I'm sure we all have heard this word over and over in Endurance Sport, most of the time it goes in one ear and out the other. About 10 years ago I was lucky to be around Irish 3k/5k/10k record holder Mark Carroll. He also ran 2:10 in New York not to long ago, after dealing with some injuries he retired from International Competition and now Coaches at Auburn. Anyway our Coach at the time was Brother John Dooley (in my mind one of the best Junior coaches in Irish History) Well Bro Dooley always talked about the important of recovery and we used Heart Rate monitors on hard workouts and to take our resting HR which we recorded along with our weight/mileage and food in our logs which he looked over weekly. As much detail as possible to see how our bodies were handling the training volume and lifestyle stresses. Back to Mark ! he would stress the importance of running really easy on recovery days to allow your body to absorb the work from hard sessions. I would think, really this guy runs 7:30 for 3k and then runs 7:30min-7:00min pace on his easy days ?? It didn't make sense to me, until some 9 years later I fully started to understand the meaning of RECOVERY. If your confident in your body and your ability you don't need to go hard day in and day out in training. Everything needs to have a purpose and RECOVERY has a major purpose in you getting stronger. There is a good chance the person winning the race your in, is not the one who is training the faster or the most he knows his body the best and trains the smartest. We need to be in tune with our body and know when it is time to push hard in training and when to fully recover.
Recover is not just rest, its about been smart and using all in your power to get your body stronger. Something to remember after you crush a good workout is your less fit when you done with the session, as you just brokedown your body. Now its time to rebuild and repair. For me its straight to the water bottle to drink down my Endurox R4.
It has the prefect mix of 4:1 carbohydrate to protein to assist my body get recovered and allow me to become stronger,faster and fitter.
So train smart and ask yourself about is the purpose of the workout ?