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Post-marathon recovery week 2

Build back to training

Do easy runs

Coach: Nick Anderson, Polar UK Head Coach

By the second week, you can start to gradually build back to your running, but make it a light week.

Do 2-3 easy runs during the week at a conversational pace. The runs should be roughly 30-45 minutes long, 60 minutes maximum and up to 2 minutes a mile slower than marathon pace.

If you don’t feel like getting back to running yet, then give yourself time – don’t force it! Expect it to take about one day for each mile of the marathon before your body is back to performing as usual.

Athlete: Tish Jones, Team GB Runner

Long runs aren’t necessarily the best way to ease back into training at this point, but if you're anxious to do a long training session, try cross-training, for example cycling.

Track your training sessions and consider staying within easy to moderate heart rate zones for a while after your marathon. Your body needs some time off of intense training before starting up with any further race build-ups.

Add tempo runs and stretching

Coach: Nick Anderson, Polar UK Head Coach

The weekend of week 2 after marathon is when you might start to include some faster work again.

You can try a tempo run of about 40 minutes: 10 minutes of easy running to warm up, 15-20 minutes at half marathon pace or at controlled discomfort. Then ease down into a conversational pace for the remainder of the time, followed by 15-20 minutes of stretching.

Athlete: Tish Jones, Team GB Runner

When reintroducing running again, you don’t have to take baby steps, but respect the high impact and high intensity nature of running to avoid unnecessary aches and pains.

Make sure you maintain your body with, for example, regular foam rolling and post-run stretching to help prevent any niggles from creeping in when you begin to pick up running once again.

How to monitor?

Measuring your resting heart rate upon waking in the morning helps you monitor your overall health and recovery.

For example, by doing the Orthostatic Test regularly (three times a week), you can build a baseline and notice if your heart rate is higher than usual, which may indicate you’re coming down with something, over-training or not fully recovering from sessions.

Changes in heart rate levels during easy runs and threshold sessions can indicate something is amiss in your recovery strategy and training. Tracking heart rate and reviewing your training sessions on Polar Flow is a great way to spot any significant changes.

Monitoring your heart rate also allows you to make sure you stay at the right intensity during your recovery runs: Aim to stay in heart rate zone 2 or keeping your heart rate 60-70% of your max HR.

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