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Running Recovery Schedules
If you have ever sustained a significant running injury then you know how difficult it is to recover and get back to your regular training mileage. Two common mistakes runners make is to start running too soon and risk re-injury or resume running too late and having to start all over with their training.
Take Fictus Fictishus, for example, who decided to start running again after his injury. He signed up for a marathon with just one week of training. After completion he put in four 100 mile weeks before his next race, which was a 100 miler. He rested a few days and kept running. Soon after, he decided to run across America, alone, pulling a cart with supplies so he did not need to to buy food along the way. He got injured again and never recovered.
Instead, he should have found the optimal intensity and training volume for recovery. His training schedule, though exaggerated in this example, is too much. When you start to feel better put in recovery miles before resuming your regular training. By doing the right amount of miles at a slower than usual speed you can actually hasten recovery. This has to do with the progressive overload principle. All athletic training depends upon a careful balance of physical stress and rest, especially when injured. Having the right Running Recovery Schedule will help you find that balance.
Following a period of rest and recovery running too few miles can also delay the healing process. Running, if done at the right dosage, builds tissue resilience to tendons, ligaments, and muscle. Don't pass up the opportunity to build strength by resting too much.
You don't need to stop running until fully recovered. Once you determine that it is safe to run again attempt a trial run. Keep the intensity low. Go for duration instead of distance so you do not feel the pressure of having to cover a certain amount of miles. Do what it takes to minimize impact and run as pain free as possible. If you still have pain you may need to rest more, cross train by doing a low impact activity, or seek medical treatment.
Start your first running recovery week with a trial run. Go out and run at a pace of minimal exertion. Run as far as you can. Stop if you have pain and note the duration. If you feel pain during or after your run (even after 24 hours) then you have gone too far. Gauge ahead of time what you can safely do. Rest 2 or 3 days then run again at half the distance as your trial run.
Repeat this on week 2 but add a third run also at half the distance as your trial run. Those two or three runs will now be the basis for what you know you can safely run without pain. Attempt to increase your mileage every two to three weeks. Monitor your training volume (miles per week), intensity (speed), frequency (times per week), and duration (length of each run) carefully for signs of over training.
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