There is a saying stress + rest = progress. Which is why recovery days for runners are as important as the training itself.

That is, if the goal is to get faster or stronger, of course.

Besides giving the body time to rest and adapt, it’s also opportunity to slow down and reflect. This would be a great time to open your training diary, list down things that went well, those that didn’t, think of the week ahead and adjust the plan, if need be.

Recovery days for runners

Each athlete treats recovery days differently. For some it means training in a very light mode – in Zone 1, for instance – while others take it as a full day off. The latter helps to also take a mental break from a particular sport and come back feeling truly refreshed.

But one thing remains true for all athletes – it’s best to keep moving on rest days, as it speeds up recovery processes. Light movement promotes blood flow (but doesn’t add too much intensity), which helps to flush out waste products from the body (toxins, lactic acid) and normalize internal processes.

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Can you train on rest days

So, recovery days don’t necessarily mean sitting on the couch or avoiding activity. As a runner you would want to reduce the load on the lower body on recovery day, but you can still include a session that works the rest of the muscle groups.

This might even be a light strength session for the upper body, as long as it doesn’t add too much fatigue. Stato-dynamic or explosive strength sessions with long rest is a good option.

Personally, on my recovery days I like to switch active run training for an easy mobility or core session. This helps the body to recover, but also keeps the healthy habits and momentum going. Like crossing off the activity box for the day.

Read also: 7 Surprising Benefits Of Recovery Workouts And Active Rest Days

Week 6 of marathon training

This was a solid week of training and I’m feeling very good about the fitness and progress that was made thus far. In fact, I want to jump to the harder phase of training and start doing intense intervals right away. However, I know that my body needs time to adjust and I’ve made the mistake of doing too much too soon earlier.

So, I’m taking it gradually and focusing on building the overall volume first (with occasional moderate efforts). Here’s how my training looked like this week:

  • Mon: off
  • Tue: 45min Z2/Z3 run
  • Wed: 30min Z2 run
  • Thu: 40min Z2 run, incl. 5x15sec strides
  • Fri: 1h run, incl. 4x2K Z4
  • Sat: 50min Z2 run, incl. 10x15sec strides
  • Sun: 1h Z2 run

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