Saturday, April 27, 2013

One Mile of Racing, One Day of Recovery

Have you ever heard the philosophy that for every mile you race you should take one day of easy running to recover? If you race a 5K (3.1 miles) you should take 3 easy days of running (or complete time off) to recover fully. A 10K would be followed by 6 days of easy running to recover. Half-marathon = 13 days (about 2 weeks). Full marathon = 26 days (1 month). It makes sense to me. You can still run easy, but no tempo runs, no track workouts, and no races until that recovery time has been satisfied.

I think a lot of runners jump back into training too quickly. They race too soon. And, they often end up injured, or burned-out. So after your next race, celebrate your achievement and enjoy the time off from serious training. Take it easy. REST!

So, if you completed a 100-mile trail race, does that mean 100 days (3 months) of easy running to recover? Probably. The harder you pushed yourself in that race, the more closely you should abide by the 1 mile = 1 day of rest/recovery. If you run a 5K with friends at an easy pace, you can probably jump right back into training. If you really raced a marathon, you should take about a month (26 days) to recover. So back to my situation: 100 mile race = 100 days of recovery? Sorta. I have cancelled my planned Kettle Moraine 100K on June 1. It's too soon. I will continue easy running (and lots of off days) until I hit the 30 day recovery mark. Then I'll start doing slightly faster tempo-ish runs every week. Nothing real hard or real long. After 60 days, I'll be back to regular full training mode, but no racing. Then, after about 3 months (around early July), I'll consider a race if the body and mind are willing.

Of course, this still lets me recovery, train, and RACE the Howl at the Moon 8-Hour event on August 10! I'm looking forward to that race. Big time.

6 comments:

David said...

100 days may be a bit much - I doubt the linearity of the race/rest relationship holds for much longer than a marathon, especially considering how your race pace at such distances is much slower than your typical easy training run pace.

That said, you're point about jumping back into training too fast is valid. If you listen to your body (and your mind) you should be able to tell for yourself when you're ready to resume 'training'.

Chris said...

David,

I agree. At most, maybe 50% of that 100 days would be a good starting spot. As usual, being in tune with your body (and mind) is what's most important. I'm starting to feel upbeat now and increasing my regular paces. I do still have a bit of deep lingering fatigue so i need to be careful.

jason elliot said...

I think you're being smart. Keep in mind you already have some trash-talk to live up to at Howl, so don't burn yourself out. :)

Chris said...

Jason,

Agreed. I need to rest so I can do more trash talking!

David said...

I wonder if Yiannis Kouros took 3 years of rest after setting the world record for the 1000 mile distance!

Chris said...

David,

Good point. He sure set a bunch of distance records without much rest!