Run, Recover, Repeat…

CRAL_2007_081Most runners do not take long before they are addicted to the infamous “Runners High” and quickly fall into a steady pattern of run, repeat, run, repeat…  Sounds pretty good, commendable in fact. Is there a problem?

Speak to any running coach and one of the first things that they will teach you is that fitness gains occur during the recovery phase. To better understand this, imagine you are holding a balloon, as you squeeze the balloon it becomes a little deformed (out of shape), when you release the balloon (rest and recovery) it swells out nice and round again, squeeze too hard and long and it might just burst (overtraining!). Only difference is, our “balloons” expand a little bit more and get a little more resilient after each training “squeeze” – and that is getting fitter 101.

Now there are three important recovery phases that we need to pay attention to:

  1. Directly after training:

The principles of recovery can be summed up in the 3 R’s, Refuel, Rehydrate and Repair.More detail here

2. Your weekly training schedule

It is important to allow at least 36-48 hours of recovery after a high quality or very long session before attempting another hard session. Recovery could be a complete rest day or a light short jog. A good coach will be able to determine how much hard training and how much recovery is optimal for you.

3. Post race and Annual Breaks

It is important to allow enough time to recover both mentally and physically after a hard race. Also pick a time in the year when you take 2 weeks complete break from running.


Coach Kathleen

About Coach Kathleen

Coaching since 2004, I have coached both young and old athletes from those achieving provincial and national medals in track, biathlon and cross country to runners running their first ever half marathon or marathon. I am a specialist in youth coaching and my coaching philosophy is to not only help each athlete achieve their best with their athletic talent but to guide each athlete in developing character and transforming their lives beyond the track. As an athlete I have competed at high levels across all the running disciplines, track, road, cross country and trail running as well as internationally in triathlon. I have a personal best of 2 hours 45 min for the marathon and have twice been part of the winning ladies team in the AfricanX trail race. Qualifications IAAF Athletics Lecturer Level 3 Distance Running Coach SAQ Fundamental Movement Certificate Personal Running Performances
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