Today, I did a brisk walk with my dog, Zadar, to recover from yesterday’s “long” run. Walking can be a great form of cross-training, especially after a long run. As Coach Jay Johnson in his book “Simple Marathon Training” states, the walk the day after a long run is crucial for recovery. The walk facilitates the delivery of oxygen-rich blood to muscle fibers damaged from the long run on the previous day. This is also a great opportunity to spend with your family and your dog, if you have one. You can also do an easy bike ride or hike. This recovery workout should be done in a flat area or one with gently rolling hills so that you can cover approximately 3 hours in an hour. I recommend that this walk be at least 30 minutes and depending on your level of training and fitness 30 minutes may be ideal. I would recommend doing no more than 60 minutes because tomorrow will be another run day and we want to be as fresh as possible for that run.
I also did mobility and strengthening exercises, as well as foam rolling. See the tips below for a video of the strengthening exercises.
Recommendation: Today, I recommend that your cross-train for 30 minutes. I highly recommend walking at a brisk pace, this mode can be the most beneficial in aiding in recovery. Specifically, a brisk walk can facilitate getting oxygen-rich blood to damaged muscle fibers from yesterday’s long run. Also, a brisk walk can be done with other family members and the family dog(s). You also bike, swim, or use elliptical machine at the gym, or other great recovery modes would be a hike or cross-country skiing. I strongly recommend that whichever mode you choose, perform it in a flat area or area with gently rolling hills. Remember that the purpose of today’s workout is recovery, so don’t overdo it because tomorrow is another run. After your cross-training, I recommend performing the exercises above and performing a cool-down.
Tip of the Day: Mobility, stability, and strengthening exercises are a critical component of your training plan and need to be performed on a consistent basis. I strongly recommend that you perform these exercises after your runs and cross-training workouts. The exercises in the video (step 1) below should be performed for at least 4-6 weeks before moving onto the next progression of somewhat more challenging exercises (step 2). These exercises will help improve your core and hip strengthening, important for stabilizing your hips and pelvis while you run, as well as providing power. They will also help improve your range of motion, especially in the hip area. In addition, toe yoga will help you improve control with your big toe, which can help with stability. While performing these exercises, be sure to breathe normally.
Video for mobility, stability and strengthening exercises:
Please let me know if you have any questions, or if I can be of help in any way.
Enjoy your recovery day!
Your friend and coach,
Simple Marathon Training, Jay Johnson, PFB Publishing: Denver, CO, 2016.