The COVID-19 Pandemic has left many of us stuck in our tracks when it comes to our spring marathon training. Being 1 month out from Boston, several of you likely had long runs of close to 20-miles under your belt. I can appreciate how disappointing this is for everyone, and wanted to give some advice as to how you can make the best of the situation and go into your newly (re)scheduled fall marathon with confidence and injury-free.
So how do you make this happen? Should you stop running for a while because Boston postponed? Should you consider taking part in a new fitness program? How do you avoid becoming injured in this process?
The new Boston Marathon date is September 14, 2020 and marathon training programs typically being 12-20 weeks long depending on your “base” mileage. This means that if you are planning running Boston at the new date, your training could start as early as the end of April, or as late as the end of June.
Regardless of your training start date, you’re going to want to take a week or two off from running in order to give your body a proper break. In a 2018 study, Wiewelhove et al looked at various fatigue markers in individuals following a marathon. What they found is that both massage and cold-water immersion (ice bath) helped to reduce post-race fatigue markers quicker and more effectively than active recovery (continuing training). This doesn’t mean that you have to stop exercising completely. In fact, doing some light stretching and strengthening is all OK, but I definitely recommend that you keep it light and use the time to rest.
If you are a more experienced runner who is used to running several races a year, you might not need to completely rest your legs, but instead cut your mileage way back and add in more cross-training. If you are more of a novice or intermediate running you are probably better off taking a week or two (max) off completely and starting back at your base mileage for a couple weeks prior to starting your formal training.
Here are some suggestions for some low-impact cross training that you can do during your “rest” week:
You can also take this time to get really good at those exercises that your Physical Therapist gave you way back when (hint hint).
If you have more specific questions pertaining to training and/or injury prevention don’t hesitate to myself or another member of the CCR Run Team by emailing email@example.com.
Blog post by Tiffany Sadeck.
About Tiffany Sadeck PT DPT OCS CSCS
Tiffany is a member of the Cape Cod Rehab Running Team with a Doctor of Physical Therapy degree. She is also a Board Certified Orthopedic Clinical Specialist and Certified Strength & Conditioning Specialist with a long history of running which began her freshman year of high school. A 3-season athlete, Tiffany was captain her junior and senior year and went on to run Division 3 Cross Country and Track & Field at Springfield College. She competed in events ranging from the 800-2 mile and high jump. Tiffany began running longer distances up to the marathon and would like to help runners to help better times and meet goals while preventing injuries and maintaining a fun, friendly training environment.
Wiewelhove T, Schneider C, Döweling A, Hanakam F, Rasche C, Meyer T, et al. (2018) Effects of different recovery strategies following a half-marathon on fatigue markers in recreational runners. PLoS ONE 13(11): e0207313. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0207313