Shortening Your Recovery Period?

Discussion in 'General Fitness' started by Topcounsel, Feb 17, 2004.

  1. Topcounsel

    Topcounsel Guest

    At 44, I am already finding that I often need a day of rest after I do an interval workout on the
    track, as well as a day of rest after my long runs. This is mostly due to stiffness/soreness that
    prevent me from having a good next workout if I don't take the day off. Would prefer only one day of
    rest per week, and no need to have any "junk miles" workouts.

    I use a heating pad at night, warm-up rubs, and warmer clothing to help me get started on
    runs where I am still stiff from yesterday, but I would love to hear others' tricks for
    shortening their needed recovery periods. I got to thinking about this when I saw the March
    RW's garbage about "The Magical Healing Power of Coffee," and how it can supposedly shorten
    your recovery time. What a load -- sometimes I think RW is like the National Enquirer of
    sports journalism --
     
    Tags:


  2. In article <[email protected]>, TopCounsel wrote:
    > At 44, I am already finding that I often need a day of rest after I do an interval workout on
    > the track, as well as a day of rest after my long runs. This is mostly due to
    > stiffness/soreness that prevent me from having a good next workout if I don't take the day
    > off. Would prefer only one day of rest per week, and no need to have any "junk miles"
    > workouts.

    What's your criteria for deciding whether or not a workout is "good" ?

    Are you saying that soreness from one interval workout cuts into your next interval workout ?

    What does your typical training week look like ? I'm surprised that interval workouts leave you that
    sore -- after an initial period of adaption, even strength training (whether it's weights or
    running) shouldn't cause soreness.

    Of course you'll be sore after a long race, but that's different. IMO it's worth reviewing your
    interval workouts -- maybe you're overdoing it.

    > I use a heating pad at night, warm-up rubs, and warmer clothing to help me get started on
    > runs where I am still stiff from yesterday, but I would love to hear others' tricks for
    > shortening their needed recovery periods.

    My tricks are:
    (1) adequate nutrition (a lot of protein and carbs)
    (2) avoiding overtraining
    (3) extra sleep on weekends

    > I got to thinking about this when I saw the March RW's garbage about "The Magical Healing Power of
    > Coffee," and how it can supposedly shorten your recovery time. What a load -- sometimes I think RW
    > is like the National Enquirer of sports journalism --

    Hey, don't knock it -- next time my fiancee tells me off for drinking so much coffee, I can point
    her to the article (-;

    Cheers,
    --
    Donovan Rebbechi http://pegasus.rutgers.edu/~elflord/
     
  3. If you never stop jogging, you'll never need recovery time. I've used this philosophy about my binge
    drinking, and I've managed to keep hangovers to a bare minimum.
     
  4. MJuric

    MJuric Guest

    On 17 Feb 2004 17:41:12 GMT, [email protected] (TopCounsel) wrote:

    > At 44, I am already finding that I often need a day of rest after I do an interval workout on
    > the track, as well as a day of rest after my long runs. This is mostly due to
    > stiffness/soreness that prevent me from having a good next workout if I don't take the day
    > off. Would prefer only one day of rest per week, and no need to have any "junk miles"
    > workouts.
    >
    > I use a heating pad at night, warm-up rubs, and warmer clothing to help me get started on
    > runs where I am still stiff from yesterday, but I would love to hear others' tricks for
    > shortening their needed recovery periods. I got to thinking about this when I saw the March
    > RW's garbage about "The Magical Healing Power of Coffee," and how it can supposedly shorten
    > your recovery time. What a load -- sometimes I think RW is like the National Enquirer of
    > sports journalism --
    >

    Other than what others mentioned every try an "active" recovery. I've found that if I
    actually take a day off I'm more "tight" and or sore than if I actually do something REALLY
    easy. For me it's usually an easy spin on the bike followed by some easy stretching. I used
    to take Monday completely off. Now I do two easy short,15-30 min, spin sessions morning and
    night with some stretching. I always feel better than if I had done nothing.

