I had an interesting conversation today with a well known and respected cross country and track coach. While we discussed many topics, one that gathered my attention the most was recovery days. How fast should you go? He brought up an interesting point. While we should be running slower, it is important that we don’t slow down too much. Why? Because it can change our cadence, form and running style. Something that should almost become second nature and be very comfortable. If one slows down too much and their cadence decreases, this can probably be detrimental.
How much should you slow down then is the question. Im a firm believer of listening to your body. We discussed the ability to ability to carry on a conversation. How long should this conversation be? This is a debatable topic. Some will say you should be able to speak complete sentences. Others say you should still need to take a breath demonstrating your exerting yourself. A heart rate monitor can help guide you if you struggle with running too fast or too slow on recovery runs. Your heart rate will vary depending on your age, but a rule of thumb is to keep it at 180 – age for a recovery run
Think about this the next time you head out for an easy run. Keep your cadence up but yet don’t go too hard and see how it feels.