Colin and Anne talk about the importance of recovery for all runners. Giving your body time to recover is the key to improving as a runner.
Your body is amazing!
When you increase your training by running for longer or adding a faster session it will adapt and get stronger. It prepares you for when you go out and do the same run or session again. Your body doesn’t do this as you run, but afterwards when you are drinking tea and eating cake! Depending on the type of run it may take hours or days for your body to repair and make you stronger. So, if you go out and try and repeat what you have just done the next day your body won’t be ready. Your performance will suffer. You will be tired and won’t run as well.
Allowing your body to recover gradually is the key to improving.
How long does it take to recover?
If you are a beginner doing their first Walk to Run session, you may take days or even a whole week to recover and be ready for the next run. By week four of the beginners programme your body will be more used to running and recovery time will be shorter. You will be able to add another run in the week at this point.
If you are a more experienced or performance runner and you increase the time of your long run by 10-15 minutes, you will need at least a day to recover. After a hard hill session, you will probably need at least two days to recover fully. Two harder or faster sessions in a week will be enough to recover from to stimulate improvement. Your other training days will need to be easy or Chatty to ensure you recover fully.
Give your body time to recover fully.
Whatever your experience, when you recover your body gives you back more than you put in. If you do the same runs week in week out you won’t get any fitter as your body gets used to what you do. You need to do more to improve as a runner but do it gradually.
Finally, it’s worth remembering that recovery for runners can vary. One person’s recovery time is not necessarily the same for someone else. Other factors will play a part in your ability to recover. Join us next week to find out how you can listen to your body to tell if you have recovered or not.