A recovery run is a short run completed at a very easy pace. The goals of this workout are active recovery—to help you rest before your next challenging run—and to maintain your weekly mileage.
There's no added benefit to running faster than you should, so relying on your internal data can be very helpful. As a comparative reference, recovery runs should feel slower and easier than base runs and follow the same effort guidelines. Sometimes you need to run slower than you think, and as long as an effort feels super easy, then it probably is super easy.
Running by feel on base and recovery runs will force you to slow down even more if it's hot or windy, you're on hilly terrain, or you're fatigued from previous workouts. Instead of speeding up to match the pace you're committed to, you can run for time and estimate your pace.
The Value of Flexibility
Running by feel is not only about slowing down during easy runs. It also includes cutting back on miles planned for the day if you don't feel good. Don't hesitate to cut a run short if you're feeling overly fatigued or sore.
Shifting workouts throughout the week to accommodate any minor injuries, fatigue, or soreness is also wise. Remember that it's better to train slightly less and be 100 percent healthy than train too hard according to a predetermined plan and get injured. The latter only results in missing more running.
While GPS watches can be a valuable training tool, it's important to develop the skill of running by feel so you can avoid over-training, enhance your faster workouts and, ultimately, race faster.Sign up for your next race.