Recovery Running

At the weekend, I finished Matt Fitzgerald’s 80/20 Running. Despite my reluctance, he makes a very convincing case for running SLOOOWWWWLLLLLYYYY  and I suspect that I’ll be trying out one of his training plans over the next few months. I’m not quite ready to do a review or to commit to a plan QUITE yet but I should get a post up about it in the next week!

However I decided that a few weeks of super-slow running was probably just what my legs needed after a poor training cycle and Sunday’s Half-Marathon. So that’s what I’ve been up to this week. It looked like this.

Sunday: Rock n Roll San Jose Half Marathon.

Monday: 25 mins Yoga for Runners and then Marjolaine’s Stretching routine. Try the stretching routine, it worked well.

Tuesday: 3 miles recovery run at 11.19

My first official slow run. My legs were still a little tight and a little sore from Monday so I started slow and then slowed down even more until they didn’t hurt any more. I think that audio-books are going to be key for surviving slow runs so I downloaded ‘Finding Ultra‘ by Rich Roll and crawled my way along the Bay Trail. I was kind of flabbergasted to see an average pace of 11.19 at the end of the run. I don’t think I’ve ever seen that slow a pace before so it implies that what I thought was an easy run before probably wasn’t ‘easy’ but more ‘moderate’. It felt kind of weird. I felt a little like I was cheating.

The light was amazing this morning. Luminous. Kind of breath-taking

The light was amazing this morning. Luminous. Kind of breath-taking

Wednesday: 5 mile recovery run at 11.19

One of the vaunted benefits of slow running is that you can (and should) run more often because your legs don’t need as much recovery time. With the Husband away, I took advantage of the Dude being at Kids Club and went out for five slow miles. Again, I ‘plugged in and plodded on’. It was surprisingly chilled actually – evening running on a Summer Autumn evening can be delightful. And when I got back to the car, I noted a very definite benefit of slow running. You hardly sweat, so all it takes is a quick wipe with a baby wipe and you’re ready to sit at a pavement cafe, read a book and drink a glass of red, waiting for your boy. Most civilized. Quite strangely, this run was also at 11.19 pace. Weird!

I am craving a flipping good Autumn SO badly and the heatwave just keeps on keeping on!

I am craving a flipping good Autumn SO badly and the heat wave just keeps on keeping on!

Thursday: 4 mile recovery run at 10.53

I honestly didn’t try to run any faster – I barely glance at my watch when I run – but I plugged in and plodded on once more. Does this qualify as ‘speedwork’ this week?

This weekend, I have a trail run planned with the girls (yay!!) and I shall run at whatever speed we all end up running at. But next week, I’ll be back to plugging and plodding whilst I decide my plan for the next 12 weeks. I have to admit, running so slowly is both nice and not nice. It’s very relaxed but it’s strange to have been out there for a while and to glance down and see you’ve only run 2 miles. I’m also struggling with a little guilt about it and (being honest) a sense of shame. I jogged/ran past a friend’s house on one run; she was out in the garden and I had to stop myself running faster to look more like she probably imagines I look like when I run. Most weird. But it’s definitely been a good thing for my legs to recover from Sunday’s race.

Talking of that race…my disappointment with my time has pretty much faded and what I’ve been left with is a good, old-fashioned hunger to race hard. I’ve not felt that race hunger for many months now but suddenly I want revenge, I want redemption, I want to flog my guts out once again. A fire has been lit once again, and I’m so excited about that!

But in the meantime…plugging in and plodding on 🙂

About Cathryn

I'm from Wiltshire, a beautiful rural county in the south of England. My husband, son and I moved to California in August 2010 with my husband's job, whilst I stay at home with The Dude, our gorgeous five year old son. I love running and cycling. I'm a Christian. I am finally learning to cook (about time too). I'm loving exploring this new part of the world and meeting its wonderful people.
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