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5183 Views 7 Replies Latest reply: Jan 27, 2011 6:58 PM by Joseph Tree
McLean21 Rookie 7 posts since
Oct 20, 2010
Currently Being Moderated

Jan 13, 2011 11:29 AM

How long does it take for your body to bounce back?

Hey everyone!  I'm so happy to be back on the boards.  I am with Team In Training and preparing for the L.A. Marathon. I started my training this past November and I've already done a Turkey Trot, a 5K, a 10K and am getting ready to do half marathon next month.


My issue is that my body doesn't bounce back like I hope it should.  During the week, I will run 3-4 miles every other day and then we have been increasing our runs on the weekend.  I am having the hardest time bouncing back after each run!  I was hoping by now that my body wouldn't keep aching as much, even with the icing and everything.  And my body takes turns in the aching area.  If it's not my shins, it's my right hip for some crazy reason.  I notice that if I don't run for about a week right before a big run, I do very well, then 2 days later, bam, there I am.  I've started to cross train also hoping that might help.  But there are times I can't even get out of my bed without feeling so sore.


I already went to my doctor and she said everything looked good, just keep going.  I want to enjoy this sport but knowing the pain that is going to hit after really bums me out.  Any suggestions or does this happen to anyone else?  I want to keep running after my big marathon and want to enjoy it the way I see lots of people doing so.


I'd love any feedback!



  • MelissaGraham7 Legend 315 posts since
    Nov 2, 2010

    A lot of factors can make you sore.   When you are increasing your runs, how much further than the 3-4 miles you normally run are you going?  Are you following the 10% rule - i.e. never increase your distance or speed more than 10% in one week?   So, for example, if you normally go 4 miles, you should gradually increase by 0.4 miles.   We can't just jump from 4 miles to 8 miles for example.   I recently did that mistake myself - I was having a great morning jog and normally do 5 miles for my longer distance but this time I went 6.9 miles - my hips and knees were sore for 4 days!  Then, I had to back down to speed walking for a couple of times to ease back into it.  Also, if knees, hips, etc. hurt - you might concentrate on your form.  Maybe you are heel striking - which is a common cause for pain - rather than mid-foot striking.   The way I corrected my form was by barefoot running on a treadmill.  When you run barefoot, you know acutely where you are landing and you will immediately correct!     Lastly, you talk about going from 3-4 miles to a half marathon next month.  That is a big jump - even to go from a 10k which is only 6.2 up to half marathon that is 13!    You've got to make slow gradual increases of no more than 10% per week if you want to stay in this for the long term and not suffer a lot of downtime from injuries and pain.    We only race with ourselves.  We only apply our own pressure.  Relax and enjoy the journey and take care of your body in the meantime.  I would recommend you forget about the half marathon, rest your body and then start back in with slowly increasing your distance.    Obviously, these are just my opinions and I"m no expert - just a penguin runner who loves to run!


    Take care of your body and it will take care of you. 

    "Run when you can, walk when you have to, crawl if you must; just never give up!" Dean Karnazes

    Equinoxalizer 5K 3/19/2011: Time 37:13; 2nd place in age group!

    Dogwood 5K April 29, 2011: Time 36:15

    Running of the Bulls 8K 6/18/2011: Time: 61 minutes 15 seconds

    Mebane on the Move 10K 09/10/2011: Time 75 minutes 16 seconds; 1st in age group (oldest woman running!)

    Valentine's Massacre Marathon Relay 2/12/2012: Team distance 26.2 my pace 12:02 my distance 8 miles

    Fleet Feet 4-mile in Chapel Hill 4/22/2012: PR for 11:53 pace!! WOOOHOOO!

    Run for the Haw 5K on 5/26/2012: PR for 11:50 pace and First in Age Group! First race in Skele-Toes (minimalist shoes)

    Running of the Bulls 8K 6/02/2012:

    Yellow Brick Road 5-Miler 07/14/2012:

    Keep on running!

  • BOSNPM We're Not Worthy 2,482 posts since
    Nov 20, 2007

    I agree with above, a couple of other things to consider.  1st shoes make sure your shoes are still in good shape, you need to change them out every 300-500 miles.  Make sure you do this about 4-6 weeks before you manathon.  2rd a marathon plan is hard and you are going to feel sore and tired during it, the middle parts are very hard and many people get overuse injuries during this time, listen to your body.  Sore is okay but you should losen up after a couple of miles and it should never cause you to change your form!  3rd I need deep tissue massages during my long weeks not every week but once a month or every 6 weeks, this helps me a lot with my hips and ITBS band.  You legs should start to feel better during your taper period 3-4 weeks before the big day.  Good luck and enjoy the time.  Phillip

  • coolbikermom Legend 418 posts since
    Jan 25, 2010

    Hey, I hear ya! I've been training for a half coming up a week from today. I felt beat up when I did my long runs of 10 and 11.5 miles!


