This Workout Wednesday is all about taking it easy–well, not too easy but easy enough to call this week’s workout a recovery run. With the big CIGNA Falmouth Road Race running this Sunday, August 15, it’s important that runners feel refreshed and ready for the hot, hilly and hard 7 miles along the Cape. Recovery runs are an essential part of any training program, so make sure to get ready to go hard this weekend at Falmouth!
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Recovery runs are arguably just as important as tempo runs, hills and intervals in any runner’s workout regimen. These runs should come the day after a harder effort in order to facilitate recovery and increase your body’s overall ability to handle a higher training volume. Essentially, running is a “push-pull” sport: if you push yourself one day, you must pull back the next, allowing your body to learn how to handle fatigue in two different scenarios.
Hard workouts make you tired during and after, but recovery runs force your body to run when you are tired from the start. You should never feel fresh before a recovery run, and keep in mind that if you run less than 5 times a week, there is no need for you to incorporate a recovery run. These shorter, slower and more conversationally-paced efforts are meant for those runners deep in training.
Studies have shown that incorporating recovery runs on a 1:1 ratio with hard workouts actually increase one’s running endurance and overall fitness. Due to running in a “pre-fatigued state” for revovery runs, you will garner the benefits from the seemingly lesser effort (you may run shorter and slower, but it sure won’t feel that way!).
It’s impossible to improve and stay injury-free by attempting to increase both your running volume and intensity at the same time. However, since both factors need focus during training, recovery runs serve as a perfectly placed workout to allow you to include higher volume and intense efforts on specific days. Recovery runs serve as mileage, but also are tame enough to get your body ready for what’s to come.
Include recovery runs in the heart of your training, but avoid scheduling them during your base mileage phase when all efforts tend to be longer and moderate. Don’t be scared to run an exaggerated slow pace for your recovery run as this will allow you to run longer mileage for the day without hurting your next day’s harder effort.
With over 10,000 elite and recreational runners ready to take on the notoriously hilly, hot and humid CIGNA Falmouth Road Race course on Sunday, August 15, 2010 at 10:00 am, it’s important to make sure you’re ready to run your best. The 7 mile race will include men’s and women’s defending champions Tilahun Regassa and Mamitu Daska, ING New York City Marathon winner Meb Keflezighi and four-time Boston Marathon winner Catherine Ndereba.