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Recovery Quote: Ryan Hall

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Post  Randy E on Wed Jan 18, 2012 8:32 am

I thought this was a good quote from Ryan Hall:



I constantly remind myself that resting takes confidence. Anyone can train like a mad man but to embrace rest and to allow all the hard training to come out takes mental strength.

Ryan Hall
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Post  Dave P on Wed Jan 18, 2012 8:51 am

@Randy E wrote:I thought this was a good quote from Ryan Hall:



I constantly remind myself that resting takes confidence. Anyone can train like a mad man but to embrace rest and to allow all the hard training to come out takes mental strength.

Ryan Hall

I know it takes a lot of "mental strength" for me to rest. I really struggle with taper & recovery. I just want to run.
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Post  ounce on Wed Jan 18, 2012 11:15 am

I had a difficult taper, for the first time. I think it was because I wanted to get out there and see if I could execute the plan.

The Wednesday evening before race, we had a Trials volunteer meeting downtown. I walked around all the construction of the finish area, thought a little prayer and got this calmness. I was set. Slept well the rest of the week.


Last edited by ounce on Wed Jan 18, 2012 11:16 am; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : spelling)
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Post  Mike MacLellan on Wed Jan 18, 2012 12:07 pm

Good to know that even the elites struggle with that one. I love rest days until about halfway through them. Then I hate them for that exact reason.
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Post  John Kilpatrick on Wed Jan 18, 2012 12:32 pm

Yeah, what Mike said. I think he hit the nail on the head with confidence - it takes a lot of confidence in yourself to rest - both the ability to recover and the confidence that you are doing the right thing are fleeting concepts. When you hear about top-notch athletes putting in up to 40 hours a week training and you only do a quarter of that, you almost feel a little guilty taking a day off. One of the hardest things for me to do is to run with someone and stick to your pace even if they are running faster than you are.

It's all relative I know, but I read Ryan's Running with Joy book and there isn't much what I would call rest in there - he even writes about breaking the "cardinal rule" of running through a chest cold - he obviously does whatever he does right though! And what looks hard to me is truly rest days for him. It is striking how "slow" his slow days - he REALLY slows down quite a bit on his off days almost becoming human.

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Post  Dave-O on Wed Jan 18, 2012 1:36 pm

I think the key here is that his definition of "rest" isn't a day off. Its running 8-10 miles at an easy pace. If you follow him on Twitter, his "rest" days still have him running at a pace us mere mortals would find a tempo run.
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Recovery Quote: Ryan Hall Empty Re: Recovery Quote: Ryan Hall

Post  Chris M on Wed Jan 18, 2012 5:40 pm

I agree with Dave. "Recovery" to an elite almost invariably means still running. Hall is controversial because he has apparantly been taking acutal true days off of running 1 day a week (usually Sundays but not always) but in general I think the point of the quote is to be confident enough to go easy and slow instead of hard each day. "Rest" as I would take it from Hall's quote means still running but running so easy as to not stress the body that day. I've said many times that you can tell how well you are running by the difference in pace between your fastest run of the week and your slowest. If those paces are pretty close to one another, you are running your recovery days too hard and (partly as a result) running your hard days too easy. The elites would be off the charts from a percentage perspective on how widely their paces range from hard workouts to recovery days.
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Post  Ben Z on Wed Jan 18, 2012 11:11 pm

@Chris M wrote:I agree with Dave. "Recovery" to an elite almost invariably means still running. Hall is controversial because he has apparantly been taking acutal true days off of running 1 day a week (usually Sundays but not always) but in general I think the point of the quote is to be confident enough to go easy and slow instead of hard each day. "Rest" as I would take it from Hall's quote means still running but running so easy as to not stress the body that day. I've said many times that you can tell how well you are running by the difference in pace between your fastest run of the week and your slowest. If those paces are pretty close to one another, you are running your recovery days too hard and (partly as a result) running your hard days too easy. The elites would be off the charts from a percentage perspective on how widely their paces range from hard workouts to recovery days.

I know we are straying a bit off topic here but I don't think the idea of having a big difference in paces between your hard workout and easy workout applies about half the time. Specifically during a base period.

If you look at what most coaches stress (Pfitz, Hudson, Canova, Lydiard) typically 5-6 days per week are easy/moderate and those paces are all pretty close.

But during a build, speed, marathon-specific, whatever you wanna call it phase you are right.
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Post  Chris M on Thu Jan 19, 2012 7:51 pm

@Ben Z wrote:
@Chris M wrote:I agree with Dave. "Recovery" to an elite almost invariably means still running. Hall is controversial because he has apparantly been taking acutal true days off of running 1 day a week (usually Sundays but not always) but in general I think the point of the quote is to be confident enough to go easy and slow instead of hard each day. "Rest" as I would take it from Hall's quote means still running but running so easy as to not stress the body that day. I've said many times that you can tell how well you are running by the difference in pace between your fastest run of the week and your slowest. If those paces are pretty close to one another, you are running your recovery days too hard and (partly as a result) running your hard days too easy. The elites would be off the charts from a percentage perspective on how widely their paces range from hard workouts to recovery days.

I know we are straying a bit off topic here but I don't think the idea of having a big difference in paces between your hard workout and easy workout applies about half the time. Specifically during a base period.