    ~Matt
     
  5. jobin

    jobin Guest

    Donovan Rebbechi <[email protected]> wrote: ....
    > My tricks are:
    > (1) adequate nutrition (a lot of protein and carbs)
    > (2) avoiding overtraining
    > (3) extra sleep on weekends

    these are definitely very helpful.

    here's what i do, in addition:
    - enough sleep on weekdays - 8-9 hrs
    - pouring cold tap water on legs after run
    - massaging legs after run (5-10 minutes)

    jobs
     
  6. I haven't seen a training programme anywhere that doesn't recommend an "easy" day after a hard one -
    and that even goes for spring chickens like yourself, D! When you're past the big four oh rest days
    or easy days become even more imperative/desirable if you want to keep on running. J
     
  7. Topcounsel

    Topcounsel Guest

    >What's your criteria for deciding whether or not a workout is "good" ?
    >
    >Are you saying that soreness from one interval workout cuts into your next interval workout ?
    >
    >What does your typical training week look like ? I'm surprised that interval workouts leave you
    >that sore -- after an initial period of adaption, even strength training (whether it's weights or
    >running) shouldn't cause soreness.
    >
    >Of course you'll be sore after a long race, but that's different. IMO it's worth reviewing your
    >interval workouts -- maybe you're overdoing it.

    I would say I have to feel limber and energetic while I'm running to judge it a "good" workout. If I
    feel sluggish and stiff or sore, then I am not happy. I don't get any good intensity otherwise. I
    meant that I lose a road run the day after I run faster on the track (or sometimes faster on the
    road). I prefer to feel that I am holding myself back rather than pushing myself to my limit.

    Generally I run the same 6.5-mile hilly road route most mornings, but I sometimes run it twice or
    1-1/2 times, or on the weekend even more on one day (not this Sunday). I run on a 400m track at
    least once or twice a week, also in the early morning, and in my runs there I more or less run
    every 3rd or 4th lap really hard depending on how I feel, and I always run 26-40 laps. Sometimes
    I will toss in a four-lap "mile" at my faster pace. But I have given up those long runs on the
    track I took in my late twenties (I did a full 105 x 440 marathon on the track once, just for
    kicks, and regularly ran workouts of 60 laps or so). I am pretty reliable at getting in 45-50
    miles a week, though.

    The speed work does leave me sore; as you indicate that this surprises you, I wonder whether it is
    because I don't do as much speed work as I use to? Perhaps I am doing too little rather than too
    much. "Roger Hunter" (in one of his multiple incarnations) quipped as much recently, as well.

    I do consistently eat pretty well, I believe. However, I definitely DO NOT get enough sleep. As for
    the coffee, if that worked, I'd never be stiff or sore, because I already enjoy WAY too much of it!
     
  8. Topcounsel

    Topcounsel Guest

    >If you never stop jogging, you'll never need recovery time. I've used this philosophy about my
    >binge drinking, and I've managed to keep hangovers to a bare minimum.

    Odd that your comments here may be actually quite constructive, however they may have been
    intentioned. A little of "the hair of the dog that bit you" might be just what is needed in that 23-
    hour interval one has to recover. Your analogy is apt to the "active recovery period" suggestions.
     
  9. In article <[email protected]>, TopCounsel wrote:

    > I would say I have to feel limber and energetic while I'm running to judge it a "good" workout.

    I'd argue that if you have to deal with annoyances including but not limited to career and family,
    it is inevitable that not all of your workouts will be "good".

    > If I feel sluggish and stiff or sore, then I am not happy. I don't get any good intensity
    > otherwise.

    What do you mean by "good intensity" ?

