I think one of the most overlooked aspects of training for a race, is what comes afterwards.
Recovery time should definitely be part of your race plan.
I always feel fine after a race, but then a couple of days later it hits me: I’m tired, my legs are sore, and I’m hungry all the time.
The most common advice I have heard is to rest or do light exercise for the number of days equivalent to the number of miles raced.
I guess that could make sense, even though there’s a lot of grey in that… how many days to completely rest? How many days to do light exercise? How light is light?
Personally, I don’t go by the rule above of taking one rest day for each mile ran, but closer to half of that.. so if I ran a 10K/6.1M I will take it easy for 3-4 days, and if I ran a half marathon (21.1K/13.1M) I will take it easy for a week.
Also, because I taper before a race, making the week before the race much lighter in running distance than my average week, the days after the race that I rest or take easy, I still average a running distance similar to a regular running week.
However, the days after a race are always light in intensity.
In addition to adjusted training, I try to give extra importance to good nutrition, and eating an extra amount of calories (my body screams for this), getting enough sleep, foam rolling, stretching, and drinking a lot of water.
How do you adjust your training after a race? What else do you do differently?