Every race I’ve ever entered and run has meant the end of a period of training. At that point I get crisps back in my life. The race is a means to an end. Until next time, I’m done.
In my previous post this week I talked about the 10km race I entered last minute at the weekend. How spontaneous! However, this wasn’t a finish point but an interim thing – a race before the big race in a couple of weeks time.
Mentally this became a bit of a challenge – after the race I had a few beers and a big chicken kebab. A couple of days later I met up with some friends after work, and again had a few well earned beers in the pub. Beer gets you three times – once with the extra calories while drinking it; once with unavoidable salty snacks; and thirdly the next day – porridge is out, bacon sandwiches are in!
I’ve never done a recovery run. Every run I’ve ever done is designed to get me towards the cliff edge of my goal – always, always a race. This time round, given the nature of my recent race, I set out to do a recovery run. Something different, something new; keeping it fresh.
It became immediately clear that I don’t know what a recovery run is.
First of all, four days had already passed before I went out on my recovery run (this is the beers fault again, that’s the fourth time it got me!), so not much of a leg shaker, more a run after a few days rest.
I also didn’t understand the sort of pace I should be running. My 10k result was a little over 46 minutes, which puts my pace at around 4:38/km. My recover run was 7kms at 5 min/km pace. Is that right? In hindsight it felt too quick, too much strain on recently strained muscles.
That pace/distance had been my plan before I set off, and once I was out and running I couldn’t hold back so just kept going with it. I had a big protein shake when I got home and a bath to relax the muscles, so think I got away with it.
Reading up a little on active recovery I should’ve gone out for a much shorter distance, at a much slower pace, and a time much much closer to the race I’d run. Maybe I’ll try again after the main race in a few weeks, or maybe that will be the cliff edge it normally is. Either way, at least I can have crisps again!