    > I meant that I lose a road run the day after I run faster on the track (or sometimes faster on the
    > road). I prefer to feel that I am holding myself back rather than pushing myself to my limit.
    >
    > Generally I run the same 6.5-mile hilly road route most mornings, but I sometimes run it twice or
    > 1-1/2 times,

    How fast are these ? (in relation to some benchmark like 5k/10k pace)

    > or on the weekend even more on one day (not this Sunday). I run on a 400m track at least once or
    > twice a week, also in the early morning, and in my runs there I more or less run every 3rd or 4th
    > lap really hard depending on how I feel, and I always run 26-40 laps.

    How fast do you run these ? (again wrt some bench mark)

    IMO this is likely to be very tough on your recovery, and not very productive, it's a very anaerobic
    workout, and running all those laps in between means that you're combining a moderately long run
    with a hard anaerobic workout (How fast is your average pace for the entire session ?)

    FWIW, the anaerobic sessions Bob Glover has us do usually involve 6-7x400m repeats, with a training
    group who are doing similar milage to us (I do about the same milage as you) and most of these guys
    are in their early 30s. The rests are about equal distance. Total milage for the session is usually
    about 6 miles, sometimes closer to 8 because we'll stack extra milage onto the cooldown.

    Jack Daniels recommends 5% max as an upper limit on weekly milage for 'R' workouts (I think that's
    where your track work fits in) and you're doing about 10% between the two workouts. Note that 3
    miles in anaerobic 400m repeats is more taxing than a 3 mile tempo run (to put it mildly).

    So I think it's reasonable to say that your training sessions are pretty taxing, though not
    exceptionally so. It may be worth thinking about reducing the length of these workouts. Depending on
    your goals, it may also be worth reconsidering doing anaerobic 400m repeats twice a week (maybe
    tempo repeats or longer intervals).

    Whether or not you persist with this plan, I think it's unrealistic to perform workouts this
    demanding on inadequate sleep and expect to feel "limber and energetic" for your next training run.

    > The speed work does leave me sore; as you indicate that this surprises you, I wonder whether it
    > is because I don't do as much speed work as I use to? Perhaps I am doing too little rather than
    > too much.

    Twice a week is adequate. There are few training plans that recommend more than twice/week speed
    work + 1 tempo run. Speeking for myself, I don't do repeats of 400m or less more than once a week
    (though I may do strides more often)

    > However, I definitely DO NOT get enough sleep.

    I think it's probably a combination of (a) a lack of sleep (b) a fairly demanding training schedule,
    and (c) age in approximately that order.

    Cheers,
    --
    Donovan Rebbechi http://pegasus.rutgers.edu/~elflord/
     
  10. Doug Freese

    Doug Freese Guest

    TopCounsel wrote:

    > At the risk of boring any readers of this thread: On my everyday road runs, I currently like to
    > maintain an overall pace of 7:15/mi. or less, which because of the slowdowns on the hills, means I
    > get to have about 1.5 - 2 miles of good, fast-turnover pacing close to 6:00/mi. (where there's
    > downgrade), or at least
    > 6:30. These "faster" portions of my runs are my favorite part, and if I'm too stiff to run well,
    > my whole run is kind of a bummer. For my daily runs, I like to keep to about 47 - 48
    > minutes for my basic 6.5 miles of up-and-down.

    So why so much intensity each day? Where is the easy day where you run 8's or 9's? From the 2,000n
    foot level you're doing too much, too hard, too frequently and very likely why your body wants two
    days of rest. I'd suggest a hard/easy or hard/hard/easy program. Back down before you break. Your
    body is giving your hints and I don't think your listening.

    --
    Doug Freese "Caveat Lector" [email protected]
     
  11. Maxaluminum

    Maxaluminum Guest

    [email protected] (TopCounsel) wrote in message news:<[email protected]>...
    > At 44, I am already finding that I often need a day of rest after I do an interval workout on the
    > track, as well as a day of rest after my long runs. This is mostly due to stiffness/soreness that
    > prevent me from having a good next workout if I don't take the day off. Would prefer only one day
    > of rest per week, and no need to have any "junk miles" workouts.
    >
    > I use a heating pad at night, warm-up rubs, and warmer clothing to help me get started on
    > runs where I am still stiff from yesterday, but I would love to hear others' tricks for
    > shortening their needed recovery periods. I got to thinking about this when I saw the March
    > RW's garbage about "The Magical Healing Power of Coffee," and how it can supposedly shorten
    > your recovery time. What a load -- sometimes I think RW is like the National Enquirer of
    > sports journalism --

