A recovery run in running is a form of active recovery that involves easy runs at a shorter distance or slower pace than usual. It is typically performed within 24 hours of a hard training run, such as the day after a speed workout or long run.
The purpose of a recovery run is to aid with the recovery process after a hard workout, without eliciting muscle damage or the need for extra recovery. Recovery runs are performed at a low intensity, typically at a pace that is 50-75% of your normal pace, and should generally be capped at approximately 20-30 minutes in duration.
These runs are intended to increase blood flow to the muscles and remove waste, contributing to faster recovery, injury mitigation, and improved running performance. While recovery runs add to the overall training mileage, they are not meant to be high-intensity workouts, but rather an opportunity to top-up weekly mileage while keeping the run easy and relaxing.
To put it simply, a recovery run is a gentler, less intense run compared to regular training runs, aimed at helping your body recuperate from more strenuous workouts or races. These runs vary in form, from short, easy jogs to longer runs at a relaxed pace.
BENEFITS OF RECOVERY RUNS
- Muscle Repair: After intense workouts, muscles need repair. Recovery runs boost blood flow, aiding in muscle repair and nutrient delivery, reducing inflammation and soreness.
- Injury Prevention: By running at a slower pace, you reduce strain on your muscles and joints, lowering the risk of overuse injuries common in high-intensity training.
- Adaptation: These runs help your body gradually adapt to running demands without added stress.
HOW TO DO A RECOVERY RUN
- Keep It Easy: The pace should be comfortable enough to maintain a conversation.
- Timing: Ideally, do a recovery run the day after a hard workout or race. Some runners might prefer every other day, depending on their needs.
Incorporating recovery runs into your training routine is key for staying in shape, preventing injuries, and preparing for your next training session or race. They allow you to stay active while also supporting your body's healing process.
RECOVERY RUN FAQs
Recovery runs should be done after high-intensity workouts or hard efforts, such as tempo runs, hill repeats, track intervals, long runs, or races. As a general rule of thumb, most runners should plan a recovery run for the day after these hard workouts. Recovery runs are typically performed at a low intensity, at a pace that is 50-75% of your normal pace, and should generally be capped at approximately 20-40 minutes in duration, or roughly 2-5 miles, depending on your level of fitness, weekly mileage, and the race distance you're training for. It's important to adjust the duration and intensity of recovery runs based on individual fitness levels and training schedules.