Mastering the art of the RECOVERY run.

Hi, my name is Andrea, and I am awful at Recovery runs.

No seriously… since I do all my runs solo, no matter what I end up racing myself/clock/course/etc. Every time I want to go easy, I end up pushing it. It is so bad for me to run every run like that! It is hard on my body!! Girl needs an easy day, ya?

Well today, I DID IT. I successfully had a slow, easy, recovery run… and I can can break it up into 3 parts for you guys::

Part 1: “Just Keep At It” (the very beginning)-I started off super slow, yet it felt awful. It felt hard. That was the “oh crap” part when I had the flood of thoughts that runners get from time to time when they have a “bad” run… You know, the ridiculous thoughts like, “Oh my gosh I suck now, I can’t do this, I seem to have some how lost all ability to run, overnight, blah blah blah…”

Part 2: “Don’t Lose Focus” (the middle half)- Suddenly, as if a flip was switched, I felt great. My legs felt light, my breathing was almost in a normal, resting rhythm.Β  I had to force myself to Keep.It.Slow. Normally I would react to this feeling with “YAY lets race! Go time Andrea!” But no…. It took every stride and all my mental focus to remind myself to keep it easy.

Part 3: “Run For Life” (the last half/bringing it home)- The last half was by FAR the most enjoyable. I suddenly was able to turn off my brain and stop concentrating on the pace and just relax into the run. The slow rhythm became a part of me… and I a part of it. I felt like I could keep that pace for ever and ever…. It was truly the This is why I love to run” feeling.

I was so proud of myself for this run! I kept it between 7:45-8:00min pace the whole run (4.7 miles). It was just what I needed, and I proved to myself that not all runs have to be races! Some runs are simply…. well, Runs!Β 

This is a big step in my running journey and I know it will keep me healthy, injury free, and mentally obsessed for many more years to come!

-Does anyone else struggle with “easy” days or “recovery” runs?

-What are you suggestions for keeping a run slow?

-Do you take easy run days or just do cross training instead?


  1. Wow, your pace was still fast! I think it’s easier to do recovery runs without listening to music – no fast beat to push you, and the ability to listen to your breathing and keep it slow. I guess not everyone runs with headphones in the first place though πŸ™‚

    1. That is a great idea! Ya the fast beats definitely get me moving… and being able to hear my breathing to make sure it stay s under control is really important. Thanks for the hint!! I will give it a try next time!!

  2. *slowly rolls eyes*
    Your slow pace is not even my fast pace.
    I wish I could run at a 8 min pace.
    One day one day.
    But I understand where you are coming from.
    Right now I’m about a 9.30 pace
    so when I try to slow down I always still end up being 9:30-9:45
    after telling myself I want to do an 11min pace and just
    jog. It’s hard going slow cause I feel like I don’t
    even be pushing myself sometimes that’s
    just what my body does lol.
    I did a 10:20 pace run today though and it felt good.

    1. great job on being able to take it easier!! isn’t it funny how much harder it is than one would think?? I mean it shouldn’t be as difficult as it is haha! Glad you had a relaxing run πŸ™‚

  3. pickyrunner · · Reply

    I’m terrible at recovery runs. But it’s important in running fast so I try to keep that in mind when I’m doing it- it’s also easier with friends!

    1. ha good to hear I am not alone in the “awful at recovery runs” department…. Ya I keep telling myself that the slow/easy days are JUST AS IMPORTANT in reaching my racing goals/times as the hard days. Gosh I have NO running group or friends here to run with! I do all my runs alone! I would love nothing more than to run with a friend and keep just a slow talking pace for recovery days!!!

  4. That’s a great run! Maybe you can help me speed up, ha! But no, recovery runs are no fun at all and I have no words of wisdom. I take it easy 100% on ‘rest days’ but only allow that once a week – typically Fridays! Woo!

  5. […] guys…. pure recovery runs are THE BEST. Yesterday, after an early dinner at 4:30 (or is that a late lunch?) I was super full […]

  6. […] very OK with the slow 5 miles I put in this morning. It was GOOD for me… as you guys know, recovery runs are not my […]

  7. […] more Yoga. Good for the body AND mind. This will be a great way to make sure I take rest days and not push my body too hard (I am awful about taking rest […]

  8. […] Mastering the Art of a Recovery Run. […]

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