    You are clearly not up to SPEED on the proven positive aspects of coffee (caffeine). It's not a case
    of more is better though. There's an optimum. It also aids memory. Much of the research has been
    performed by the military where physical fitness, recovery, and concentration can mean survival.
     
  12. Phil M.

    Phil M. Guest

    [email protected] (TopCounsel) wrote in
    news:[email protected]:

    > Other than these longer runs or on the uphills I do every day, I don't really like to run slower
    > than 8 mpm

    In reading this thread, I think this is where your problem is. You'll either have to slow down and
    add some recovery runs to your week or take another day off. I know you don't like running slowly,
    but your reward for running slower than you like will be to enjoy your faster paced running. You
    said you ran a 19:36 5k last fall. Based on that, you should be doing your easy days at an 8:00
    min/mi pace. Maybe it's time train for another 5k.

    > I just wondered whether folks had some ways they use to shorten recovery. I know less intensity is
    > one way, but it is not my choice.

    Again, focus in on your faster running by running slowly on some days. To get you to do this,
    consider finding a slower training partner whose pace is close to where your recovery pace should
    be. Hey that could be me. ;-)

    -Phil
     
  13. In article <[email protected]>, TopCounsel wrote:
    >>I'd argue that if you have to deal with annoyances including but not limited to career and family,
    >>it is inevitable that not all of your workouts will be "good".
    >
    > True enough, of course, but finding ways to minimize the need for rest days and to increase the
    > proportion of "good days" is still worth pursuing.
    >
    >>What do you mean by "good intensity" ?
    >
    > At the risk of boring any readers of this thread: On my everyday road runs, I currently like to
    > maintain an overall pace of 7:15/mi. or less, which because of the slowdowns on the hills, means I
    > get to have about 1.5 - 2 miles of good, fast-turnover pacing close to 6:00/mi. (where there's
    > downgrade), or at least 6:30. These "faster" portions of my runs are my favorite part, and if I'm
    > too stiff to run well, my whole run is kind of a bummer. For my daily runs, I like to keep to
    > about 47 - 48 minutes for my basic 6.5 miles of up-and-down.

    I would not view the fact that you don't feel like averaging 7:15 on a hilly course the day after
    intervals as a "problem". You're right that if you run hard one day (intervals), you won't feel like
    running hard the next day (IMHO, 5kpace +1min is "hard"). If you do view this as a "problem", take
    comfort in the fact that it's a problem that afflicts the rest of us -- we're just slaves to the
    dreaded "hard-easy" rule. You may actually find that using an easier training pace makes it easier
    to get in good quality interval sessions.

    Some other perspectives on training pace:

    Jack Daniels: the vdot calculator http://www.panix.com/~elflord/vdot.html suggests a training pace
    of 8:06 given your 5k pace.

    Bob Glover: different rules of thumb that produce very similar numbers: recommends a ``base pace''
    of 5k + 1:45 (8:03). Variations are brisk and easy pace, which are respectively 30 seconds faster
    and slower.

    I don't believe that it's necessary to perform all workouts at the same pace. The day after
    anaerobic work, pace will be slower, but as long as a reasonable heart rate is maintained, one
    should achieve a desirable training effect. So I like Bob Glover's perspective.

