The day after my long run is always dedicated to…
Recovery is one of the most important keys to training; runners (or any athletes) need to give their bodies a chance to repair themselves after their hard workouts. Without the recovery process, runners wouldn’t reap the benefits of the workouts they are performing.
Think about it like this: improvement that is seen over time develops during the recovery periods, so cutting that recovery period short actually hinders the potential of that runner by not allowing him/her to recover at their highest potential.
Recovery Starts The Second You Stop Running
- The body begins its recovery process from any particular workout immediately.
- The first 30-60 minutes after a workout is the optimal time to refuel the body.
- Runners should take advantage of this window and begin eating and drinking right after the end of a workout. Replenishing carbohydrates and giving the body protein within the first 30 to 60 minutes can greatly impact how fast your body will recover. It is said that the optimal ratio for carbohydrates to protein is 4:1, but any balanced meal will do. Just make sure you are getting some carbs, some protein, and some fat.
Time Between Hard Workouts
- Runners need to make sure that they are allowing enough time (around 48 hours) between their more intense workouts or long runs. Providing this buffer time between these workouts, which should be spent resting, running, or cross training, will help give the body time to recover from the last workout before tackling another one.
- Shortening the recovery time can lead less than stellar performance in the upcoming workout, which completely negates the whole purpose of the workout. Lacking adequate recovery between workouts can lead to over-training or a decline in performance over time. Trust me on this one; I have been down that road and it definitely isn’t pretty.
- Avoid performing hard sessions on successive days. If you run long or fast one day, take a rest or recovery day the next day.
- Don’t increase your mileage by more than 10 percent over the course of a week. For example, if you run 20 miles one week, you should not increase your mileage for the next week by more than two miles.
This should get you started:
- A recovery run can be as long and fast as you want, as long as it does not affect your performance in your next training session.
- Whenever you run again within 24 hours of a hard workout, your next run should be a recovery run.
- A little experimentation is needed to find the best distance and pace for each individual runner. What might work for me might not work for you.
What are some of your recovery run tips?
Running: 7 miles (very easy)
Cycling: 45 minutes (very easy)
On recovery days, my feet always look like this
Are you a fan of compression socks? I basically live in mine!