I'm 3 weeks post marathon, and if I were to guess my muscle recovery is nearing 100%. They say a day of recovery for every mile raced, and that may not be far off.
I've been feeling good doing consecutive, short (3-5 miles) faster than normal workouts that are progressively getting longer and faster. I start out each morning by taking Sumo for a stop and go slow 2 mile jog.
After a week off and a couple of shake out runs, here is what my progression looks like over the last 2 weeks (the marathon was on Mar 21)
28th...3 miles at 7:51 pace
29th...3 miles at 7:07 pace
30th...4 miles at 7:35 pace
31th...4 miles at 7:20 pace
1st...4 miles at 7:24 pace
2nd....5 miles at 7:11 pace
3nd....8 miles at 7:30 pace
5th....3 miles at 6:27 pace
6th....5 miles at 7:28 pace
7th....5 miles at 7:27 pace
8th....5 miles at 6:43 pace
9th....6 miles at 7:01 pace
So much for the hard easy principle, but following a marathon I don't want to go too hard anyway. This is consistent, middle of the road training short enough to allow recovery yet hard enough to provide a good stimulus.
My hope is that when longer runs and sub 6 min pace intervals resume, workouts will be slightly faster with no increased effort. The only glitch to that theory is warm weather- All bets will then be off for maintaining a faster pace for long runs.
Note: I wear light weight trainers or racing flats on the days I try to average sub 7 min miles- it makes a significant difference.