As a runner, you might think that pushing yourself to your limits is the key to achieving your personal bests. However, did you know that taking it easy is just as important for reaching your running goals? Enter the recovery run, a crucial element in any runner’s training regimen, whether you’re preparing for a marathon or simply looking to improve your endurance.
So, what is a recovery run?
Running easy runs at a shorter distance or slower speed than normal is a form of active recuperation for runners. Within twenty-four hours of a high-intensity “key run,” recovery runs are performed, requiring you to work out in a pre-fatigued state. Despite the fact that recovery runs do not directly repair your muscles or lower lactic acid buildup, they do provide a number of additional beneficial benefits that can improve your running.
What speed is ideal for a recovery run?
Depending on the type of runner you are, the speed of your recovery run should be between 50 and 75 percent of your typical three-mile pace, or one to two minutes slower per mile.
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To execute a successful recovery run, follow these steps:
First, run hard: Recovery runs are most beneficial after a challenging exercise. Wait 24 hours after your previous hard run before trying your recovery run if you’re training for a half-marathon or another running competition.
Choose a level route: To prevent overexertion, choose a reasonably flat route for your recovery run, such as a running track.
Reduce your speed: Your recovery run should excite rather than exhaust your body. Maintain a conversational pace, which is roughly half to three-quarters of your typical training run speed.
Keep it short: Your recovery run should only last between 20 to 45 minutes.
What are the Benefits of Recovery Runs?
Incorporating recovery runs into your training regimen can be a game-changer, and here’s why:
Enhances mental health: Running at a moderate pace can help you unwind and calm your body much more than a strenuous workout can. The endorphin release will also make you feel better physically and psychologically. Knowing that you have to take it slow will help you get out of your brain.
Increases your blood circulation: Improved circulation can help flush out waste that can inhibit your body’s ability to perform. It can also keep your muscles from getting too stiff the next day after a hard session, which can help reduce pain or soreness.
Improves your performance: Recovery runs help raise your fitness level by pushing you to work through your lingering fatigue and helping you break through your exercise walls. These runs also rely on proper pacing, which can help you become a better runner over time.
Enhances your running form: By exercising at a slower pace during a recovery run, you have more time to concentrate on your running technique. You can work on enhancing components of your run, such as elbow or arm mobility or posture when you’re less concerned with pace or distance.
In conclusion, incorporating recovery runs into your training regimen can have numerous benefits that can help you become a better runner. So, if you want to achieve your running goals, remember to take it easy and recover just as hard as you train.