You know the feeling. You’re fatigued. Your body is tired. You want a nap. But you’re training for a long-distance race.
One of the difficult parts of training is knowing when you should go for a run to increase mileage even though your legs are tired and when you should skip the run and give your body a rest. Training vs. resting can be especially challenging because choosing incorrectly can either lead to being under-prepared and under-trained or over-trained and potentially injured.
Methods of managing fatigue are key for runners to understand how that runner will improve at their skill.
Knowing when to run vs when to rest is tricky, but it’s important for runners to have methods and strategies to manage fatigue and understand how their run typically develops over time. So I’ve created the following chart with general guidance:
**PLEASE consult your doctor if you have ANY concerns. I may have a lot of knowledge/experience in coaching, but I’m NOT a doctor.
When to Run:
You are a more experienced/ less injury-prone runners
Recovery run occurs after a hard run day
Movement will help decrease stiffness/soreness
Running will increase endorphins
When to Rest:
When injury is present
When the balance between running and life is apparent and “off”
Slower/weaker runs over time
Aches/pains that don’t go away
Chronically higher HR
Recovery running can be extremely beneficial if these tips are considered:
Keep Slow Runs SLOW
Don’t be afraid to take a rest day/week
Even recovery runs can have a variety
An easy/slow run can be disguised as cadence monitoring, intervals, etc.
But most importantly... Be very aware of how the body is feeling!
Here’s an example of a recovery run:
Run at an EASY pace (RPE 4 or less) for 4 minutes. Walk for 1 minute. Repeat 10 times for a total of 50:00. Hydrate and stretch.
Coach Becky Piper is a USA Triathlon Certified Level 1 Triathlon Coach, Paratriathlon Coach, and Cycling Coach. She is currently on her way to Michigan but has made a little stopover in Wisconsin to see friends and family while her husband Sam is serving in the military. Her dog, Gunner, is with her on the long adventure across the country. She is the reigning national champion in the Time Trial and Road Race in women’s C2 Paracycling and is preparing for her debut in the Paralympic Trials, but her true passion is coaching. Coach Becky can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.