Recovery refers to resting after a workout or tough run, or taking time off during a training program. Recovery is an important – but often neglected – part of training plans. Take your easy days seriously so you’ll run your best when it really counts. Years of research disprove the notion that a day off wrecks fitness; in fact, the opposite is true. Little detraining – the loss of fitness and performance that occurs when you stop working out – happens until you take off more than two weeks. Without recovery, adaptation may occur short-term, but ultimately it will fail. And since most injuries come from overuse, a day of cross-training, rest, or easy kilometres can prevent three-or four-week forced breaks, caused by, say, ITB syndrome.
When it follows difficult bouts of work, rest lets your body adapt to the work and improve. A day off every seven to 14 days restocks glycogen stores, builds strength, and reduces fatigue. If you jump-start your recovery as soon as you finish a tough workout or race, you can speed up the process considerably.
Signs of Lack of Recovery
Ignoring your body’s signals of needed recovery can lead to injury. Some common signs your body may need a rest day are sudden weight loss, an elevated resting heart rate, interrupted or lack of sleep, dehydration, low energy, depressed mood, illness, pain or soreness, bad workouts and low oxygen levels.
If you’re experiencing a combination for these symptoms, reconsider your workout and opt for an easy day or a day off.
Most runners don’t consider the toll the marathon can take on their bodies and minds-and that’s a big mistake. Recovery doesn’t just happen; you need to coax it along carefully, especially if you plan to return to quality running soon after your race.
You’d think that runners would love to linger in their post-race downtime. But those of us who thrive on the regimented schedule of a training program often go stir-crazy without one. So Runner’s World created a four-week plan that’ll give some structure to your recovery and ensure that you don’t do too much too soon, jeopardising your body’s ability to heal.