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You rarely regret the runs you do; you almost always regret the runs you skip
I ran my first half-marathon in the spring and didn't run again for a month afterward (!) b/c it took quite a physical and mental toll on me. But then I started running again with a more effective training plan and just ran my second half-marathon on October 4th. I felt terrific afterward and only took off about 3 days for some very minor soreness. So I think you really just have to listen to what your mind and body are telling you
it is based on how you feel - after my first half ( 2:5 finish ) I took one day rest - then biked the next day - I think I lifted weights the day after that and then started running again - maybe just 3 miles. Play ot by ear - if you feel really fatigued - rest another day - I know by the week after I was full force back on my regular training schedule
my last half 1:54 finish I got up the next morning and ran 4 miles
Your ability to recover depends on how you trained both running and resistance / cross training - and your nutrition
NYC Marathon Nov 1 2009 - 4:03:13 ( 9:17 mm )
NYC Half Marathon Aug 16 2009 - 1:55:38 ( 8:49 mm )
1 mile - 7:07 10K - 52:58 ( 8:32 mm)
4 mile - 31:35 ( 7:53 mm) 8K - 42:28 ( 8:32 mm)
15K - 1:22:02 ( 8:49 mm)
Find the Half Marathon Team on FACEBOOK
TRUST THE TRAINING!
Congrats on your achievement. My advise may be different from others. I committed myself to running 13 marathons this year fund raising for Lance Armstrong Foundation's fight against cancer. That means I need to recover quickly if I am to run a marathon every 4 weeks. My routine is to take a ice or cold bath for my legs after the race. This will help to cool down my muscles and prevent excess blood flow. I would stretch for 1/2 hour before taking shower. The next day, even though my muscles are sore, I would ride a bike or swim for 1/2 hour, and stretch for 1/2 hour in the morning. This tends to get rid of lactic acid build up from the race. In the afternoon or evening, I would light jog a mile or two, depending on how I feel. On the second day, I would get back to training routine at 50 - 75% pace.
This routine may be too aggressive for you since this was your first 1/2 marathon. The point is to get back to your training schedule as soon as possible so you are building up strength and endurance. When you can shorten the time between event and first recovery run, you will see better result in your next endurance event. Great job and keep up the good work!
Please visit my fund raising page at www.fredlin.com and donate towards my effort for Lance Armstrong Foundation's fight against cancer!