Pri­ori­tise re­cov­ery

Runner's World (UK) - - Running Wisdom -

lite coach Mike Cald­well be­lieves re­cov­ery is a cru­cial but un­der­val­ued piece of the train­ing jig­saw. ‘Our re­cov­ery days are vi­tal. We’re able to run hard on our hard days be­cause we only ran 45 min­utes on Wed­nes­days and Fri­days.’

The key to Cald­well’s sys­tem is a de­lin­eation be­tween tough work­out days and re­cov­ery days. Dur­ing hard in­ter­val ses­sions – 5K pace, for ex­am­ple – his run­ners cover five to six miles, as op­posed to the more tra­di­tional three or four miles. For his run­ners to han­dle that vol­ume of qual­ity, Cald­well says they must be fresh head­ing into the ses­sions.

Higher mileage means higher fit­ness, so you may find it men­tally chal­leng­ing to lower mileage on easy days to re­cover prop­erly. Train­ing vol­ume is cer­tainly a big fac­tor in per­for­mance, and low­er­ing it too much on your re­cov­ery days can be detri­men­tal if the to­tal aer­o­bic stim­u­lus is too low. Run­ners who are hes­i­tant about sig­nif­i­cantly low­er­ing their re­cov­ery-day mileage should con­sider slow­ing the pace. This re­duces stress on the body while still al­low­ing for the added vol­ume, says Rosario. Fit­ness gains oc­cur dur­ing re­cov­ery, so it’s crit­i­cal to find a per­sonal bal­ance be­tween the vol­ume and in­ten­sity of hard days and easy days.

Some may opt to go longer or even to run twice on easy days. Re­search sug­gests do­ing two runs on easy days will in­crease growth hor­mone pro­duc­tion and so speed re­cov­ery. There’s no one an­swer that works for all run­ners, so get in the mind­set of ask­ing your­self whether you are re­cov­er­ing ad­e­quately, and mak­ing changes to en­sure you are.

Ad­e­quate re­cov­ery is about much more than just dis­tance and pace, how­ever. Eat­ing a nu­tri­ent-rich diet, train­ing on a va­ri­ety of sur­faces and wear­ing proper shoes can all re­duce the wear and tear on your body, and speed your re­cov­ery from harder ses­sions. And Rosario says there’s one other in­gre­di­ent that run­ners of all lev­els ne­glect: sleep.

It’s not just tired mus­cles that need rest. Ac­cord­ing to a study re­view in Sleep­science, sleep de­pri­va­tion re­duces your abil­ity to main­tain at­ten­tion and in­creases per­ceived ex­er­tion. It also af­fects your abil­ity to con­trol your body tem­per­a­ture, mak­ing it harder to run in ad­verse con­di­tions, and in­creases car­diac ef­fort. In this state your cen­tral ner­vous sys­tem is too de­pleted to pro­duce the ef­fort needed to run fast. Gen­er­ally, if you’re not get­ting seven to nine hours of sleep a night, you’ll be hard-pressed to run well.

CHANGE THIS Lower your re­cov­ery-day mileage and/or slow your re­cov­ery pace. Get more sleep.

WHY Fail­ing to re­cover sets you up for in­jury and burnout.

THE CHAL­LENGE Cut­ting back on re­cov­ery-day mileage seems coun­ter­in­tu­itive if your goal is to be­come faster.

THE RISK You can lose fit­ness if you cut back too much; it can be tough to bal­ance vol­ume and re­cov­ery.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.