    You really need to listen to your body. You said you started training in November, does that mean you've only been running less than 3 months? if so, I agree with the above Melissa, you may be doing too much too soon. Your body needs to adapt to the increasing demands you ask of it. By not allowing the support structures to gain strength, you will likely end up with an injury and that'll really knock you off your training schedule.


    You might need to have an expert evaluate your form. It could be you are running incorrectly and working muscles in a way that is not efficient or effective. You can look into the Pose method or Chi Running and see if any of what they do there can help. Take a workshop if you can.


    You might also need to add more rest into the training week, especially after a long run. Rather than continually adding mileage every weekend, do a long run, and then the next week, make your long run several miles less than the previous week. Yo-yo your way up, don't continually add miles every week. Make one of your weekday runs 2 miles instead of 4. Vary your workouts, try adding some speed work in (intervals, fartlek) one day a week. Quit looking at total mileage and pushing the limits, you're allowing that to drive you rather than being smart in your training and taking care of your body.


    There you go, worth every penny you paid for it. ;-)

    C25k dropout

    Rock the Parkway 5k 3/27/10  37:40.6

    Mother's Day 5k  5/9/10  33:19

    Walk/Run for Isaiah 9/18/10 4.4k 37:26

    Harvest Moon 10k 10/23/10  1:08.50

    Great Santa 5k 12/5/10 33:22

    Carlsbad half marathon 1/23/11

    "Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better." ~Albert Einstein

  • Basscycle Legend 236 posts since
    Dec 14, 2007
    Currently Being Moderated
    5. Jan 27, 2011 10:36 AM (in response to McLean21)
    Re: How long does it take for your body to bounce back?

    Keep in mind also that, if you've only been at it since November, your body really hasn't had all that much of a chance to get use to the punishment that running dishes out. It takes at least 5-6 months in my experience to form a good base so much of what you're feeling is par for the course. It'll get better over time though, just keep at it. Also, looking into things like ChiRunning or the Prose Method may correct a few thing about your stride, making things easier on your body as it gets used to its new demands.

    My blog:

  • CRAZ8 Amateur 23 posts since
    Dec 12, 2010

    I posted something on a different thread here about nutrition.  This is key for running day after day.  The Runners World Performance Nutrition for Runners has great information about providing what the body needs before during and after runs.  And a bunch of info to guide you to your own solutions that work for you


    I've just started drinking a recovery drink after a run, and this has vastly improved my ability to run the next day.


    Running causes a lot of damage to the body, particularly longer runs, that needs to be repaired.  The faster and more efficiently you can provide the materiels for the body to repair itself, the better you will be able to train.


    The longer and faster runs you do, the more this stuff becomes important.

    Jan 2011 - Bermuda International Race Weekend 10K - 1:22:22

  • Joseph Tree Legend 378 posts since
    Oct 22, 2010

    Whew! That's really a duzie of a question.  I have some concerns about how much you're "beating yourself up" and it sounds an awful lot like TMTS, as has been mentioned.  It also sounds like you are indeed pounding the road with a form that lends itself to hurt.  As a barefoot runner (falling back on Vibram Fivefingers for the winter) I totally concur with the recommendation to look to your form.  If you can learn the fast cadence, gentle mid- to forefoot strike, and especially the listening to your body that Chi, Pose and Barefoot running methods ascribe to, you might well save yourself the downtime you fear.  It might mean that you will have to dial back your aspirations to what your body can handle.


    To wave the flag a little more for the Barefoot Runner, typical post marathon recovery for a barefoot runner is a day or maybe two.  For average shod runners. I recently read an article published here on the site saying you can't expect to be back to your regular running for 3 weeks or even a month after a marathon.  The key to the difference is FORM - BF marathoners have learned to run really gently.  In my own case it was barefoot or not at all.  My knees absolutely screamed NO! the last time I tried to run in shoes a couple years ago.  Now I am running without any downtime for injuries at all since starting last May and having a very good time doing it.  I ran my 10 mile trail race last Halloween as a sort of graduation from beginnerhood and just signed up for a Pikermi (13.1 mile road race) next May to celebrate my first aniversary.  I am in NO hurry to run a Marathon, thank you.

    Barefoot / Minimalist Runner

    ...not maintaining this these days..

    07/29/2012 Marsh Creek Raptor Run 10 Mile Trail Race

    07/15/2012 Quadzilla 15K Trail Run, Trexlertown, PA 1:37 (2011, 1:49)

    04/29/2012 Lehigh Valley / St. Luke's HM, 1:43:15 (2011, 1:54:20 )

    03/19/2012 Kutztown Fool's Run 10 Miler, 1:18:15 (2011, 1:30:20)

    02/26/2012 Ugly Mudder 7.2 Mile Trail Run, Reading, PA 1:20

    11/27/2011 Dirty Bird 15K Trail Run, Birdsboro, PA 1:40

    10/08/2011 Lehigh Gap Nature Center 10K Trail Run (6.38 miles), 59:20 (10/07/2012)

    Started running (again) May 5, 2010

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