Zero Week – Post Marathon Recovery

I ran a marathon yesterday.IMG_2401

I know you might already be aware, but I just needed to say that out loud. Or rather, write it on my blog.

I woke up today feeling sore, which is obviously expected. My knees and quads hurt when I go from sitting to standing or vice versa. And I’m pretty sure at least one of my toe nails is a goner.

Now it is Zero Week – the week after a marathon. I have read that you should take it easy one day for every mile of the race and Hal Higdon’s Zero week plan says the same thing.

I am going to follow along on his Zero Week plan to some degree:

Monday:No running today! No exercise of any kind! Take it easy.”

Tuesday: No Running. I wish I would have scheduled a massage for this day, but that’s a no go.

Wednesday:No running! And don’t substitute cross-training in a mistaken belief that it will help you maintain fitness. You may be able to swim or cycle more easily than run because you’ll be using somewhat different muscles, but you still need rest-rest-rest to allow all your muscles to recover. Starting to train too soon can delay that recovery. You earned this period of rest. Take it!”

Thursday: “Okay, you’re cleared to run again, but don’t overdo it. The Thursday workout for Novice runners the week before the marathon (Week 18 in my program) was 2 miles of gentle jogging. That sounds about right for Zero Week too. Intermediate and advanced runners might do a bit more, but see how your body feels.”

Friday: “The best cross-training discipline for a recovering marathoner is simple walking. Don’t underestimate the value of this activity. Go at most 2-3 miles.”

Saturday: 6 miles

I have two races coming up in November, one in December and I’m not sure from there. I need to write up a training program for those with recovery and new goals in mind.My next half marathon is in 27 days, so I want to make sure to give myself enough rest, while preparing for that race too. That will be coming soon.

This morning I made a big plate of pancakes for breakfast. Thrown in the blender: egg beaters, oat bran, baking soda, pumpkin pie spice, pumpkin, chia seeds, stevia, vanilla. Cooked with sliced banana.IMG_2433

These were some of the best pancakes I’ve ever made. Ben was already at work to I ate them in silence at the table  completely savoring every bite. It really was a Happy Meal. IMG_2439 

Question of the day: How many toe nails will I end up losing? Thoughts?IMG_2441


  1. says

    I read your race report late last night, and I just wanted to say YOU DID GREAT! (even if it wasn’t exactly what you were aiming for…) I’m not sure if I’ve ever commented here, but I’ve been reading for quite a while now.

    (btw, your pancakes look magnificent. YUM!)

  2. says

    I haven’t run a marathon but running Hood to Coast was big for me. 17 miles (the most I’ve ever done). I was crippled the day after and could barely move. The second day I was getting better. I swam that second day just fine, the third day I swam and by that forth day I wasn’t sore at all!

  3. says

    I’m following Hal’s plan for the Zero Week, too. I am still on a marathon high, but I can feel the post-race blues starting to creep in. I’m very upset because the November half-marys in the area are closed out!

    I’m sure you will rock those late fall races!

  4. Kianni says

    😯 Pancakes! I tried to make tofu pancakes yesterday with wheat bran, silken tofu, egg whites etc…but they were a fail. it was more like a cinnamon-e tofu scramble >_<"" Do you mind giving the measurement for your pancakes? O.O

  5. Ida says

    I hope you don’t lose more than one toenail! I ran nikewomen’s on sunday, and i think i’m going to steal your zero week training plan. Rest is key right now for sure!

  6. Maddie says

    Congratulations Monica! I’m a fairly new runner (distance, anyways), and hope I can work my way up to a half-marathon and then eventually a marathon. I love reading your blog, keep up the good work!

  7. says

    Congrats again on the marathon! Like I said on Twitter, you are my hero. You really amaze me with everything you accomplish. Hubby and I are walking the Reggae Marathon 1/2 this Dec. and I’m finally looking forward to it. This past weekend we walked over 10 miles so now I know I can do it and not feel like I’m going to die the next day LOL

    The toe thing scares me but I should be OK walking right? I already have a bruise on one big toe from all the walking but I sure hope that is all.

  8. Kellie says

    What half are you doing? I am looking for a half (couldn’t afford to do Long Beach) and I am finally injury free. Let me know.

  9. says

    Haha, you’re brave for posting a pic of your feet. Mine are too gross. I already have lost at least two — in one case, there is a toenail growing over the other toenail. Ewwwww.

    I predict that you lose two.

  10. says

    I’ll bet you’ll lose at least one but hopefully no more than two! Enjoy your “rest days” it sounds like you’ll need them with your upcoming races.

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