This is a bit different than after a spring marathon. After a spring marathon, you usually have a fall race lined up, and you just continue on with your training to get ready for that. With a fall marathon though, we often don't yet have our race schedule for the spring figured out yet, and even if we do, it's usually a long way off. Here are a couple of ideas of things to do in the weeks after your fall race.
- REST!!!! Take some time to recover! There's always the tempation to look at the fitness level you've got right now, and then try to build on that right away so you continue to get faster. Pretty much everyone who has done any amount of training and racing has faced that. Now is the perfect time though to take a few weeks for your body to recover. Training for and racing marathons puts a huge amount of stress on your body- you're so much better off to recover properly and avoid injury rather than push on with the training. If you are still going to do some more fall races (there's nothing wrong with that) maybe try not to think of them as goal races- just run them as best you can while being mindful that you're recently run a marathon and you really don't want to injure yourself.
- PLAN- While you have a bit of down time, think about what your goals for next year are, and how you can acheive them. Long distance running favours the patient, and it takes a lot of time to acheive your goals. When looking at races for next year, try to work them into your schedule so that they contribute toward your long term goals. For example, if you know that you have a goal marathon in May, try to find a 1/2 Marathon 4 or 5 weeks before that where you can test your fitness. Another idea is to schedule some 5K races to give yourself some good speed training.
- RUN FOR FUN- This is a big one! We sometimes forget the reason we run- because we like to! I know, there are other reasons, such as maintaining fitness, weight loss, competetiveness- but we really should enjoy what we do. Take some time to not worry about your pace or your distance- just get out there and enjoy yourself. Maybe hit some trails, or run with slower friends who you might not normally run with because they can't hit your training paces.
The fall is such a great time of the year- the temperatures are usually lower, there is often less humidity, the fall colours are beautiful (at least they are in the part of the world I live in). Even though your main running event for the year may be finished, ther