Running tips for beginners- Recovery
Week 3: The importance of recovery
In running, it is sometimes important to take a step back before taking two steps forward. Days off in between running should feel restful. It might be a good idea to go for a walk, do some yoga, or stay off of your feet completely if that feels best.
Besides days off, recovery can also mean taking a walk break during your run. Especially if you are a new runner, walk breaks are encouraged to help keep you on your feet and out the door for longer intervals at a time to help you build fitness. If you've been consistently running for a few weeks it's also a good idea to schedule a down week every 3-4 weeks of training. This means if you have been running 15 miles a week consistently for 3 weeks, cut back to 12 for a “down” week before taking your two steps forward again.
Recovery is just as an important piece of your training as the actual running because this is the time your body uses to actually make those adaptations in strength and endurance! You can help your recovery along at home with warm epsom salt baths, foam rolling your legs, and gentle stretching.
Are you not feeling rested and still a little burnt out for your last run? Always listen to your body. Part of the beauty of running is becoming more in tune with your body and taking the time to really assess how it's feeling each day. You'll find that some days when your legs feel like crap and your energy is drained, you step out the door and have one of the best runs of your life! On other days you might just need to give yourself permission to call it off, walk back, and have another recovery day. Learning to trust your body and yourself is key in preventing any overuse injuries and taking the pressure off of yourself to continue enjoying running.