5 Benefits of Recovery Runs

There were many years that I shunned the Recovery Run, then there was a period when I was running recovery runs on a regular basis. In that period I came to appreciate the Recovery Run.


I’m linking up with My First 5K and MoreRunning With Attitude, Runs with PugsZenaida and Run Laugh Eat Pie for Fit Five Friday. Today I’m sharing 5 benefits of Recovery Runs.

1: Reduces mental fatigue
No matter how much you love running, if you’re training for longer distances there often comes a point when you’re just tired of either running, or trying to hit a certain pace, or even just running longer. Knowing you don’t have to run hard or long can be a huge energizer.

2: Reduces chance of injury
Recovery runs, when done at the right pace (which isn’t as easy as it sounds), can help to keep you aerobically fit while reducing the wear and tear on your body.

3: Increases weekly mileage
I love recovery runs for this reason. Adding on, even to my shorter runs, isn’t always possible — and sometimes just isn’t desirable. Run a mile or two — maybe even a couple of times a week? It’s an easy way (pun intended) for you to increase your weekly mileage without burning out.

4: Trains you to run on tired legs
There’s a point in most races when your legs are tired. Or in your long runs or harder workouts. Running easy the day after a hard effort helps to train you to run when you’ve already worked your legs hard the day before. That can translate into having the mental fortitude to run harder when you’re tired towards the end of the race.

5: May actually make you a faster runner
Running easy after a hard effort may actually help you to run faster in the long run (again, pun intended!) — see point #4.

Final Thoughts
Recovery Runs aren’t actually about clearing lactic acid — that happens fairly quickly after a hard run. They also aren’t really about reducing soreness, either — soreness is actually caused by inflammation, not the build up of lactic acid. I hope you can see, though, that there can be a lot of benefits to running easy on a tired legs.

Have you ever tried a Recovery Run? 

Did you like it — and if you did, why?

Did you not like it — and if so, why?

8 thoughts on “5 Benefits of Recovery Runs

  1. Hardly ever.

    I prefer a rest day after a hard run which for me is a race or double digit long run. Why? Stay injury free!

    The only exception may be if I don’t time to get in my 3 short weekday runs due to work or weather. Then I may do an easy run of 3 miles. Not worth getting dressed for less. IMO.

    Obviously they work for many runners.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Perhaps. As you know, I don’t overthink my runs… I just try to get them done. I don’t even wear a watch. Hey, they don’t pay me to run. I run for fun and to connect with friends and other runners.

        We all do what makes us happy.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I also used to shun recovery runs until I started doing them and could actually see the benefits (like you listed here) for myself. I like them now because they’re just an easy run and a nice way to get outside and enjoy nature.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, exactly! I think you have to not just try it , but commit to it for say a month. I think it takes time to truly appreciate the benefits. And yes I didn’t try them for many years, but I’m glad I finally did embrace them.

      Liked by 1 person

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