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16 Weeks to Your First Marathon: Week 11

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Congratulations on an incredible half-marathon yesterday!  Hopefully you felt strong and prepared during the race and you were able to complete it with minimal discomfort.  If you were feeling a bit sore or tired, don’t worry!  Use those signals to tweak the rest of your training to support yourself in different areas.  If you were feeling tired because of the distance, be sure to focus your energy on your long, Saturday runs.  If you had some soreness during the race, try concentrating on stretching your muscles and lubricating Massage Tips for Recovery after Long Runsyour joints through yoga a couple of times a week.

While the half-marathon (13.1 miles) was not our longest distance, it was our first time to run that kind of distance at race pace.  Because of this, you might feel a little sore for the rest of the week.  While you may be tempted to take this week easy (on the couch) remember that the best way to get over soreness is to stay active and use those muscles.  Drinking a lot of water this week can also help to flush out any toxins from your body that might be adding to the soreness and substituting a low-mileage day with an extra day of cross-training yoga would be great.

Another wonderful way to get over soreness after a long run, or anytime, is through self-massage.  Your body is doing a lot of work these days, so remember to show it some love.  Here are a few tips for self-massage that you can use to help you beat post-run soreness and stiffness:Self-massage for Recovery after Long Runs

1. Oil up. Using oil for self-massage is a wonderful way to not only help work out soreness, but also moisturize your skin and pull out toxins.  Try heating coconut oil or sesame oil (2 common oils used in Ayurvedic massage) and adding a few drops of essential oil for aromatherapy.  Massage the scented oil into your legs, arms and any other sore areas in long strokes.  Use a circular motion on joints.  Remembers to concentrate on every little join in your foot since they take a huge impact when you run.

2. Use some tools. There are lots of fancy massage tools out there for you to buy, but many items that you already have around the house will work well, too.  Use a golf ball on the bottoms of your feet to focus on all the ligaments and muscles.  Try the handle of a screwdriver to work out soreness in larger muscles.  A rolling pin is great for rolling away leg and back pain.

3. Be gentle. Pressing very hard or focusing on one particular sore spot can actually do more damage to that area.  The tissues around an injury are fragile and pushing too much can result in furthering the injury and creating more soreness.  Don’t try to be tough.  If it hurts, back off and be gentle.

4. Massage more than your legs.  While your legs do the majority of the work when you run, remember that running is actually a full-body sport.  Be sure to massage your shoulders, back, arms and torso.  Massaging your tummy can also aid in digestion, which is always a good thing.  Follow your digestive tract by making large, counterclockwise circles on your stomach.

 5. Bring in the professionals.  If you are in a lot of pain and self-massage isn’t working, call a professional.  Try finding an Ayurvedic massage therapist in your area who will be able to create a massage based on your individual needs.

Now that we are all relaxed, here is your eleventh week of recommended workouts:

Monday: 10 minute warm up, 30 minute easy run, 5 minute cool down

Tuesday: 1 mile warm up, 7 mile race-pace run, 1 mile cool down

Wednesday: 10 minute warm up, 50 minute easy run, 5 minute cool down

Thursday: 10 minute warm up, 75 minute easy run, 5 minute cool down

Friday: Rest

Saturday: 1 mile warm up, 16 mile easy run, 10 minute cool down

Sunday:  Cross train 30-60 minutes (yoga is recommended this week)

Keep up with your weekly marathon training and find running tips every Monday on Peaceful Dumpling!

Week 10: Preparing for Race Day

Week 9: Slowing Down to Speed Up

Week 8: Safe Training with Your Dog

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Photo Credit: Zenspa1 and 3loomi4ulike via Flickr

Claire-Marie Harris
Claire-Marie Harris is a writer, blogger and vegan cook who recently returned to her home state of Texas after living in Asia for many years. A passionate traveler, animal activist and food lover, she is the founder of Kimchi Tacos and is currently writing her first cookbook. She lives in Dallas with her husband and three furry kids where she continues her work in animal welfare. Find her on her blog, Flickr or Instagram.
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