Posted by: Joe English | March 25, 2009

Training — The role of rest and recovery for runners

Coach Joe English

Coach Joe English

Although it may seem counter-intuitive to many runners, much of the benefit of any workout comes in the time after the workout while the runner is recovering from it.

Recovery is one of the keys to training, in that runners need to give their bodies a chance to grow and repair themselves after their workouts. It is during the recovery process that runners reap the benefits of the workouts themselves. Another way to think about this is that the improvement that is seen over time develops during the recovery periods between the workouts, so cutting that recovery short actually stunts the growth of the runner, by not giving him or her the time to develop.

Recovery Starts Immediately After a Run
The body begins its recovery process from any particular workout right away. In fact, during the first 30-45 minutes after a workout, the body is primed to begin the recovery process and this is an optimal time to start replacing calories and giving the body protein to accomplish its recovery.

Runners should take advantage of this window and begin eating and drinking right after the end of a workout. Replenishing carbohydrates and giving the body protein within the first 30 to 45 minutes of the end of a workout can greatly impact the speed of recovery from the workout.

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