First of all, congratulations to everyone who finished today’s 19 mile run. The elevation gain today was the same as it will be for the full marathon, which means that if you did all that climbing over a shorter distance, i.e., more climbing per mile than the actual marathon, you can feel very confident in your ability to run the entire course. Today you proved to yourself that you can do it. And, instead of ending the run with a challenging uphill like we had today, the end of the LA Marathon will be far easier. Miles 24 and 25 will be downhill, and mile 26 and that last 0.2 will be flat with lots of crowd energy to power you to the finish line.
Now it’s recovery time. Your body worked hard, and it needs time and the right inputs to rebuild. Take it easy on Monday and Tuesday, and check the schedule for this week’s training. Be sure to consume lots of good carbs and protein, replenish your electrolytes, and drink plenty of water. The sooner you do this after a run, the better. (Trust me, I learned that the hard way.) When you do a long run (15 miles or more), you are probably burning more calories than you are consuming, and at some point your body will start breaking down muscle tissue to provide some of the energy you need. That’s why it’s so important to eat protein right away. That’s what repairs those muscles. The carbohydrates are necessary to rebuild your energy stores; the electrolytes restore your body chemistry for optimal function, and the water is necessary to keep you properly hydrated. If you take good care of your body after a long challenging run, you’ll feel a whole lot better in days that follow.