When training for a race, each of your training runs serves a purpose. My training plan has an easy run, run at race pace, long run (at a slower pace) and then the beloved recovery run.
The recovery run is the one component I used to consider optional. For the past few years I’ve learned to make it an important part of my training and no matter how I feel after the long run the day before, I make sure that I get that 3 mile run done.
The lovely thing about this run is that there is no expectation of speed or even that you put forth a modicum of effort. It’s all about slow, easy and loose. Stiff, sore or kinked muscles are warming up and you are getting that lactic acid moving and out of your system.
Note: If you are really sore the day after a tough long run, try walking for 10 minutes to warm up and then do a run/walk cycle for 10 minutes and cool down with a 10 minute walk.
I promise you this, your training will be better and you will not deal with the crippling soreness that may afflict you post-race if you include these recovery runs.
Now go run!