I take a day off after a key run but I'm always looking for new ways to improve as a runner and athlete. Matt Fitzgerald just published an excellent article, A Fresh Perspective on Recovery Runs, that explains the physiological benefit behind effective recovery runs.
Do you usually take a day off after a key work out or do you use recovery runs in your routine?
This weekend I'm going to give it a shot. Saturday I'm going long so Sunday, I'll get out for a light and easy session. Are you going to try too? Meet me back here to share how it goes!
I'm a firm believer in recovery runs following races or hard workouts. I don't know if the benefits are physiological or psychological, and I'm not sure I really care. I just know that I tend to feel much better the day after a recovery run whereas if I take the day off after a race I usually feel "flat" the next time I run.
I'll have to read the article. This is something I struggle with. I always have good intentions of going easy on my "easy runs" but, alas, I'm competitive, and it drives me nuts that my Hubby, who runs a tenth as much as I do, can still get out and do a 3 miler with an average of 2 minutes/mile faster than me! The injustice of it all!!!!! so needless to say, I usually try to hard, and end up frustrating myself.
Thanks for the reminder, I'll have to try it this week, and I'll let you know how it goes!
Patrick - I prefer to do some other activity (bike/swim) on recovery days rather than run, because I don't really think there is a true recovery run. As a triathlete, I find that running takes the greatest toll on the body, and any run isn't really recovery. However, for someone who is solely focused on running, I can see where a "recovery run" or easy day would be beneficial in keeping the body active and recovering while not taxing it too much. In swimming and biking, I will do recovery sessions at an embarassingly slow pace. In my opinion, recovery involves something different from what you are recovering from, which is why I tend to use a different sport for recovery.