Recovery and the Runner

Whether you are an elite/semi-elite, middle/long distance runner, a fun runner or someone who runs just to maintain fitness, incorporating recovery into your training schedule is paramount to get the best out of your body and perform at your best.

In this blog we will look at different ways we can incorporate recovery into your training program.  Being a former state and national level runner myself, I know the benefits of adding good recovery techniques into your training to get the best out of yourself and reduce the risk of injuries.

Active Recovery - The Long Sunday Run
This should be a staple of your weekly program after a hard week of training sessions.  The Long Sunday run is a chance for the body to unwind from the previous week's training and get ready for the next week's training. This is a run that can be done in a group and ideally should be at talking pace and on some nice soft trails so that there is less impact on the body compared to running on the roads.

Pool Recovery Sessions
A great way to still get a good workout is to do a pool recovery session, such as this one:

  • 5-10 laps easy swimming

  • Some running drills (think high knees, bounding) and strides in shallow water for 20 metres and then swim back do this 5 -10 times.

  • Some resistance work such as push ups and dips on the side of pool wall

  • Deep water running 10 x 60secs run 30secs tread water

  • 5 laps swim cool down

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Cross Training
It is ideal every 2nd week to incorporate into your training a cross training day where you give your body a rest from running, but still get a good workout without the impact of running.

Myotherapy, Remedial Massage, Self-Massage and Stretching
Another great way to aid your recovery when running is to incorporate regular treatments into your training schedule. A treatment every 4 -6 weeks would be ideal to keep the body ticking over.  When coming up to a competition or an increase in training load, a treatment every two weeks would be ideal to help keep you injury-free and running at your best.

Incorporating self-massage such as using a foam roller or massage ball and stretching after a run is of great benefit by keeping your muscles functioning at their full capacity and keeping your body happy when running.

 Written By Alan Shields, Remedial Massage Therapist and avid runner.