    > On the level ground of the track, my overall pace is always about 4 minutes or so faster than on
    > the road for the same 6.5 miles, but I mix speeds more readily. I never run any laps faster than
    > 88 - 90 seconds, and it's more common for me to do my "faster" laps at about 95 or 96 seconds.
    > (Laps beyond 26 I just jog easy and don't really time.) This is quite a bit slower than when I was
    > younger, because although I could run them faster now I know I will pay for it. I probably should
    > just suck it up and do it and take my lumps, because I am well aware that to run steadily at any
    > given pace, you need to be able to run even faster for short intervals. I never started to

    I see. I had the impression that you were doing the intervals faster than that, but wasn't sure --
    which is why I asked. I think what you're doing is more like a fast paced fartlek run than an
    interval session.

    I'd recommend longer repeats (1200m at 95-96 seconds with 400m jog rest) or faster repeats (400m at
    about 85 seconds with 400m jog rest). No need to maintain a high speed during the rest periods in
    interval training. I usually run the "in between laps" at about 8:30-9:00 pace. Note that these
    workouts will be hard and you will *NOT* want to maintain a 7:15 pace the next day (-;

    >>IMO this is likely to be very tough on your recovery, and not very productive, it's a very
    >>anaerobic workout, and running all those laps in between means that you're combining a moderately
    >>long run with a hard anaerobic workout (How fast is your average pace for the entire session ?)
    >
    > Are you saying that if I am doing some faster laps, I should shorten my workout?

    The faster your repeats are, the harder the workout is. I don't think 10x400 at a pace that you
    can race 5k at is too hard though. I was thinking you were doing more like 10x400 at about 85
    seconds per lap.

    Cheers,
    --
    Donovan Rebbechi http://pegasus.rutgers.edu/~elflord/
     
  14. In article <[email protected]>, TopCounsel wrote:
    >>Back down before you break. Your body is giving your hints and I don't think
    > your listening.
    >
    > What do you think of shedding a quick 10 lbs. or so to lighten the work load (after all, f = ma,
    > and p = mv, and all that, right?). Do you think this could compensate for the aging and bring my
    > recovery periods down to where they once were? I am not overweight (at 6'1" and 165 this morning),
    > but I did weigh between 151 and 155 in my twenties, and I am very adept at gaining or losing
    > weight quickly. Is that worth a shot? I know this would also have the result of making me faster,
    > although I'm really trying to just keep my workouts up without soreness.

    It may improve your performance, but I think you're missing the point.

    Cheers,
    --
    Donovan Rebbechi http://pegasus.rutgers.edu/~elflord/
     
  15. Phil M.

    Phil M. Guest

    "Jonathan Sydenham" <[email protected]> wrote in news:40327131$0$95088
    [email protected]:

    > I haven't seen a training programme anywhere that doesn't recommend an "easy" day after a hard one

    Some programs call for 2 hard days followed by 2 recovery days. However, they should not be the same
    type of hard days. For example, you could do a race on Saturday and still do your scheduled long run
    on Sunday. Follow that with at least 2 recovery days.

    -Phil
     
  16. Topcounsel

    Topcounsel Guest

    >You are clearly not up to SPEED on the proven positive aspects of coffee
    (caffeine).

    Well... enlighten us, then. I know caffeine can help you run faster in the short run -- it does that
    for me, too. But what is the research which shows that caffeine (or is it specifically coffee?) has
    the "surprising power to heal" which the March Runner's World crows about? And, if one is already
    drinking lots of caffeinated beverages, isn't the issue a red herring? Or, are there other safe ways
    to selectively speed up your metabolism to improve healing rates (e.g., thyroid supplements?).
    Believe me, I'm all ears.
     
  17. Bumper

    Bumper Guest

    Instead of heating pads at night try icing your legs immediatly after your workout. I lieu of ice
    you can use the hose, dip in the pool or a short soak in a tub of cold water.

    I know of more than one college track team that keeps drums of ice water ready for a quick afterwork
    dip. Try it, your brain probably won't like it, but your legs will.

