Pushing as hard for recovery as I do for speed

I mentioned before in my last post that this training cycle is different than any I have done in the past for several reasons.

One thing that I am going to do differently in this cycle is my recovery runs. I am a pretty self motivated person. I like to push myself and I have been this way for as long as I can remember. I remember always trying to give 110% at practices for my sports teams when I was in high school. So when it comes to running I always find myself wanting to push, even if it’s just a little.

In the plan I am using there are 2 “recovery runs” a week. For the most part they are all 5 mile runs. One thing the book emphasizes is resisting the urge to do these runs too fast.

“You should finish the run refreshed. Going too hard on recovery days-when your body is most tired-means you’ll be more tired than you should when it counts later in the week”.


In the past I am quite sure I have done my recovery runs too long AND too fast. My typical recovery run would be 8 miles at an 8-8:15 pace. My idea of a recovery run was whatever felt good.

This book talks a lot about where your heart rate should be for recovery runs. Honestly, I never track my heart rate so this was not much help to me. It did also give a lower-tech way to determine your recovery run pace as being approximately 2 minutes slower than your 10 mile race pace. This is going to put me right around a 8:45-9 minute mile recovery pace.

So yesterdays 5 mile recovery looked like this:


Working just as hard at my recovery runs means that I need to try to stick with this pace even when my legs want to automatically go to that 8 minute pace. I need to pull back and remember that the purpose of these runs is recovery. I need to remember that doing these runs properly will help me to do my other work outs properly.

Do you ever struggle with recovery runs?



    • Jen says

      It is new to me too, but I think it may help. I also added some miles onto some of my easy runs. It isn’t less mileage…just dispersed differently

    • Jen says

      Definitely harder than it sounds!!!!! My body has a pace that it just kind of naturally goes to and that pace is not recovery pace. Not saying that is terrible, but if you are training for a race and have some hard days then I now recovery is important…now to put that into practice!

  1. says

    I am much like you, but found if I do recovery miles with a running buddy who doesn’t (or can’t) run at a faster pace, it really helps me. And then I get time to chat and catch up with a friend too, which is awesome.

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