Rest, Recovery, and Relaxation

At this point in the year, chances are you’ve had a long season. (I know I have as a reporter!) You’ve been training and tapering, pacing and racing. You may have focused on and worked toward a single race for months and months or, perhaps, you tend to race or adventure every weekend. Regardless of your exact path, either your feeling a bit worn out… or are feeling great, but in secret need of a break.

*Pause* Do you need to step back and rest, recover, and relax? If so, what do you do?

Here are some resources on the physical aspects of recovery:

And here are some articles on overtraining, one of the consequences of failing to adequately rest, recover, and relax:

And a good reminder from Stephanie Howe on how we must consider non-running stresses when thinking about Stress and Running.

Call for Comments

  • How do you decide you need to step back from your running? Do you wait until you’ve run yourself into the ground? Is it by feel, by schedule, or by some other means?
  • For your running, do you ever focus on aspects other than letting your body rest up? In other words, are you consciously letting yourself mentally relax?
  • What do you do when you stop focusing on your running?

[Author’s Note: After eight-and-a-half non-stop months making iRunFar happen from the road, I am reminded just how essential it is to rest and relax. Period. Even when you’re not running much (I’ve not been), the stress, the fatigue, and the frenetic nature of modern life and the resulting pressure we put on ourselves can be more wearing than the hardest of training blocks. Before I can hopefully return to more regular, meaningful, and voluminous running, I need to reset my system. During other periods of my life when I was training more that would have involved stepping back on the running  front. Now, it means indulging in the passion I’ve missed most of this year. So, it’s off to four days of meaningful and mindful… or, at times, completely mindless running in Montana’s Beartooth Mountains. Peace and, then, passion.]

There are 9 comments

  1. Carsonaceae

    Bryon, try Basin Lakes up the west fork of Rock Creek near Red Lodge. The trail up to Silver Run Plateau will do also. And again, East Rosebud trail provides a gradual approach thru a white bark pine forest up to Froze-to-death plateau, which is the jumping off point for hiking/climbing Granite Peak. If you want at least 29 switchbacks (something like that) then try West Rosebud and the approach to FTD from Mystic Lake. Enjoy!

    1. darin321

      All great suggestions! I'd say the run up the lake fork of rock creek to Sundance Pass is another one that can't be missed. Have a good week!

  2. MOGBlogger

    So, sure, I get recovery. But how in hell do we explain the likes of Kiwi Perry who, as we speak, is running across the U.S. from NYC to LA, trying to do it in 46 days …. straight! How, physiologically, is that possible when the rest of us need recovery days from a single ultra, when the likes of Perry is running an ultra every day?? read about the guy on facebook at perrysrunamericain50days

    1. 00joeuhan

      The human body is capable of extraordinary things…but rarely are such things sustainable. That said, 100-mile racing, 46-day runs, and 100 miles per week are possible…but often aren't sustainable for more than a few years…or once, ever.

      Recovery makes it possible to replicate these experiences, but only so long as the recovery = the stress of the event(s).

  3. dotkaye

    thank you for bringing us race reports and interviews from across the world, I have enjoyed it..
    now go run and relax, the Beartooths are magnificent.. haven't spent nearly enough time there, myself.

    like everyone else in ultrarunning, I had to run myself into the ground a couple of times first before figuring out rest is part of training..

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