It may not come as much of a surprise, but recovery runs are really important.
But they’re also often disregarded.
The name itself is enough to make new runners think they’re being trolled; a “recovery run” sounds crazy. It’s a run you’re supposed to do when you’re done running to recover from the original act of running.
However, a recovery run is really important.
Recovery runs are light, often brief runs that are done at the end of a run or the day after. You are not chasing a speed record or focused on intensity or distance. It’s really meant to be a pleasant, breezy aerobic exercise.
Of course, we know that overworking muscles can lead to plateauing or injury, but there is a fine balance to be found in recovery runs. Recovery runs tend to be at a slower pace, which substantially decreases the likelihood of injuring tired muscles. However, since they are still being used even at a decreased output, the brain will avoid using the fatigued muscle patterns that create the movement. Instead, fresh or less-exhausted muscle fibres will be used. Those muscle fibres grow, creating, in the longer-term, an increase in power and endurance for the runner.
According to a study done at The University of Copenhagen at Denmark training in a pre-fatigue state aide in the development of endurance and power output. In other words, you will be training your muscles to make you run harder for longer.
The best way to do a recovery run is with a Pacer forcing you to slow down, this is when our Run To Pace mode comes into its own. Set a slow recovery pace and head out and be guided by the pacer to get that perfect recovery in.