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Training & advice

Plan recovery into your training programme

Training is not all about putting in the miles. Recovery is an important part of training and is the time when our bodies adapt to the training stimulus we have given them. We overload the body during a weeks training, during a session or during an effort. We then have to give the body time to recover and during this time it repairs and rebuilds itself and makes itself stronger. This is how training works. If we were to train continuously and not recover sufficiently we would not improve and would probably break down. Training schedules should factor recovery in the following ways:

Easier weeks within the programme - not all weeks should have the same training load. The schedules should build the volume and intensity for a few weeks and then there will be a week where the load is less.

A day of rest each week - There should be at least one day of rest from running every week. This is sometimes a complete day off and other times active recovery, which means changing the activity to something other than running.

Recoveries after efforts during the session - On a day where the emphasis is on speed work or strength work and the intensity is higher there should be recoveries after each effort.

It is important to recover and to recover well so that you go into your next training session as fresh as a daisy. You can help your body to do this in the following ways:

Food and fluid

During training you will have depleted the glycogen stroes in your muscles so you need to refuel and replace this as quickly as you can or within 60 minutes of a training session. Plan this before you go out for your training session so that you have food and fluid ready, at hand, for when you have finished.


After your workout your muscles will want to shortern and tighten. Find somewhere warm to gently stretch them out and hold them for about 10 - 15 seconds.

Support the muscles

Consider investing in some compression clothing. Applying a suitable amount of pressure to a muscle increases circulation to it - improved micro-circulation. The extra blood helps fuel your muscles, remove waste products and so enhance your recovery. There are benefits to wearing this during training too. The clothing supports the muscles while you run and so reduces the vibration and muscle damage. You may find that you don't tire as quickly when training in compression clothing.