There is a saying stress + rest = progress. That’s why recovery days are just as important for runners as the training itself.
At least, if the goal is to get faster or stronger, of course.
In addition to giving the body time to rest and adjust, it is also an opportunity to slow down and think. Now would be a good time to open your training journal, list things that went well, things that didn’t go well, think about the week ahead, and adjust the plan as needed.
Recovery days for runners
Every athlete treats recovery days differently. For some, it means training in a very light mode, e.g. in Zone 1, while others consider it a full day off. The latter also helps to take a mental break from a particular sport and come back really refreshed.
But one thing remains true for all athletes: it is best to keep moving on rest days as it speeds up recovery processes. Light exercise promotes blood flow (but doesn’t add too much intensity), which helps flush waste from the body (toxins, lactic acid) and normalize internal processes.
Can you train on rest days
So, recovery days don’t necessarily mean sitting on the couch or avoiding activities. As a runner, you might want to reduce the load on the lower body on recovery day, but you can still record a session that works the rest of the muscle groups.
This can even be a light upper body strength session, as long as it doesn’t cause too much fatigue. Statodynamic or explosive strength sessions with long rests are a good option.
Personally, on my recovery days, I like to switch between active running workouts for an easy mobility or core session. This helps the body recover, but also maintains healthy habits and momentum. Like checking off the activity box for the day.
Also read: 7 surprising benefits of recovery workouts and active rest days
Week 6 of marathon training
This has been a solid week of training and I feel very good about the fitness and the progress made so far. I even want to jump into the harder phase of the workout and start doing intense intervals right away. However, I know that my body needs time to adjust and I’ve made the mistake of doing too much too early before.
So I do it gradually and focus on building the overall volume first (with a moderate effort every now and then). This is what my workout looked like this week:
Mon: OffTue: 45min Z2/Z3 run Wed: 30min Z2 runThu: 40min Z2 run, incl. 5x15sec passesFree: 1 hour running, incl. 4x2K Z4Sat: 50min Z2 run, incl. 10x15sec stepsSun: 1h Z2 run
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This post Recovery Days For Runners – Can I Still Work Out? was original published at “https://theathleteblog.com/recovery-days-for-runners/”