way like a beacon of positive light…and this post encourages me to rest up and know that I CAN do this! THANK YOU!


    • Hello Lori,

      You looked so strong during the run. You experienced what most marathoners experience in the closing miles. I think taking walk breaks and propering refueling and hydrating along the way will help to avoid bonking. Walking backwards is also beneficial but you have to be very careful not to trip. This provides your major muscles a brief reprieve.

      You WILL complete the Boston Marathon in ‘relative comfort’ in a few weeks. It’s been wonderful having you on the Marathon Coalition TEAM!

      Your Coach,


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