Ask-a-Salty is the nifty feature where you ask the questions and we give you the answers. If you have a question about training, racing or running in general ask us here and maybe you’ll be featured in our next Ask-a-Salty post!
Today’s question comes from Jackie who, like Mint, just ran a big PR in Chicago. (Big congrats, Jackie!!!) She asks:
Chicago was my second marathon, I have my third marathon on the calendar for the end of February. What is the best way for me to recover from Chicago while transitioning into a new training cycle? I have 18 weeks until RnR New Orleans. Thank you in advance for any thoughts you might have!
If your next race is 18 weeks from now that means you have 20 weeks between Chicago and your next race in New Orleans. Here’s what I recommend to ease the transition from marathon recovery back up to marathon training.
I recommend you do 8 weeks of recovery to base building followed by a 12 week marathon training plan. (With 18 weeks to go, you, Jackie, will be in week 3 of this plan.) Remember, you want to be sure you’re recovered and strong when you start your next training plan! Giving yourself 8 weeks to recover and slowly increase your miles back up without over-stressing your body is key.
Speaking of this training plan, it should be a modest increase in mileage from the plan you used for Chicago. If you peaked at 50 miles per week for Chicago, then a reasonable mileage peak for New Orleans would be 60 miles per week. I will breakdown the 8 week recovery to base-building phase and from there you can jump into your 12 week training plan for the next marathon! The same approach can be used between half-marathons or even for someone preparing to train to race their first half or full marathon. I’d cut the long runs back by 2 miles per run for half-training, though.
SALTY’S MARATHON RECOVERY TO BASE-BUILDING PLAN
Week 1: 0 miles. ZERO. NOTHING. No cross-training other than some light walking. Maybe some light stretching or yoga if that’s your thing, but otherwise give your muscles, tendons, ligaments, bones and brain a little time to recharge.
Week 2: 5 short runs. I’d keep these all very easy and under an hour in duration.
Week 3: Run 50% of your goal mileage peak for your next training cycle. That means if you are planning to peak at 60 miles per week in your training for New Orleans, run 30 miles this week. Make them ALL easy again, except do 6 x 30 second strides with full recovery within 2 runs (we’ll call these “runs with strides” and they are to be done on any run other than your long run. Also, make sure to have at least one day off or a run with no strides in between stride runs).
Week 4: Run 60% of your goal mileage peak. Run easy again for most runs except the 2 runs with strides. Make one run an easy 10 miler. 36 miles total using our example.
Week 5: Run 70% of your goal mileage peak with 2 runs with strides and one run a 12 miler. 42 miles total using our example.
Week 6: Run 80% of your goal mileage peak with 2 runs with strides and one run a 13 miler. 48 miles total using our example.
Week: 7: Run 80% of your goal mileage peak with 2 runs with strides and one run a 14 miler 48 miles total using our example.
Week 8: Run 90% of your goal mileage peak with 2 runs with strides and one run a 14 miler. 54 miles total using our example.
Week 9: Begin 12 week training plan for New Orleans!
It’s ok if your 12 week training plan has you step back in mileage for the first couple of weeks as it will likely be introducing new intensity (harder running) to the mix.
Good luck, Jackie! Let us know how it goes!!!
What say you Salty Readers? How do you transition from recovery after one big race to training for the next one?