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Congratulations to all those who took part in the Detroit Marathon for Marathon Mission this past weekend! What an awesome accomplishment!

Okay, let’s get right to it. Two things you have to do that may SEEM to be an oxymoron (as in seemingly contradictory). You need to give yourself time to recover and you need to start planning for your next race!

One of two things happen when runners do a big race — they either can’t wait to do another and want to start training right away OR they grab that thrill and let it carry them . . . and carry them . . . and carry them until they suddenly realize how out of shape they’ve become.

So, here’s what you need to be doing. This week, spend your additional free time (no training!) looking for races you would like to do in a month or two from now. Nothing that requires speed training, though (unless it’s on the far end of the time scale).

The key here is to give yourself a week to recover from the marathon (walking is fine, maybe some light jogging by midweek and into the weekend), but nothing intense, nothing long. Just relax and don’t stress.

After selecting your next race, though, stop and think to yourself: What kind of person am I? Highly competitive? IF so, then MAKE SURE your next race is at LEAST a month a way…why? Well, if you sign-up for next weekend’s itty-bitty 5K “just for the fun of it” and you’re just gonna take it “easy,” . . . can you REALLY take it easy? The race starts and all of sudden the adrenaline starts going and the pack is moving and you’re running along and that guy who NEVER beats you pulls along side of you . . . can you resist? Lots of people THINK they can, but you’re really risking an injury if you can’t!!

Okay, the other side of the coin is allowing yourself to recover, but without actively planning what you’re going to do, let’s say, next week. After a marathon or half-marathon, it can take awhile to fully recover (note — it may take a few weeks for your body to FULLY recover, even if you THINK you feel fine), but the danger is getting out of the habit of running (which can happen more quickly than you think, especially as colder weather is approaching — or here, in some cases).

So, this week as you rest and relax, get online and find a fun race that you think would be great to do. Put it on your calendar and determine what kind of training your going to start off with next week (should be fairly light as it’s still a recovery week). Me? I’m thinking maybe a Turkey Trot or Jingle Bell run would be right on . . . or maybe there’s a New Year’s 10K or half-marathon (though, I’m not going to be signing up for THAT until I know what the weather is going to be like…high winds and 10 degrees in a foot of snow just isn’t appealing to me. : )

Well, recover and relax as you celebrate your success this past weekend — and plan for your next!

Have an awesome run . . . starting next week! : )

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