STRATEGIC AND TACTICAL ADVICE FOR RUNNING 5 DAYS A WEEK
Matt Fitzgerald’s article, “Workout of the Week: Recovery Run”, is an example of how learning and understanding the purpose of each training component is essential to improving performance. On the topic of recovery runs he begins the discussion with myth busting; the light activity, “relatively short, slow runs undertaken within a day after a harder run” do not enhance muscle recovery, he says. These workouts do not purge the muscle of lactic acid, promote muscle fiber repair, or replenish glycogen stores.
“The real benefit of recovery runs is that they allow you to find the optimal balance between the two factors that have the greatest effect on your fitness and performance: training stress and running volume”, Fitzgerald indicates.
In much more detail, the article explains these factors. Hard training runs that leave you exhausted or severely fatigued are successfully challenging your body and thus forcing it to adapt and overcome conditions (both high-intensity and long duration fatigue) encountered in competition. High running volume contributes to and enhances fitness and improves running economy, which depends on repetitive practice. Finding the optimum balance between the two and at the same time avoiding injury is key to effective training. Fitzgerald uses examples to describe the training physiology and make his points. A thorough reading of his article is necessary to fully understand these concepts and the reasons for the recovery run.
The second part of the article provides practical guidelines for using recovery runs as a follow-up to hard ‘key’ workouts. The instruction given in Fitzgerald’s article is intended for those whose training schedule includes strenuous sessions and 5 days per week of running.
However, if you currently run 3-4 times a week (as on the Earned Runs Half Marathon + Saints Days 5K and 10K Training Plan) and wish to increase your efforts, the information is immensely helpful in explaining a strategy, and giving tactical advice on how to do so, for safely improving performance.
As Teaching Teddy (VideoSmarts™, Closing Song #2) sang to my children in the 1980’s, “there’s always one more thing to learn” and “learn for tomorrow today”; Matt Fitzgerald shows how this applies to running!
BRIDGE TO PHYSICAL SELF
Running, walking, and fitness activities enable us to experience our physical selves in a world mostly accessed through use of fingers on a mobile device.
EARNED RUNS is edited and authored by me, runner and founder. I began participating in road races before 5Ks were common. I've been a dietitian, practiced and taught clinical pathology, and been involved with research that utilized pathology. I am fascinated with understanding the origins of disease as well as health.
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