Marathon training – you can say I disregard the common practice. If you’ve read any of my posts, you will clearly see that I do not follow the norms. Running to me has been a pleasurable activity from the start and I failed to conform to the accepted standards. I have never followed any training plans, nor have I been successful in applying any logic to my training. Training – now there is a word I very much dislike to use. I simply go out and run. Sure, from time to time, I try to apply some principles or innovations to my running but never would I actually call it training. However, when it comes to recovery, that is a different story all together. Or maybe not. What I am about to uncover, is one of the best kept secrets in marathon recovery… To tell the truth, I have not come across another runner, who uses this. I have heard of professional sports people but never have I met one. What I am about to uncover is one of the best kept secrets, yet it is available to all!
Have you ever heard of this term? Do you know what D.O.M.S. stands for? For every runner who has run farther then they initially thought they could run, they would have experienced DOMS…. Actually, not only runners experience this…. Practically all athletes do. So what is DOMS? Delayed onset muscle soreness – fancy name for sore muscles. How does it come about? You do exercise above your regular routine and 24 hours later you feel sore – that’s probably the best short explanation of it. Is there any way to avoid it? Not really – but there is an amazing way to speed up the process of recovery…. Magic I tell you!
Recovering from D.O.M.S.
Alright, it is not magic, it is science. What does D.O.M.S. really mean? It is mainly about the waste produced by the muscles. All this waste needs to be disposed off. Question is, how to quickly go through this process? Deep breathing is one way. I have not explored this method sufficiently, hence I cannot comment on it, however, proper breathing techniques can speed up recovery as it helps to release the carbon dioxide. However, D.O.M.S. is more about clearing lactic acid. One of the biggest mistakes most runners make is the sudden stop once they reach the finish line. This is probably the biggest mistake one can make. When you stop after running a marathon, your veins constrict, and all the waste produced by the body has no outlet. This leads to cramps and muscle soreness. The best thing to do after a marathon or a long run is to walk it off. The more you do this, the better the recovery.
The Magic Pill
I am all about natural methods, however, I am very open minded. Technology, in many ways, has improved our lives and it can help (if used properly) to improve health. How does this relate to running? I would have probably not come across this amazing device, had my mom not mentioned it in one of our conversations. Originally, Firefly has been designed for medical purposes, however, after years of research, it has made its way into the sports world. I understand, it is still not available to the masses in all places – living in the UK, I am able to buy it without any problems. I hope it will soon be available to everyone all over the world. Do I have any interests in Firefly? I only wish – however, I am so excited about it, that I praise it whenever and wherever I can!
What is is? Black magic – I think not! However, it is hard to believe such a simple device can do such wonders. How does it work? The simplest way to describe it, is that once you attach the device to the back of your knee, your foot starts shifting involuntary. This seems puzzling, however, if you start questioning the science behind it, it starts making sense. How is that? We all know that the heart is the main pump of blood in our body. However, it is not the only pump we have. One of the other major pumps is located behind the knee. Firefly Recovery activates this pump, which helps to reach the muscle tissues. The main problem with muscle soreness is caused by left over waste. The rubbish, garbage, crap that has been processed and kicked out by the muscles. It’s similar to breathing. It’s not all about taking in the fresh air, it’s about exhaling the carbon dioxide – the waste from our body. Hence the question, how can this process be sped up?
Speeding Up Recovery!
I will cut out the crap and the science and theory and everything around the topic. Hear my story out!
I tried out Firefly Recovery several times. I will not bore you with the initial experiences. It is the marathon phase that I want to share! My first marathon. Paris! Time – sorry for the language, shit! 3h54m. Preparation – even bigger s*it! The month leading up to the marathon, 60 miles (100km). From a perspective of any respectable runner, I should not have been there, nor completed it in such a time. However, despite the disappointment, I was thrilled. Thrilled to run in such a wonderful place and thrilled that I had finished it in the time I had, despite the total lack of preparation. I tell you one thing, I have never tasted oranges so sweet and perfect as I had after the run! I was thrilled. The only thing I wanted to do after the run was to take off my shoes and walk on grass. Now, Paris is an amazing place and there is a huge turnout. I knew that there was no chance for me to walk anywhere near the finish line barefoot, so I got my family to follow me to the Trocadero – about 2km walk from the finish line – to be honest, not a bad thought to cool down. Once we reached the wonderful lawn outside the Eiffel Tower, I took off my shoes and felt as if I was walking on clouds. I could have stayed there forever. Ten minutes later, we were chased away buy a warden, who appeared from nowhere and said that unless we move off the grass, we will be issued with a penalty ticket. Nice!
One thing I forgot to mention. Once we reached Trocadero – I decided to put on the Firefly Recovery device on. I knew it would be a godsend! We stayed there for around an hour and moved on to the Latin Quarter to have something to eat. We were in Paris – I could not resist having fine wine and cheese to celebrate my accomplishment. Throughout the afternoon and evening, I kept Firefly Recovery device on.
