top
Team How To Be Fit
Coaching, Encouragement, Resources, Products and Incentives
LIIFT4 With Trainer Joel Freeman
Shop       Lose Weight        Stream Workouts         Free Coaching

Recovery Day For Runners - Take Advantage of the Benefits of
Light Days and Rest Days

By Dale Guilford AmericanRunning.org

There are as many different types of runners as there are people who run. But one misconception that many runners hold in common is a work ethic that too often precludes rest.

The importance of rest daysSome runners have to be held down in order to get the rest the body requires. Sooner or later that will come by way of injury or overtraining syndrome. For those runners, understanding that rest and recovery does not mean doing nothing, can break through the mile-aholic's misconceptions and change training habits for the better.

For starters, we need to differentiate between rest and recovery days and light workout days. They are two different things.

Rest and recovery days are just that. They are days primarily designed to rest and recover. Healthy runners need rest maybe once per week, or even just once or twice a month. Obviously injuries, illness, aging, staleness, increases in distance or intensity, and overtraining can create demands for more rest.

Although rest is needed, it is still important to remain active on those days. The body, just like the mind, needs stimulation every day. Even after a grueling marathon, many people find it's a good idea to move around, maybe take a walk, as early as the day after to avoid stiffening up.

Even people who suffer heart attacks are encouraged to get out of bed and move around as soon as possible. On rest and recovery days it is important to avoid doing the worst thing you can do for your body ... nothing.

Examples of rest and recovery activities are walking, static stretch exercises (after a warm-up and loosening-up period), swimming, water running, and riding a bike.

Keep in mind that increasing respiration and heart rate to a level just slightly above normal and challenging your range of motion are generally good things to do almost any time. Rest is a variable to apply in response to the feedback your body gives — more, or less, but always some.

Light workout days are days in which you are actually working out. The difference is that your activities are lighter, less demanding and generally performed at a lower level of intensity. Or the activities are executed at a high level of intensity for a much shorter period of time.

Light workout days are just as important as heavy workout days. They allow development to take place without breaking yourself down and acquiring overuse injuries, experiencing training plateaus, and developing a generally stale, flat, bored attitude that can come from doing the same thing day after day. In short, the light days make the heavy days possible.

They should enhance and complement your more intense workouts. They can and should be equally enjoyable. If your workouts include heavy days and light days in proper sequence, you should not need as many rest and recovery days.

An important guideline for light workout days is variety. Providing a change in the workloads to shock the system, is what is important. When changing the emphasis on workouts from heavy to light workout days there are a number of things that can be accomplished. Some training objectives that are good to consider on light workout days are flexibility, developing range of motion, improving running form, strength training, hill running, and speed interval training.

If you can, schedule the same amount of time to train on light days as heavy days. A good idea is to spend less time on the track on light days and spend the balance of your training time with strength training. Strength training can improve running times right away.

Of course there are many other benefits from strength training, such as injury prevention, improved bone density, and increased range of motion that research has shown to help people well into their 90s.

Even a little strength training can convey major improvements. There is a plethora of strength training activities and exercises that can be done with no equipment at all. Weights and exercise equipment can be helpful but are not necessary.

Light days can also provide the opportunity to work on running form. Training to improve running form is very important for two reasons. It can help you to move more efficiently and therefore improve your times right away. Even the most advanced runner can improve his form.

While improving your running times may not be important to you, improving running form still has important benefits. If your form is more linear and more stable, it can help prevent injuries.

Start out by jogging for a short distance or complete some other activity that will thoroughly warm your body up. Then continue for short distances, concentrating on one element of running form that will improve your efficiency.

You may need to consult a trainer or strength and conditioning coach for an analysis of your form and constructive criticism for means to improve it.

A similar procedure can be followed while executing hill runs. Hill runs are great for developing strength as well as adding variety to cardiovascular training. Bleachers or stadium steps can be used if there are no hills where you live. However, it is important to remember to concentrate on running form when running hills and stairs.

Many runners will sacrifice form for what they think is speed when they are making an all-out effort. An all-out effort is not necessary when executing hill runs. Run as slowly as necessary to maintain good running form. Increased strength and, as a result, speed will come naturally.

Sprint build-ups or interval work can be incorporated into your light day running workout in a similar way. Start out with a light jog. After you warm up, gradually build up speed until you don't feel like running fast any more. Then slow down to a comfortable pace until fully recovered.

Repeat this build-up-and-recovery procedure until you have completed the amount of running or the amount of time you have planned for running that day. You can get a lot of conditioning done in a short period of time.

Overall, training must be approached intelligently. One of the best favors you can do for your body and your running performance is to respect the need for rest and recovery.

However, that doesn't mean becoming a sloth. It is that misconception that leads some runners to avoid rest and recovery and just train-hard, harder, and hardest.

That won't work in the long run. A better approach is to understand recovery as a training tool and use it well. Remain active on rest days and use light days to address training objectives directly. This is a winning way to train.

Volume 18, Number 4, Running & FitNews
© The American Running Association.

The mission of Team Beachbody is to motivate you and to educate you about health, fitness and nutrition and the benefits of maintaining a healthy lifestyle.
Click here to learn more about Team Beachbody Coach Rich Dafter.


back to top
Team Howtobefit on Facebook Team Howtobefit on Twitter Team Beachbody Coach Rich Dafter on Instagram

Welcome

Team Beachbody Coach Rich Dafter

I'm Rich Dafter - full time dad, life-long runner, Team Beachbody Coach and Polar Global Ambassador. By the Grace of God, I have been able to raise my kids working from home by helping people get healthier, fitter and have better quality of life with free coaching.


Sign up for Your Free Team Beachbody Membership
Free Team Beachbody Memberhip
Answers, advice, guidance and support 7 days a week, 363 days a year!
Save Between $50.00 and $115.00 with a Fitness and Nutrition Bundle
Challenge Pack All-In-One Solutions
Challenge Pack
All-In-One Solutions
Save on Superfood Dense Shakeology on Home Direct
Save on Shakeology on Home Direct
Find out for yourself why more than half a million people drink Shakeology every day
Help Yourself and Others Live Healthier, More Fulfilling Lives
Become a Team Beachbody Coach and Help Change People's Lives
Plus get 25% off on all of your Team Beachbody orders with your Coach membership
Beachbody On Demand Streaming Workouts
Beachbody On Demand Streaming Workouts
Stream every Beachbody workout on any device, anytime
Save on
Nutrition Programs
2B Mindset Nutrition Program
Save on2B Mindset, 3 Day Refresh and the Ultimate Reset
Save on
Workout Programs
Save $20.00 on Transform :20 Challenge Packs and Completion Packs
Still love DVD's? Get them while you still can!
Get Healthier and Fitter with Team Beachbody
Camille Lost 8.6 Pounds with Transform 20
Laura Lost 10 Pounds with LIIFT4
Kenny Lost 100 Pounds with the 2B Mindset
Allison Lost 8.5 Pounds with 80 Day Obsession
Craig's Results Using Shift Shop
Dionna's LIIFT4 Results
Brooke Lost 8 Pounds with Transform :20

© 2019 Howtobefit.com  -  About   -  Contact  -  Join My Team  -  Coach Earnings Statement  -  Site Map  -  Shop -  Home