As noted in my previous posts, I was pretty sore after the Marathon. The cycling helped a lot on Tuesday, but the first run back on Wednesday (data) was pretty difficult as the legs were still quite tired despite the slow (5:38/km) pace. I started out with the group, but as they wanted to do 10K I elected to short turn it and do the scheduled mileage so as not to push it too hard this early after the race.
On Thursday I did another ride (data) to loosen things up which worked quite well again. I had hoped to throw in a few small hills, but the wind was brutal (gusts were approaching 60km/h) so I figured that it was safer to stay close to home. Naturally, thanks to the wind my speed was all over the place, but as on Tuesday it was a good workout and left me refreshed at the end.
I headed out for my second run on Friday morning (data), and while it started out a bit rough the legs started feeling a lot better after the first kilometer. I still took it relatively slow until the last kilometer, and then opened up to see how the legs were doing. Average pace was 5:18/km, although a lot of that was thanks to the speed added in the final stages (finished at a 3:53/km pace).
As I was feeling good, I headed in for a quick lunch and then headed back out on the bike shortly afterwards (data). As the weather was much better, I went down to the subdivision south of us that has a few smallish hills and did a few laps. Thankfully, the legs were quite comfortable for the duration of the ride and took in the hills with little trouble. I focused on powering my way uphill, and allowed myself to relax a bit on the flats and downhill segments. Average speed was 29.3km/h, although I managed to pull off a few uphill sections at a 37km/h pace.
Finally, on Sunday I did my third run (data) - a short 5 mile recovery run. Fortunately, this time out the pain was pretty much gone and the legs felt great. My heart rate was a little high for the pace, however, so I kept myself at a slowish (~5:22/km) pace and simply enjoyed the run. Thanks to this session I'm feeling a lot better about my recovery, and look forward to enjoying a few longer runs in the weeks to come.
At this point, I can comfortably climb stairs again and there are no real noticeable problems left over from the race a week ago. I'm going to try a proper ride (ie ~50km range, 80km/h roads, big hills) later this afternoon and will likely follow that with a short ride with my father (who's just getting back into cycling). Naturally, I'll be following Pfitzinger's recovery schedule religiously over the next four weeks and will try my best to take it easy (as much as that is against my nature).
Running: 24.7km (15.3mi)
Walking: 1.0km (0.6mi)
Cycling: 92.9km (57.7mi)
Total: 118.6km (73.7mi)
Marathon Week Totals (catching up):
Running: 69.6km (43.2mi)
Walking: 1.3km (0.8mi)
Cycling: 0km (0mi)
Total: 72.2km (44.9mi)
Year to Date:
Running: 1,014.7km (630.5mi)
Walking: 150.6km (93.6mi)
Cycling: 1,162.5km (722.3mi)
Total: 2,327.8km (1,446.4mi)
The main question at this point is what to do after the recovery period. Finishing the Marathon was my long term goal, and now that that's been met I have to figure out what comes next. The natural next step would be to focus on getting my time down to 3:10:59 in order to qualify for the Boston Marathon. If I focus on that goal, my best bet would be to target the Goodlife Toronto Marathon in October and build for a 3:20 finish, then hopefully push for a BQ next spring. The timing works out quite well for this, as I'd be starting the 18 week schedule right after the fifth week of the recovery schedule.
The other option would be to focus on Triathlons, and stick to half marathons on the running front so that I have enough time for that training. I'm pretty comfortable with the bike and running bits at this point, but I have a lot to do on the swimming front and those pesky transitions will require a good deal of experience to master. Long term I'd like to eventually push towards an Ironman (which includes a Marathon, after a 2.5mi swim and 115mi bike ride), however that will take a few years and a lot more work than I've done this time around.
Either way, I have a few more weeks to figure it out and the plan doesn't necessarilly have to be one or the other. Chances are that I'll likely stick with plan A and just work some short triathlons in this year to get a bit of a taste for the sport, and worry about seriously training for it next year. Fortunately, many of the lessons inherent in the marathon will be significant for multi-sport events, as the endurance aspect is important for the length of time that larger triathlon distances consume.