Q. I ran my first marathon last weekend. I’m thrilled that I finished and I had a decent time as well. I felt pretty good the day after the race, but two days later I’m exhausted. How long will it take before I’m back to normal? Should I be running now?
A. First, congratulations on your finish! For your questions, my preference is that athletes not run the first week after a marathon or an Ironman distance race. You can walk, swim or ride a bike. Give your body a chance to heal. You can pick up the running again after a week, but keep the runs short and easy. Running on soft surfaces such as dirt, grass or a treadmill might be easier on your body. Not knowing much about you, it’s tough for me to prescribe how much running you can do the second week. Your primary goal is to recover.
How long until you’re back to “normal?” I find it usually takes four weeks to recover and feel 100 percent after a marathon or an Ironman. You can find more information on recovery time in a column I wrote awhile back.