Many people much wiser than me greatly advocate the idea of having some time off at the end of the racing season; for example, iron-hero, Chrissy Wellington recommends "having it off" for a period of 4-6 weeks after your last big event of the year. International running rockstar, Lazy Girl Running, also gives some excellent suggestions in this post about recovering from a marathon; so I'm aiming to follow her "one day's rest for every mile raced" equation and giving the running a miss for the month of November.
It feels weird using my blog as a place to say: "I WILL NOT RUN AT ALL IN NOVEMBER". The interwebs normally provide a channel for runners' public promises to TRAIN MORE: "Here's my new training plan! Watch me as I do sit-ups continuously for the next 30 days, not even stopping to wee or eat!". This does feel like an altogether easier promise to keep though. In fact, it strikes me that a month beginning with the word "NO" seems a perfect time for some abstemious behaviour. Men everywhere have shunned shaving their faces for Movember and most women gave up shaving their legs after the clocks went back. It really ought to be the new January.
End-of-season is not something I've really ever recognised before. I don't think you can really count over-training until injury, followed by an extended "off-season" of exercise-induced apathy spanning 2007-2010. I am mostly guilty of planning my training programmes on a binary system, selecting from either "all" or "nothing"; going on previous form, simply not doing anything for a month would be a dangerous game indeed, likely to end with me being cut out of the sofa having lost the remote control in my knee cleavage. Hoping to avoid this, for many reasons, I think it's best I divert my attentions instead to a month of stretching and alternative activities, whilst the running machinery reboots.
Keen to be of assistance, and slightly alarmed by the thought of an ultra marathon, a helpful cyclist friend suggested, "you know you can cover 30 miles far more pleasurably and quickly on a device known as a 'bicycle'?" I decided to take his recommendation today and found him to be quite correct, particularly as today's ride involved a café stop. Upon returning home, however, I realised that there was now another part of my legs that hated me* (not just because they had been digitally captured from the most unflattering of camera angles): the only bit of me not covered by at least 2 layers of clothing on a cold November afternoon.
Since the clocks have gone back now, it's probably time to dig out the long tights anyway.
How do you go about recovering from your racing season?