Marathon Training for Simpletons Part VI - Recovery

My name's Phil, and I'm an idiot for trying to run the marathon

With any addiction, the first step to getting over it is to admit you have a problem. Sadly, I've admitted that from day one, and I'm still doing it.

This final (unless I want to resurrect it later) instalment of the fascinating Marathon Training for Simpletons mini-series looks at the crucial, but oft ignored or misunderstood element - recovery.

VO2 max training
, lactate threshold training and runs to improve running economy and glycogen use are all well and good, but they're only half the story.

Think about what training is - it's adapting your body to improve in some specific way. No one run will do this in itself, annoyingly. It's the sum of lots of them. And to best adapt, the body needs to respond positively, and not be overwhelmed by training.

That's not to say when you do a hard session you shouldn't do anything the next day, though obviously that's an option. You just need to make sure you do something a bit different, and not overdo it.

Another aspect of recovery is tapering as the marathon itself gets closer. This lets your body recover from the rigour of training, and at the same time keeping the intensity there so you don't lose the fitness you've built up.

That might sound weird, but essentially means doing less mileage overall, but keeping the high-intensity efforts, just less of them. This'll leave you fresh and prepared for the race itself.

I know from last year when I did this that it does make a difference. Before my knees went, I'd never had such a great run, so this will defo be built into the training plan.

Not like I'd need an excuse to rest...