If you look at what most coaches stress (Pfitz, Hudson, Canova, Lydiard) typically 5-6 days per week are easy/moderate and those paces are all pretty close.

But during a build, speed, marathon-specific, whatever you wanna call it phase you are right.

Good point and I'm in a phase now like that. Lots of running done at relatively the same pace. Plain vanilla mileage buildup. I guess I was more thinking about race sharpening time and when you are in the race specific mode of training and there's at least one 5K paced or faster workout in each week. Could be 800s, mile repeats etc. I see a lot of people say that "when I run x days a week or y number of miles, I break down". What I've generally seen in myself and others is that only happens if you are running basically everything at moderate to harder difficulty and never having those truly easy recovery runs which end up creating the big spread of paces versus your speed workouts and races. To me, easy/recovery means 60-90 seconds per mile slower than MP. Faster than that is so easy to fall into and so it takes discipline and some confidence to run slow enough on most days to get the purpose out of that day's run.
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Post  Ben Z on Thu Jan 19, 2012 8:12 pm

@Chris M wrote:

Good point and I'm in a phase now like that. Lots of running done at relatively the same pace. Plain vanilla mileage buildup. I guess I was more thinking about race sharpening time and when you are in the race specific mode of training and there's at least one 5K paced or faster workout in each week. Could be 800s, mile repeats etc. I see a lot of people say that "when I run x days a week or y number of miles, I break down". What I've generally seen in myself and others is that only happens if you are running basically everything at moderate to harder difficulty and never having those truly easy recovery runs which end up creating the big spread of paces versus your speed workouts and races. To me, easy/recovery means 60-90 seconds per mile slower than MP. Faster than that is so easy to fall into and so it takes discipline and some confidence to run slow enough on most days to get the purpose out of that day's run.

Sorry Chris. I feel like I'm picking on you. But I think you have to separate easy from recovery runs.

Much like McMillan and Daniels I am starting to believe you need to have plenty of easy days. Most days in fact. But that pace shouldn't be a jog. Both believe it should roughly be 30-60 seconds slower than MP.

Recovery jogs are limited to the intervals basically. So rarely are you ever doing runs in the 90+ sec slower than MP range.

I used to believe 'easy' = 'recovery' but now I stick to the calculator pretty closely unless I'm really beat up. Seems to be working OK so far as I'm getting just a touch more out of the base phase without breaking down.
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Post  mul21 on Thu Jan 19, 2012 10:02 pm

@Ben Z wrote:
@Chris M wrote:

Good point and I'm in a phase now like that. Lots of running done at relatively the same pace. Plain vanilla mileage buildup. I guess I was more thinking about race sharpening time and when you are in the race specific mode of training and there's at least one 5K paced or faster workout in each week. Could be 800s, mile repeats etc. I see a lot of people say that "when I run x days a week or y number of miles, I break down". What I've generally seen in myself and others is that only happens if you are running basically everything at moderate to harder difficulty and never having those truly easy recovery runs which end up creating the big spread of paces versus your speed workouts and races. To me, easy/recovery means 60-90 seconds per mile slower than MP. Faster than that is so easy to fall into and so it takes discipline and some confidence to run slow enough on most days to get the purpose out of that day's run.

Sorry Chris. I feel like I'm picking on you. But I think you have to separate easy from recovery runs.

Much like McMillan and Daniels I am starting to believe you need to have plenty of easy days. Most days in fact. But that pace shouldn't be a jog. Both believe it should roughly be 30-60 seconds slower than MP.

Recovery jogs are limited to the intervals basically. So rarely are you ever doing runs in the 90+ sec slower than MP range.

I used to believe 'easy' = 'recovery' but now I stick to the calculator pretty closely unless I'm really beat up. Seems to be working OK so far as I'm getting just a touch more out of the base phase without breaking down.

Ben, for those who aren't capable of running a marathon in the 2:50s, 60 seconds slower than MP is the bare minimum for easy runs. You get into the 30 seconds slower range and that becomes a way more taxing than it should be GA run. 60-90 seconds is fine for most and if you're working as hard as you should be in other workouts, that's not going to hurt you in the long run. And I couldn't disagree with you more on the recovery runs. There's no way most of us get through a training cycle in one piece without doing a decent number of runs/miles at 90-120 slower than MP.
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Post  Ben Z on Thu Jan 19, 2012 10:38 pm

McMillan argues the same thing for 3:30 and 4 hr marathoners. So if you believe in the running calculator...

My main point is that easy days should be run fast enough to stimulate a response. For many that may be faster than you think. The human body can tolerate A LOT and I firmly believe its usually not the training that breaks you down but the lack of proper recovery immediately following a run as well as the hours and night's rest after.

True recovery runs (4-10 miles at +90-120) can be used but sparingly and in a phase when you are doing hard workouts the day before. But in a true base period I don't think you should be doing much in the 90-120 range. If you are too sore to run in the +~60 range you are probably better off completely resting or doing strengthening excercises.
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Post  Dave P on Fri Jan 20, 2012 11:51 am

Nice discussion - I have struggled a lot with "rest" days. I have tried slow/ recovery runs of about 4 miles at a pace much slower than MP-90 sec. I have decided to make them complete rest days instead, with just walking for 30 to 60 min.
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