Back in 1998, while I was pouring over my latest issue of Owen Anderson’s Running Research News, I came across a really interesting study on recovery that fundamentally changed the way I did some workouts for years to come. Continue reading
Right now, I’m in a cycling build. But that means that I still run easily just about every day. Perhaps “easy” is an overstatement– these runs are positively lackadaisical. I think my pace topped out at about 12:00 or 13:00 a mile (which is almost half my running pace in a 10K race). All of this is fine by me because I’ve learned how to run slow to great effect.
A few days back, I had a marathon weekend racing Duathlon Nationals and Seafair. The next day (Monday), I was curled up in a fetal position on the couch and occasionally making cow-like sounds (memo to self: take such days as vacation or sick days). I felt only slightly better on Tuesday. A moderately hard (but failed) workout on Wednesday and an easy day on Thursday… maybe finally I’m ready to hit a hard workout. And so that workout would be 2 x 30min at FTP or higher with 5min recovery. I rode this one with my friend Mary. Time escaped us and I was only able to get one effort in, but it was both comfortable and 10 watts higher than it should have been. If I raced with this much energy on the weekend, I would have been unstoppable. Obviously, at least for that day, anaerobic threshold (AT) was not my limiter.
So what’s going on here? Simple, it’s just basic training effects and supercompensation. According to Pete Pfitzinger, there are some basic rules to the timing of training effects. The bottom line is:
- It takes 8-10 days to get benefits from any workout
- It takes 8-10 days to recover from a maxVO2 workout
- It takes 4 days to recover from lactate threshold and tempo workouts
- Recovering from long runs takes the longest time