Fitness, My Weekly Workouts, Running Tips

How Much Recovery Time Is Needed After A Half Marathon?

I ran the SeaWheeze Half Marathon a little over a week ago and just today went on my first run…10 days later.

Immediately after the race I felt great and even the day after wasn’t super sore so I figured maybe my body didn’t get too beat up during those 13.1 miles.


Stupidly I jumped right back into my routine of doing yoga sculpt at Corepower Yoga and attempting to run… OH MY GOODNESS my muscles felt so weak I could hardly function. I was so sore and my body just didn’t feel right so instead of forcing myself to workout I laid low and stuck to walking and more gentle yoga.

This experience really got me thinking about how much recovery you really need after conquering a half marathon. Obviously everyone is different but I did some research Googling and wanted to share with my fellow runners that way we can all run our hearts out then return to normal training without putting ourselves at risk for injury.


How long should you wait after running a race to return to training?

According to how quickly you return to training depends on the length of the race you’ve just completed, your fitness level and when you plan to race next…makes sense.

They go on to provide some general guidelines for returning to training:

  • After shorter races (up to 10K): You can do your next hard run within as few as three days, if you’re a high-mileage runner. Otherwise, wait about five days.
  • After a 10-miler or half-marathon: Fitter runners can go long or fast again after four or five days. More casual runners should wait at least a full week.
  • After a marathon: All runners wishing to maintain a high level of fitness should do little or no running for four to seven days, followed by a week of only low-intensity running. Then you can return to your normal regimen.

It’s also recommended that if you don’t have any races coming up too quickly after the race you just finished your body could really benefit from taking a longer time off of running. This break will fully allow your muscles to repair and your body to recover.



What can you do instead of running to stay in shape?

Great question!

If you’re like me, I need to workout just to stay sane.

If I’m not running I like to do some type of cross training like yoga, weight lifting or cycling. I also love just going out for a walk or spending some time stretching/foam rolling at the gym.

For more workout ideas when you’re taking a running break check out this post.


And what about when I’m ready to run again…

3 words: TAKE IT SLOW!

I unfortunately had some first hand experience with this. After getting injured earlier this year I ended up having to take about 3 months off from running. Getting back into shape took some serious time and effort with such a long break. But, even if you only took a couple weeks off post race, it’s also so important to slowly easy back into training even if you know you can do more.

Taking your time to build back up to a high intensity training level helps to prevent injury and really helps ensure that your building a solid foundation for your next training cycle.


So what’s next for me?

I swear the second I finish a race I can’t just sit there and live in the moment. My mind immediately jumps to thinking about what race I’m going to do next.

Since SeaWheeze went so well for me and I didn’t experience any calf/shin pain during my training cycle I really want to get another half on the books ASAP.

I’m thinking about doing the Holiday Half Marathon here in San Diego on December 16th and trying the Kara Goucher half marathon plan (again) to chase down my ultimate half marathon goal time of 1:45:00. The fact that this race is about 4 months away gives me plenty of time to rest and recover from SeaWheeze then jump into the 10 week plan with some wiggle room if some weeks get thrown off.

But we shall see…stay tuned!



Weekly Workouts

  • Monday: run 3 easy miles + BBG arms & abs workout
  • Tuesday: yoga
  • Wednesday: run 5 easy miles
  • Thursday: yoga sculpt
  • Friday: OFF
  • Saturday: yoga
  • Sunday: run 6-7 easy miles


Your Turn,

How long do you normally wait after a race to return to training?

When you’re on a running break what kind of exercise do you like to do?

Any Fall races coming up?


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1 Comment

  • Reply Kellen McAvoy August 22, 2017 at 3:58 pm

    I love this! I’ve been wanting to jump right back into my workouts after Sunday’s race but I’m forcing myself to take it slow. The struggle is real…. Also, I have been considering the Holiday Half too! I’m still chasing that sub-2 and I think 4 months is plenty of time. Let me know if you sign up! Also, I’m considering another marathon as a destination race next year. Interested? haha

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