Half Marathon Recovery Plan: 2 Tricks For Faster Recovery!

Your training is only as valuable as the recovery you’re taking throughout it. One HUGE component of half marathon training is learning to balance exertion with rest. Today, we will cover our two favorite strategies for optimizing your half marathon recovery while you prepare for race day.

Half Marathon Recovery Plan-2 Tricks For Faster Recovery!

Half Marathon Recovery: Your Training Doesn’t Have To Wreck Your Body

half marathon recovery

If you’re reading this, my guess is that you’ve either already signed up for a half marathon (perhaps your FIRST HALF MARATHON FIRST EVER) or are considering doing so. Congrats! We are here to help you from your first training run, to the finish line, to recovering post-race day.

There’s no doubt about it…training for a half marathon is a different experience than NOT training for a half marathon. You’re going to need energy, strength, willpower, race recovery planning, ways to deal with muscle soreness, and a good understanding of your body’s limits.

And there’s no reason you can’t have it all!

You’re going to be working hard and putting in a good number of miles over the course of a few months. If you haven’t yet found a plan for this, might we suggest taking a look at our 8 week half marathon training plan?

Instead of allowing your body to be beaten down by this increased volume of training, read on for our FAVORITE half marathon training recovery tricks!

Half Marathon Recovery: Trick #1

Do NOT be afraid to walk!

Half marathon training includes lots of lengthy runs, many of which should be run at slow to moderate speeds, teaching your body how to aerobically adapt to moving for a long period of time, similar to training for a full marathon.

Believe it or not, most of the time, you are the one who dictates how fatigued and sore you are after a run.

Sure, other factors exist:

  • You didn’t get much sleep
  • You need to hydrate more. Drink more water or sports drinks (especially after longer runs).
  • You ate something that didn’t sit well–loading up on carbs right before a race isn’t necessarily going to make you feel light on your feet.
  • You’re working through an injury without incorporating rest or cross-training that reduces the high impact of running on your legs so much.
  • You aren’t doing enough self-care to replenish your body. This includes proper nutrition, taking care of your muscles, and getting enough rest.

Training tip: If you have sore muscles after a hard run, try an ice bath. They aren’t all that comfortable, but they work wonders for healing leg pain.

But the reality here is that YOU are in the driver’s seat. Your speed and run mechanics (form) are ENTIRELY up to you every single time you step out of the door.

So…take control!

Take a 15-30 second WALK BREAK every three minutes during your run.

marathon recovery plan

Walking helps to:

  • Monitor your speed, in case you were running unsustainably fast
  • Promote active recovery–you’re still moving, but you’re getting your heart rate down a bit and recovering before you start running again.
  • Reset your arm swing
  • Reset the pulling mechanics of your stride
  • Straighten out your toes to face directly front
  • Remind you to stay tall
  • Remind you to find a tight core

As a rule of thumb, remember that coming out of the gate too fast causes us to start hunching over and shuffling, creating more opportunities for poor movement patterns and increased soreness. Start slow and build up to your optimal speed after warming up gradually.

Increased soreness means less motivation to train the next day. And the downward spiral continues.

Half Marathon Recovery: Trick #2

Put your legs up!

half marathon recovery plan

One GREAT way to “press the reset button” on your nervous system and oxygen level in your legs is to get upside down.

Like we mentioned before, your half marathon training will add up quick. In the beginning, you’ll notice that your body is having trouble keeping up with all of the new work you’re putting in.

So why not find a way to be ACTIVE in getting the body back to neutral QUICKLY?

Try this:

After your run OR at the end of the day, put your legs up on the wall for 10 minutes. 

Best half marathon recovery plan

That’s it. Relax. Instagram your workout, read a book, write in your training journal, call your mom.

Gravity and the support of the wall will drive the blood and oxygen back into your legs and hips, making for less inflammation and more energy for your next workout.

post marathon recovery

Use these tricks to minimize your recovery time so that you can get the MOST out of your half marathon training and stay INJURY FREE.

Remember…It’s a (half) marathon, not a sprint 🙂

Looking for a place to put these tips to use? Check out our comprehensive Half Marathon Training Guide. Don’t forget to download our new mobile app for access to coaching advice, daily video workouts, injury prevention tips, and complete training programs that will help motivate and inspire your training program!