Wednesday 28 September 2011

Half-Marathon Recovery (a work in progress)

My first half-marathon was tough on my body. I thought I'd write about my post-race aches and pains. It may not be very interesting to anyone else but it will provide me with a good source of information for when I race my next half (or any other longer distance race).

The most unexpected pain that the course inflicted on me is in my toe next to my big toes on both feet (does that make sense?). I'm putting this down to these particular toes taking a bashing inside my shoes on the downhill sections of the course. They hurt most when I press down on the toe nail (or if my socks do the same).

In the days leading up to the race:

  • Left hamstring had been slightly tight.

Sunday 25 Sept - During the race:

  • IT band twinged every so slightly every now and then. (possibly due to downhill sections).
  • Towards the end of the race the ball of my left foot began to hurt (This is new).
  • My right shoe rubbed the top of my foot near the ankle (not the first time it has done this).
  • I did not have any problems with my left hamstring during the race.

Sunday 25 Sept - Post-race:

  • Left hamstring felt tight straight after the race.
  • Two of my toes were hurting, one on each foot.
  • Ball of left foot was still hurting.
  • Extremely thirsty.
  • Extremely tired.

Monday 26 Sept - Rest day:

  • DOMS in hamstrings (plus left hamstring still tight).
  • DOMS in quads.
  • DOMS in calves.
  • Toes were still hurting but not as much as the previous day.
  • Underside of left foot still slightly tender.
  • Still quite tired.

Tuesday 27 Sept - Ran 5.6km at easy pace:

  • Left hamstring was still tight.
  • Toes were still hurting - I stubbed one on the rug and now it hurts more.
  • The DOMS was still present. Fairly mild. When I say mild, I mean mild for me. I lift weights so am used to having DOMS somewhere in my body almost all the time.

Wednesday 28 Sept - Ran 12.3km at easy pace:

  • Left hamstring was still tight - Running uphill seemed to make it feel worse.
  • Toes were still hurting.
  • The DOMS had pretty much gone.

Thursday 29 Sept - Ran 5.3km at easy pace:

  • Toes were still hurting, but noticeably better.
  • Hamstring still tight, possibly slightly better. Avoided hills during the run.
  • No DOMS at all.

Friday 30 Sept - Scheduled rest day:

  • Toes almost completely pain free.
  • No noticeable tightness in hamstring but had complete rest day. Will continue to take it easy.

Saturday 1 Oct - Parkrun 5k (tempo run):

  • Toes (right is back to normal / left is 99% normal)
  • No noticeable pain in hamstring before the run, the tempo pace was about as fast as I could go without risking turning the tightness into something worse. Sat in cold bath once home, felt fine but will keep runs at easy pace throughout the next week.
Sunday 2 Oct Ran - 17.4km at easy pace

  • Hamstring felt fine during the run but I did take it easy and I avoided hills as much as possible.

Monday 3 Oct - Ran 5km at easy pace

  • Hamstring felt worse today. Decided to not run for the next few days.
  • Used frozen peas to ice the hamstring during lunchtime.
  • Used a freeze on the hamstring patch in the evening
Tuesday 4 Oct - Rest day

  • I did not run. Hamstring felt ok, but still clearly not right. Needs more rest.

Wednesday 5 Oct - Rest day

  • I did not run. Hamstring felt ok, but still not right.

Thursday 6 Oct - Scheduled to run short and easy

Run if feeling ok, if not rest and ice.

Friday 7 Oct - Rest day

Rest and ice.

Saturday 8 Oct - Parkrun (Race if possible)


With the exception of the tightness in the hamstring I have completely recovered from the half-marathon. The hamstring issue was not caused by the half-marathon.


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