This blog is possibly a little late as everyone has likely started training for their fall goal races but I thought I would post it anyways. There are two parts to this blog the first being recovery at the end of a training cycle the next being recovery within the training cycle.
Part 1: REST… every runner’s least favourite part of the training cycle.
This part of the training cycle is what is going to make your next training cycle successful and better than the previous one. So it is absolutely mandatory you take some recovery after a season. I have found that a lot of runners are not taking enough recovery after a season full of races.
The appropriate amount is slightly personal for example I will take two weeks with 10-11 days off within the two weeks and by off I mean nothing. I would suggest at minimum of 7 days off but this is of course dependent on what you completed in the previous season
Better to take some absolute time off and be able to get back into training full force compared to easy running for a week and feeling the fatigue of the previous season as you train for the next one.
Here is a link to a great article I have been giving to everyone by Alex Hutchinson. He does a great job of reminding us that your legs are not going to suddenly forget how to run fast.
Part 2: Recovery while in a training cycle
This includes taking days off throughout the cycle to let the body adapt to the stresses being placed on it. Without adaptation we get failure and that can mean injury.
As the graph above depicts the body has a threshold at the lower end and upper end of adaptation. In order to get faster we need to cause adaptation so we want to surpass the first line (green) but where we run into trouble if when we pass the upper line (red). This can happen if the body is not given adequate amount of time to recover.
It is also important to not always be running as hard as you can. Some of your runs the ‘easy’ ones should be at a max heart rate of 145bpm, you should be able to easily carry on a conversation without being out of breath. It should be more than a minute slower than goal marathon pace… I know this is slow and trust me it is tough to do but it will make the quality workouts that much better. The more recovered you can be for workouts the faster you can go in workouts… the faster you can go in races!!
Tools that can be helpful in recovery are:
–sleep– get it! No excuses 8-9hrs per night to help in injury prevention
–day off– this is a little different for everyone but there should be days off worked into your training cycle
–active stretching post workouts & runs
–Alter G treadmill– if you are having a tough training week and feeling tired the alter G treadmill is a great way to deload the legs but not miss out on mileage
–recovery boots– these boots work on circulation by compressing and releasing the legs
–manual therapy– such as chiro and massage can help you recover as well