When I first started running, I’d always end my week with my long run, then take the next day off. This worked fine, but a few years back I started experimenting with a shorter, very easy run the day after my long runs. This has been routine ever since because I find I get much more out of it than pure rest.
Making a run into a good recovery run, however, takes some trial and error. Here are my suggestions for getting the most out of this run:
- Do it the day after a hard workout (either a long run or speed work)
- Pick an easy route, nothing to hilly, if possible
- Make it short–no more than about six or seven miles
- Do it alone so that you don’t get lured into running faster than you should
- Unless–you run with someone who is a slower runner than you (this can be a great opportunity to run with someone with whom you might not otherwise train)
- Leave the Garmin at home. Tune into your body instead
- Take this time to focus on form and landing quietly
Recovery runs are sometimes my favorite runs. Who doesn’t love an easy carefree run? But after, my legs always feel “cleared out” and ready to move on to harder training again. If you don’t’ have recovery runs in your routine, give one a try and see if it doesn’t make a difference in your overall running.
Do you incorporate recovery runs into your routine?
If you entered my giveaway for the Altra Zero Drops, random.org picked number 99, which is Katherine at Neon Blonde Runner! Congrats Katherine–email me and we’ll get you in touch with Altra.