When we’re on that last stretch of a race, we GO for it! Because sometimes it’s not until after crossing the finish line that our bodies are finally able to fully relax. For elite runners like Amy Hastings, the post-marathon recovery time is one of the few weeks where nutrition, pace and mileage are less rigorous, where relaxation and celebration take top priority.
We sat down with Amy to see how her week has been going and asked her to share her post-marathon recovery rituals.
Give us the big picture. What does the week after a marathon, “zero week,” look like for you?
A zero week for me is exactly what it sounds like! I don’t run or cross train at all for at least one week (longer if the race or season took more of a toll on my body than expected). After that, I might start running 20 minutes every other day for another week. By week three I am usually ready to go!
After getting off the plane, where do we go from here?
Here’s the hilarious but very accurate snapshot of my typical week:
- Monday: Walking backwards down the steps in the airport and eating everything I can get my hands on.
- Tuesday: My exercise for the day was answering the door for the pizza delivery girl.
- Wednesday: Ice bath in the Atlantic!
- Thursday: Catching up on all of the stuff I was to exhausted to do the month before my marathon!
- Friday: BBQ and beer with the Providence crew!
- Saturday: Massage and Chiro to start prepping my body for the next training segment.
- Sunday: 20 minute jog! Brutal!
No matter what city you find yourself in, after conquering the course, what’s the one meal that you’re willing to go the extra mile for?
Irish breakfast and beer — the best mind and body recovery food! If not, Eggs Benedict is a good replacement!
Who do you reconnect with first after coming home?
My cat, Finn! Win or loose he is always happy to see me.
What’s on your grocery shopping list, once settled in?
Yes! Time to stock up on recovery foods!! During my downtime I eat only what my body is craving –which tends to consist mostly of cheese. Not sure if I would call that the best body recovery food, but it’s a good brain recovery food for a long season.
What’s on your post-race playlist?
I like to go mellow the first few days, then as my energy comes back, the energy in the my music gets amped up too! I had the song “All About That Bass” in my head for a good portion of the race — which was awesome! You can change “bass” to “pace” or “race” in your head too. It works great for when you’re ready to get back into running!
When traveling for a marathon, do you have any special traditions?
My mom, sister and I have a tradition where, whenever we go to a new place, we get each other the tackiest magnets we can find as gifts. My fridge is covered!
Favorite recovery smoothie recipe… Go!
Strawberries, bananas, yogurt and a secret ingredient. The secret ingredient is Nutella. It’s always Nutella.
Favorite recovery activity that you wouldn’t otherwise have time for?
I try to make the most of my down time by exploring different parts of New England. I like to go on day trips to see what cool things are in my area.
Congratulations on an excellent finish in Chicago, Amy!
What’s your favorite post-marathon tradition? Share it in the comments, below. We love to hear from you!