How to train for, recover from back-to-back races
I am roughly two weeks out from the Indianapolis Monumental Marathon, followed eight days later by the Honor Run Half Marathon in Florence, Ky.
Running races on back-to-back weekends is somewhat new to me. In fact, I only did this once previously, which I mentioned in an earlier blog post. The post also details why I am so interested in running the Honor Run on Veterans Day Weekend.
Join me at the Honor Run by using code BIBRAVE10 for $10 off. Don’t delay: The deadline for signing up online is Nov. 5. Sign up here.
Double up on recovery when doubling down on races
When facing back-to-back weekends of racing, runners need to approach these differently than other races (unless, of course, you are Michael Wardian). Here are five tips to keep in mind:
1. Pick your “A” race and focus your energies on that one, ideally the first of the two races. For me, the marathon in Indianapolis is my goal race. I will (try to) take the half marathon as an easy run.
2. I’m assuming everyone following along to this point will pick the first race as their primary one. Once you cross that finish line, be sure to celebrate as you would other races. Take time to enjoy the accomplishment and know that the hard work for the second race has already been done.
3. The primary goal for the week in between races is to recover and get yourself to the next starting line in healthy shape. The first part of the equation is to stretch yourself out. I enjoy yoga and it really works for me. After my Indy marathon, I will do an hour of yoga on at least two different days before the Honor Run half. The yoga will speed my recovery, stretching out the muscles that will surely take a pounding during the marathon. Foam rolling and/or stretching on non-yoga days is highly recommended. For those not into yoga, swimming or gentle cycling will also work.
4. Even with one race in the books, you are still in taper mode. Treat this week as a taper week. A couple of easy runs with strides at the end of one of them will help your legs recover and feel refreshed for the next race.
5. Eat healthy during the week in between. Splurging after the race is a welcome treat. But keep in mind you want to keep inflammation and swelling down. Eating healthful foods during the week — along with getting proper rest, doing yoga and stretching, and completing appropriate runs — will put your body in a position to carry you to another finish line.
And then, you can really celebrate, as I will Nov. 12 as my racing calendar offers me a nice break after the Honor Run half.