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Recovery is just as important as going for a run, so be sure to include this in your workout routine.
For most runners, the hard parts of training are the grueling workouts or the arduous long runs. The concept of “recovery” or resting the body between these events is sometimes overlooked, but it shouldn’t be. Getting the right kind of rest can ward off injury, prevent burnout, and even improve your race performance in the long run. What follows are five recovery suggestions for you to incorporate in your training.
1. Slow It Down
If you have just completed a taxing workout or ran a race, your body needs rest more than anything else. Just what kind of rest you need, however, depends on several factors such as your overall fitness and both the duration and intensity of the hard running you were doing.
“Running involves a great deal of pounding, which results in the need to take some down time between hard days to let your muscles, ligaments and tendons time to consolidate the hard effort they were subject to,” says Joe Rubio, the Asics Aggie Running Club Head Coach. “If not, the body breaks down in the form of overuse injuries or at the very least, a body that isn’t as capable of performing it’s best when called upon to do so.”
Any running you do on a recovery day (which is typically 1 or 2 days a week), should be slow. How slow? Rubio advises his athletes to run at 65-70 percent of their current 5K pace. “This usually amounts to jogging,” he says, so consider leaving your GPS watch at home on these days.