We followed Health Warrior team member Thomas Cadrin on his journey as he prepared for the 2016 Boston Marathon – his first ever. Read the entire series here.
It’s been one week* and 3 days since I completed the 2016 Boston Marathon. I can honestly say that it was the most difficult thing I have ever done in my life (although I did have an absolute blast!) But it wasn’t just the training runs that got me over the finish line, it was also a keen dedication to recovery.
After each training run – no matter the length – I would go through a series of static stretches to counter the dynamic stretches in my warm up (see Dynamic vs. Static Stretching). Inevitably and eventually I learned my body so well that certain parts would almost speak to me, demanding attention.
The hips in general were always tough to unlock, so I’d get into those with an ACUmobility stretch. I also noticed that by rolling out my feet with varied ball densities (always went softball, street hockey ball, tennis ball) the rest of my body would loosen up. By utilizing active recovery practices, not only was my body more prepared to work out five days a week, but the downtime between workouts was comfortable and body ache was severely reduced.
On off days, light stretching, yoga and foam rolling became common pastimes. These activities can’t hurt if you’re doing them correctly, and will only increase your recovery time. Of course there were days when your body – and more importantly your mind – need complete rest. On those days, lots of water and a higher than normal calorie intake did the job. Don’t cheat, but treat yourself by eating a lots of good food!
That night after the marathon, I was up late. My mind seemed to finally turn back on around midnight. Although I could hardly walk, I rolled out my entire body. All 4 hours and 34 minutes of the race came rushing back in burst of total agony and relief. The next day was pretty brutal (the quads take the biggest beating), but lots of water, ice/heat on the sore spots and ultimately active recovery brought me back.
*Sorry, but I had to 🙂