I like competition. I love satisfaction! Sounds cool, doesn’t it. I do not want to sound conceited, however, little boosts of personal pride do make life more enjoyable. About two hours after completing my marathon I ended up being on the metro (subway). There were other runners there, riding in the carriages. It was amazing seeing them once they exited. First mistake they made was to sit down. Despite having the advantage of the miracle D.O.M.S. recovery device, I knew very well that sitting down was not an option – turns out, most people don’t know about this. The moment they stood up, it was like watching a sloth – every step seemed to take eternity and the effort put in it seemed very straining. Me, sure, I did not resemble Gerald Butler as King Leonidas in 300, however, I did stand taller than Johnny Depp as Jack Sparrow! What made me even prouder – whilst wearing my medal and finisher’s shirt- was the fact, that several hours after the race, I managed to run down the stairs of the metro and received applause from passersby. I was chuffed!
Icing On The Cake!
Ok! As I mentioned, Paris was sh@t! At least by my expectations. Fair enough, I was aiming for a much better time than one can expect with such miserable preparations, yet I was not very pleased. Recovery, spot on. The run – below par! So what does one do? Trust me, approaching the finish line in Paris, I was thinking – no way, I am not running a marathon for a long time. Bullsh*t! If you are a runner, you know the feeling. Things change very quickly. I don’t think more than three weeks passed before I changed my mind. It was not because I was disappointed with my result. It was because I knew I could do better. What was more motivating, was the few pages I read in Jeff Galloway’s book. It was a real shame I came across this chapter just after running the Paris Marathon. Galloway proposes a run / walk method. It was something I practiced early on in my running – a Stu Mittleman method. Galloway breaks it down even more. As usual, I put my own twist on it. I decided to try out a 2km run and 30 second walk. Three weeks after running my marathon, I tried out Galloway’s method on a 30 km run. It was a miracle. It worked. I think the wine is kicking in and I am losing track of what I want to get across – the recovery. Want to learn about Galloway’s method? Click here.
7 Weeks Later
As I mentioned above, I will not get into the details about improving my marathon time. What I want to underline, is the recovery. Cutting things short, I managed to run my second marathon over 15 minutes fasted 7 weeks later. Again, this is not the main story. What was amazing, was the recovery. Oh, sorry, I forgot to mention a very important fact. 18 hours after finishing my first marathon in Paris I had to drive home back to London – 500km (300 miles). Yes, that’s right, I was driving. To tell you the truth, this was nothing, compared to what I did 7 weeks later.
This was not a high profile marathon. Heck, all I wanted, was just to run one. I could not care less where it was. Hence, I chose a marathon with just over 200 runners. A bit of hills, nevertheless, a marathon. Yes, its was challenging! Yes, it was fun! Yes, I did try something new! I care not to give a rundown of it, what I want to acknowledge, is the marathon recovery!
You are a novice, you feel it was amazing for me to drive for over 6 hours straight, less than 18 hours after completing a marathon! READ ON! I have a better story to tell! My second marathon. An improvement of over 15 minutes in 7 weeks. A marathon to which I had to travel two and a half hours – and another 30 minutes. I ran, I improved my time, I finished! I rested for 30 minutes. Returned to my car. Put on Firefly Recovery device and 30 minutes later, I drove off. I drove for over two hours, with the device on (not recommended). An amateur – that is what I am – that is what you are! What would you expect to happen? D.O.M.S.? Let’s get down to reality. Forget the fancy names, you would expect to be in pain. Remember trying to sit down on the toilet? Forget everything else, sitting down is probably the hardest thing you would have to do.
This is why I was determined to get the device on. I figured that even 30 minutes of having Firefly on would be better than nothing. Driving was never an option, however, I was pressed for time. I figured that if here was any danger at all, I could simply switch it off. Again, I want to underline, that this was not the first time that I had used the device. I would not recommend driving with it on, however, I leave it up to you. What was more important to me, was being able to get out of the car two hours later. Hence, I kept Firefly Recovery on. I stopped at a store. I would not say that I jumped out of the car. I got out and made my way in to the store. I felt uneasiness. However, I was comfortable. 3 hours after completing a marathon and being seated for 2 hours, I could not complain. D.O.M.S. builds up for 24 hours. I kept the device on for about 6 hours. 24 hours after the run, I felt as I would do after a 10km run. 36 hours later, I felt no uneasiness. Now that is special. I challenge everyone apart from the world’s elite to tell me that 36 hours after running a marathon they feel normal. Not possible. Not possible without a little help! This is not something damaging, something illegal, something compared to Lance Armstrong’s blood transfusions during Tour de France. This is science! This is technology! This is biology! The only thing Firefly Recovery does is it gets the crap, the waste, the garbage out of your body! Easiest way to explain it. Try getting on a bike after running a marathon and ride it at a comfortable pace for 2 to 3 hours. This is what Firefly Recovery does. It helps to clear out the left over deposits out of the system. What is best about it, you can sit down and enjoy a pint, a drink, a nap, whatever celebration ritual you may have – you can go with it and not worry! The body – it does wonders with a little stimuli!
I wish Firefly Recovery would pay me to promote it because I swear blindly by it. It pays me nothing, yet I wish everyone running a marathon tries it. Using it is like giving the finger to all the doubters – giving the finger and a knockout punch at the same time!!!