4 times you should slow down & recover :)

Runners can be an obsessive bread. As a running coach, I know how difficult it can be for my athletes when I tell them to “rest” or “go easy”. We are wired for “fight or flight”. However, rest & recovery are extremely important because that is when the changes happen ūüôā


1- Recovery between intervals

If you ever did a “couch to 5k” program, you probably started your running journey with run/walk intervals. Intervals are used in the sport at all levels. Intervals are not exclusively for beginners!

Intervals stress your body in short time periods ranging anywhere from 30 sec-15 min. The rest between these intervals will also vary depending on the type of workout. The idea is to allow the body to recover enough between intervals to complete the workout.

Even elites do these kinds of workouts Galen Rupp did 5 x 1 mile interval workout after a 2 mile race once. These kinds of workouts are apart of almost every training plan.

2- Recovery Between Workout Days

I’m sure you have heard some version of these following quotes:

-“We can’t go hard every day”

-“keep your easy days easy & your hard days hard”

-“80/20”- Matt Fitzgerald

First it is important to note what a “workout day” is. A workout day is anything faster than your easy pace. A workout can be a tempo, intervals, hills, fartleks, marathon pace, long runs, ¬†etc.

You should not do “workout” days on back to back days. Your body NEEDS to recover between workouts.

Running slow/easy is a form of active recovery. A recovery run will help your blood to flow which will help in the recovery process.

Cut Back Weeks During Training

-Training cycles are very intense and stressful on the body. The stress on your body will cause your body to change, but these changes can only happen if your body has time to repair itself.

During marathon training, you are running on very low glycongen storages, and it is important to implement “cut back weeks” to allow your muscles to recover, your body to repair itself, AND for your glycogen storages to restore.

Cut back weeks are done every 2-4 weeks at 75% of your previous weekly mileage. We will also like to see the long run cut down to less than 90 min during these week.


After a big training cycle, you will run your “goal race”. It is important to allow your body LOTS of time to recover after this goal race. You might “feel” totally fine within a few days of this race. I have heard people say they “aren’t even sore” 24 hours after racing a marathon (which I think is complete BS..).. However, just because you “feel” fine, doesn’t mean your body is fine.

Can you feel the early stages of a stress fracture? Nope. Can you feel when your body gets early early stages of cancer? Nope. So it’s the same line of thought. You cannot “feel” the things that are happening internally in your body. It can take over 30 days to recover from a marathon physically. Mentally, some runners take even LONGER to recover.

Off season mileage can still be about 75% of training mileage. Personally, I would also cut out the 2 hour+ long runs completely.

Be kind to your body & take is easy ¬†ūüôā

How to Increase your Mileage & Why I Run 80 Miles per Week During Marathon Training

My weekly mileage and ‘speed’ go hand-in-hand. I have increased my mileage from 30 up to 80 from 2012-2016. In turn, I have been able become a faster and more efficient runner. Majority (70-80%) of these weekly miles are run at an easy pace which is close to 90-120 seconds SLOWER than my half marathon PR pace.¬†

Calculate your easy pace here!


Why does running more make you faster?

1- improved running economy: running economy is how efficiently your body uses oxygen while running. The more you run, the better your body becomes at utilizing oxygen while running.  This means you can run for longer/ at a faster pace.

2- Increased Capillary Development- More ways for the blood to make it to your muscles to aid when muscles are fatigued. Your body physically makes more capalaries as an adaptation to running more easy miles.

3- Increased Mental Stregnth: How many times have you heard, “running a marathon is mental”.. There is a lot of truth to that. Simulating your training to make you mentally tougher with high mileage is a good way to feel what you will feel on race day

4- Glycogen Storage: The higher volume you run, the more glycogen your body will store as you are using more glycogen in training. This will allow your body to fuel itself more efficiently on longer runs/races

My PRs and Mileage over time

Jan 2012:     30-40 miles per week 23:30 5k PR

July 2012:  45-55 miler per week Р   21:15 5k      1:47 half

Spring 2013- 40-45 miles per week Р21:40 5k     4:09 marathon * reduced mileage

Summer 2013- 50-60 miles per week Р20:45 5k,    3:47 marathon , 1:41 half

Fall 2013-  55-60 miles per week Р 20:30 5k,  3:43 marathon, 1:41 half

Spring 2014- 65-70 miles per week – 19:56 5k, 3:27 marathon, 1:35 half

Fall 2014- 70-80 miles per week- 18:56 5k, 3:19 marathon, 1:33 half

Spring 2015- 80-90 miles per week- 18:36 5k, 3:14 marathon, 1:29 half

Spring 2016- 60 miles per week Р19:30 5k, 3:23 marathon, 1:32 half* Reduced Mileage

from 2015 to 2016 I cut my mileage significantly, and I have noticed a decrease in performance. (it’s hard to find time/motivation LOL)

How to Increase your Mileage:

1- Only add 10% per week! If you ran 40 miles last week, try running 44 this week then 48 the next week. 10% is about the highest you want to do. This can help avoid injury

2- Run more EASY miles! No need to make these extra miles “fast” or “workouts”. You don’t want to increase both intensity and mileage at the same time! You can find your easy pace here:¬†Calculate your easy pace here!

3- Consider starting with doubles: I think doubles are an easy way for people to jump up in mileage! It help get your body used to running at the higher mileage, and it can be easier on your body in some aspects

4- Cut Back every 2-4 weeks by 25%! : your body NEEDS to recover. The adaptations happen during your recovery phase, so make SURE you cut back by 25% every week 2-4 weeks so your body can recover!

5- Everyone needs and “off season”– No one runs their peak mileage year round! After training for a specific event, it’s very important to take time OFF or at a very low mileage! I often cut down to about 50% of my peak mileage after big races. This will allow your body to recover properly ūüôā