I am very much in the school of thought that believes that easy/recovery runs and long runs should be run at a comfortable pace. This is not to say that you shouldn’t run tempo runs/intervals/speedwork, etc. at a fast pace. Just that you should take it truly easier on your recovery runs. But how many of us are likely to do that? Based on my recent 8k, McMillan says I should run my easy runs between 9:59-10:52 and my recovery runs between 11:00 and 11:50. I can guarantee you that my RRCA books would say even slower. And I’ll be honest – I can’t stand to see an 11 at the start of a mile. In my mind, I am faster than that. So, even if I set out with the best of intentions of staying slow, I NEVER run that slowly (unless I start way too fast in the first mile and then all bets are off.)
So, yesterday I decided to run my recovery run (I’d done speedwork on the treadmill the day before) as a true recovery run. As luck would have it, I’m pretty sure I did run the prescribed pace (or possibly even slower).
I have no idea exactly how far I ran or how fast or really even total time I was out there. I could probably get a reasonably accurate estimation using mapping tools, but honestly, I don’t care. I ran. I ran easy. I sweated (a lot). I worked out the tightness in my calf from my previous run. I felt good afterwards.
I’m going to call that a successful recovery run.