For the first time in a very long time, I brought my friend/colleague along on my run today. Although I prefer to hit the roads alone, I agreed.
I agreed for many reasons and one of it was because I had planned a recovery run. I ran in the ICE charity run 2 days ago with considerable effort. It was evident that my body was screaming for rest as it was showing signs of aches and soreness. Pacing a friend would be a great way to ensure that I don’t go at my usual pace which would ruin my recovery run.
We jogged, brisk walked and did some uphill sprints. As I was running well below my efforts, I had enough energy to gab away throughout the run. I gave her some running tips and pointed out all my oddball neighbours. I had a lot of fun! I came back feeling refreshed.
Scheduling in time for recovery is just as crucial as planning your training/workouts. You have to recover enough to be able to nail your workouts again day after day. The body needs time to return back to “normal” after intense sessions of physical stress. Recovery rates and recovery strategies are tailored to each individual and their workouts. People often get confused as to which recovery strategy works best – Massages? Stretching? More sleep? Foam rolling? Ice baths? That, you have to discover on your own. You can opt to try all of them and see which one works out the best for you. It is all about trial and error. Sometimes you get it right and sometimes you don’t. So learn from those times when you have failed.
A runner’s body is never at rest. On off days, it is busy breaking down, repairing, refuelling and recovering. So, I’m glad I did this today because I know that my body really needed a break. I have to admit, I’m a little addicted to the endorphins that come with running. I like to complete my runs, even when I know my body has reached its limits. I’m not crazy; its just obsessive compulsive behaviour, really.
Knowing when to stop running for a day or a week, isn’t easy for many runners, but understanding that it will enhance performance in the long term comes with maturity. ~Alberto Salazar