Thursday, August 18, 2011

Half Marathon Training Continues! Phase II: Strength Work (Recovery Runs & Days Off)

"How to Run a Personal Record: Cover the Ground in Front of You Faster Than Ever Before," by Dave Kuehls, pg. 17.

The Recovery Runs:
Runners think about their upcoming runs all the time - at home, at work, during school. Whether they realize it or not, this thinking helps them get ready for the next run at hand. Yet, as any runner will tell you, there is one time when we do our best thinking about an upcoming run - and that is during a run itself, most often a run that is done the day before. Therefore, some recovery runs during the Strength Work phase take on an additional task, one that is preparatory in nature, helping you get ready for your hill workout or tempo run.

You'll do this two-for-one run by simply dividing a run in half. Spend the first 2 miles of a 4 mile run in the recovery mode - start very easy and slow down if you have to. Then shift gears and spend the next 2 miles in the preparatory mode. Freshen up the pace a little. Evaluate how you are feeling. See yourself conquering those hills or maintaining tempo pace tomorrow. You will notice the difference.

Days Off:
Sunday remains a day off during the Strength Work phase (Note: Mondays on my shifted schedule), but you should consider taking some of the other recovery days off, especially in the first week or two after the shift from Road Work. For example, if the first hill workout has really taken it out of you, opt for a complete recovery day (day off) the next day rather than getting back out there and running. You will need to monitor your fatigue level at this time because any new stress that is thrown into the training program (like stress from a hill workout) can cause injury or illness if it is not accompanied by adequate recovery. When in doubt, take the day off.


  1. Nice post and it is good advice. I am listening to my fatigue level and taking 2 days off of running. Today will be a cross train and tomorrow a complete day off.

  2. Enjoy your break from running and your cross-training, Runnerbill. :)