10 – 20 minutes
1 – 3 km
These are short and easy-paced. Recovery runs usually follow more intense runs like long runs or interval runs. They usually do not follow base runs, as they don’t put your muscles into a heavily fatigued state. Recovery runs don’t actually enhance recovery, but are so-named because they allow you to train while your body is in a state of recovery. Effort is meant to be low, allowing you to be able to hold a conversation. If this becomes too difficult, you need to gear down. The key word here is “recovery”, so you should not be tempted to push hard, regardless of how good you feel.
These runs are used when running 4 or more times a week, and should be employed within 24 hours of a very demanding run. If you are running 3 or less times per week, rests days may be a better bet than recovery runs. Depending on how much you train per week, recovery runs can be as little as a ten to thirty minute jog around the block. Make sure you don’t go too far or hard as it will hinder your next workout.
Set a course around the block, one km should do. Run at a very relaxed pace. As your weekly milage increases, you can increase the length of these runs, but never by too much. They should be a fraction of the time you spent out for your long run.
Benefits of this Run
Promote Recovery: Reduce the pain and inflammation to stressed muscle fibres. This may allow your muscles to heal more quickly, so you can train sooner.
Boost Fitness: A main benefit is to push your fitness levels. This is due to challenging your body to work hard in a fatigued state. By pushing your body past the point of fatigue, it will adapt to additional stresses.
Endure Harder Runs: Because you are running in a pre-fatigued state, you will not be able to bring “your all” to this run, similar to how we all feel at the end of a difficult training session. Repeatedly training like this will cause your muscles to adapt to the typical fatigue at the end of a run, where some of us can feel like we’ve hit a wall or “bonked”.