Monday, October 20, 2008

Recovering from 100 miles

(photo by Kirstin Corris)

A crucial part of training for 100s and other ultras is the recovery process...not only during the training cycle, but also after the race. I think one reason I was successful at Gstone 100 this year was because I was smart with my recovery after long runs and hard runs. Now that I am in the post-race recovery stage, I have gotten a few emails asking me what I am going to do between now and Hellgate 100K, which will take place on Dec. 13, 10 weeks after Gstone. Here's my plan:

The week after Gstone, I took totally off. No running or lifting. I swam easy one day and walked my dog a few other days, but mostly I focused on sleeping, eating, and hanging with my family (yes, I had to go to work too). I found that I needed at least
9-10 hours of sleep that first week. My legs felt great and besides a teeny bit of ITB soreness, I had no lingering effects from the race, besides the usual endocrine system issues.

A week after Gstone (Oct. 11) I ran easy with my dog on trails for about an hour. I was tired! The next few days I ran about 5-6 miles easy and added a longer run mid-week (about 8 miles). All were run with my HR below 120, except one day when I ran a few miles at 7:40 pace with Bill as he was preparing for his marathon.

I read a good article in the latest issue of Runners World about how to recover from and train for a second marathon 4, 6, or 8 weeks after a first marathon. The article suggests taking a full week off, then running long runs up to 16 miles (if the races are 8 weeks apart) and marathon pace runs of 8 miles with 1 mile WU, 6 miles at MP, and 1 mile CD. Interesting...I think I'll give it a go, just in case I want to run Richmond Marathon on November 15, which is 6 weeks out of Gstone.

So this past Saturday, (October 18), I ran 8 miles with my friend Andrea, who was fresh off finishing third in the Masters USATF Cross Country Championships! This was an easy run for her, but I wanted to run 6 miles at 7:40 (marathon pace) and she helped me stay focused by using her GPS and calling out my splits. We were running on a hilly gravel road so I was working fairly hard, but overall I felt good.

Sunday (yesterday) I traveled up to DC to visit my dad and also ran about 20 easy miles in the Potomac Heritage 50K which is a signature VHTRC event, put on by my buddy Kerry Owens. I had a blast running on my old neighborhood trails and catching up with old friends---Mike Broderick, my pacer from MMT 100, was running his first ultra of 2008, and Mike Bur, a Last Great Race finisher from 2002, was running for the first time in a long time. Afterwards, we hung out at Kerry's and waited for the 50K finishers. Keith Knipling, who was third at Gstone, cruised in for the 50K win. That guy is a freak of nature who recovers really fast---don't try that at home! Here are pics of the PH trail from the 2005 event, from Kirstin Corris.

This week will be more easy running, a MP run on Friday and a long run on Sunday. And a shout out to my bro-in-law Andy Speidel, who finished his first 50K at the Stone Steps 50K in Cincinnati, and to longtime ultrarunner Bill Potts, who ran his first marathon at the Mt. Desert Island marathon in Maine. Wooo-hooo fellas! Great job at trying something out of your comfort zones!!!!


Thomas Bussiere said...

Thanks for the tips on recovery. After the VT100, my running strength did not come back until 6 weeks later, and it was a struggle. I tried to force it, and my body just was not ready, which ended in a hamstring injury.

Andrew Speidel said...

Ok Sophie, I have to say...the photo on this entry is spectacular!
Did you take this? If you did, enlarge it and put it in a frame. If one were to look in a dictionary under "Trail Running," this photo should be there.

Thanks again for your encouragement.

Sophie Speidel said...

Kirstin Corris took that beautiful shot back in 2005. I have always admired it and this post seemed like a good one in which to use it. I will be sure she sees your feedback!

Hey, are you gonna run the SW Ohio Ultra Series???