    TopCounsel <[email protected]> wrote:

    > At 44, I am already finding that I often need a day of rest after I do an interval workout on
    > the track, as well as a day of rest after my long runs. This is mostly due to
    > stiffness/soreness that prevent me from having a good next workout if I don't take the day
    > off. Would prefer only one day of rest per week, and no need to have any "junk miles"
    > workouts.
    >
    > I use a heating pad at night, warm-up rubs, and warmer clothing to help me get started on
    > runs where I am still stiff from yesterday, but I would love to hear others' tricks for
    > shortening their needed recovery periods. I got to thinking about this when I saw the March
    > RW's garbage about "The Magical Healing Power of Coffee," and how it can supposedly shorten
    > your recovery time. What a load -- sometimes I think RW is like the National Enquirer of
    > sports journalism --
     
  18. In article <[email protected]>, TopCounsel wrote:
    >>So why so much intensity each day? Where is the easy day where you run 8's or 9's?
    >
    > That's how I do my Sunday longer runs (the last one was 14.0 road miles (same hilly route) in
    > 1:57, which is typical for me. That's in that pace race, but for more mileage.
    >
    > Other than these longer runs or on the uphills I do every day, I don't really like to run slower
    > than 8 mpm, although the reason I have taken a few extra rest days recently is because I felt I'd
    > have to run stiff and slow if I got out there and might not enjoy it.

    No comment (-; Addressed elsewhere.

    > I hadn't thought to launch a windy diatribe of my running habits. I just wondered whether
    > folks had some ways they use to shorten recovery. I know less intensity is one way, but it is
    > not my choice.

    I don't think anyone's got good answers then -- most of us just can't train hard every day and
    maintain 50mpw or more. Personally, I don't care -- I'm more interested in great race performances
    than great training sessions.

    > That is in fact what started me whining in the first place....

    If you get this sorted out and find a way to train hard every day despite being 14 years older than
    me -- be sure to post (but make sure you win a few trophies before giving away your secret!). I
    don't think anyone here knows.

    > As to the hard/easy or hard/easy/hard thing, I sort of do that within each separate run, I think,

    I think the problem is that all of your workouts are hard enough to be exhausting but not hard
    enough to give you the benefits of a serious quality workout. Despite the fact that you train
    moderately hard (but below LT) all the time, you do absolutely no running faster than 6:00 pace, and
    not much running faster than your 5k pace (especially if you exclude surging downhills which is not
    comparable in intensity to doing the same on flats). In other words, you're working very hard, but
    not getting in that much quality work.

    Cheers,
    --
    Donovan Rebbechi http://pegasus.rutgers.edu/~elflord/
     
  19. Phil M.

    Phil M. Guest

    Donovan Rebbechi <[email protected]> wrote in
    news:[email protected]:

    > In article <[email protected]>, TopCounsel wrote:
    >>>Back down before you break. Your body is giving your hints and I don't think
    >> your listening.
    >>
    >> What do you think of shedding a quick 10 lbs. or so to lighten the work load (after all, f = ma,
    >> and p = mv, and all that, right?). Do you think this could compensate for the aging and bring my
    >> recovery periods down to where they once were? I am not overweight (at 6'1" and 165 this
    >> morning), but I did weigh between 151 and 155 in my twenties, and I am very adept at gaining or
    >> losing weight quickly. Is that worth a shot? I know this would also have the result of making me
    >> faster, although I'm really trying to just keep my workouts up without soreness.
    >
    > It may improve your performance, but I think you're missing the point.
    >

    I think he really loves the faster paced running. Even if it takes losing wait in order to make his
    easy days faster.

    -Phil
     
  20. Phil M.

    Phil M. Guest

    "Phil M." <[email protected]> wrote in
    news:[email protected]:

    > You said you ran a 19:36 5k last fall. Based on that, you should be doing your easy days at an
    > 8:00 min/mi pace.

    Actually, this should be even slower. Pfitzinger recommends 2 minutes per mile slower than your 10
    mile to 1/2 marathon race pace. A 19:36 5K extrapolates to a 6:49 min/mile pace for a 10 mile race.
    Therefore, 8:49 min/mi for recovery runs would be appropriate.

    -Phil
     
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