Marathons Are Tiring – Run or Rest?


A week has now passed since running the All American Marathon.  My body is still recovering.  My legs are still sore, and I have this overall sense of just being battered and worn down.  Marathons are not easy.  Marathons are taxing on the fittest of bodies.  I have to remind myself over and over again that feeling worn down is normal.

The problem is that I don’t like feeling worn down.  Like today for instance.  It is a beautiful day, I have the day off from work.  I should be going out for a run today, and be looking forward to it.  I will run, but I know that my legs will not be happy.  Knowing that sort of impedes my desire to get out and do the thing that makes me feel renewed and rejuvenated.  It’s a quandry.

To rest.  To recover.  To run.

It’s maddening.  The very thing that makes me feel alive, is tiring me out.  It’s probably why I have been in a fairly constant bad mood the past few days.  I need that exercise to get the blood pumping.  I need that freedom that running gives me to make my mind sore.  To uplift me, to free me from the doldrums.

What do you do when you are tired, or sore, or injured?  Unable to run, or run as much as you would like to.  How do you get through recovery without going absolutely batshit?  You would think that I would be better at dealing with this by now, I mean, I have been running for a few years now.  I should have a pretty good grasp on this by now.  Quite the contrary, at least this week.  Help!  How do you manage recovery?

13 thoughts on “Marathons Are Tiring – Run or Rest?

  1. I don’t think we have the same problems when it comes to recovery. I’m usually SO HAPPY to have an excuse to take a rest 😉 For me, I know it’s all about injury prevention and if my body is telling me “no” then I have to respect that.

    Instead, I try to use my new found time (when I would be running) to try new (low impact) workouts or workout videos, go out with friends, take long walks, cook new things, or blog more!

    • You make a lot of great points. Maybe I should concentrate on getting my sons graduation announcements in the mail instead of running today. Thanks for the advice!

  2. I just battled the same issue after a week off from my first marathon. That second week post marathon was the hardest bc I had all of these expectations but did about half the distances I planned on doing. The way I got through… Put on my running clothes but did a run/walk combo. Stop when your legs hurt and walk a little, jog if your legs let you. Listen to your body. I need the running to for my mental health so no need to stay inside if the weather is great, just don’t kill yourself 🙂 week 3 is the best- Back to regularly scheduled programming!

    • I know, I should take it easy on myself. It’s just finding that mental calm in something else while the body recovers that is the challenge. Thanks for the tips.

  3. always listen to your body! if you need to take the break do it. i know it can be a mental struggle but far better to suffer through that than to push through physical exhaustion which could lead to injury. get on a bike or do a walk/run combo with no care about pace or distance. it’s not the same but sometimes just being outside and moving can make the rest bearable. you’ll be back up to speed soon no doubt!

  4. Congrats on running a marathon!! It’s an amazing achievement 🙂 I ran my first one back in November of last year and I was in the same situation and can maybe share some of what NOT to do. I was completely sore after the marathon, so I took the whole week off from running/exercising. Bad idea. My legs became even stiffer and it was harder when I tried to get back into running two weeks later. My suggestion would be to run if you feel like running – but don’t go far and don’t go hard, or to at least do some form of exercise (biking or the elliptical for instance) to keep your legs going. I feel like my mistake was that I didn’t keep moving enough afterwards. I also used to always have a rest day after my long run day and now I’ve found that I recover so much faster with a very easy recovery run of 3-5 miles the day after to keep my legs from getting too tight. I hope that helps! Also, I would keep all my runs for the next week or two pretty easy since you did just run a whole marathon!

    • Thanks for the advice. Congrats on your marathon, and thanks for the congrats on mine. I’m just a bit worn down. I have run two short runs in the past week, so I am getting some slow running in. All in due time, right?

  5. I agree with everyones advice but have to say that resting puts me on edge and I’m afraid if I stop running I’ll not get my mojo back so take it easy but not too easy and always remember to enjoy every step you take running.

  6. Rest! As much as I know you don’t want to hear it, it sounds to me like you need rest! I know that is easier said than done 🙂 Maybe a leisurely walk or some gentle yoga? Eat well, get lots of sleep & try to give your mind & body the recovery they need. My two cents 🙂

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