Most casual/semi-serious runners follow a similar training schedule: 3-4 runs throughout the week and one long run on the weekend. The long run is prepping them for whatever distance they’re looking to race in the next few months and the weekday runs consist of tempo runs, hill workouts, and speed drills. There is also one workout that is oftentimes
ignored forgotten: The Shake Out Recovery Run.
Runners are typically Type A people with a desire to kick their own butts who see every run as an opportunity to go faster, harder and generally run themselves right into the ground. We are masochists, I tell you! It’s a blessing and a curse. This attitude makes them/us work hard and focus on their runs with the kind of intensity that is required of long-distance sports. However, it is a curse in that they rarely take a rest day (even when ordered to do so by their coach) and aren’t known for slowing down, or stopping entirely, to deal with injuries. Hey, we’re not perfect.
But there is one workout that even the most
pigheaded intense runner can incorporate into his/her workout in lieu of taking a rest day after a hard workout day. It’s called the Shake Out Recovery Run. It is a run that is no more than 4-5 miles (sometimes even less!) done at warm-up pace the entire time. Sometimes legs get sore from long runs, speed drills or those dreaded hill workouts and you need to move around and get the blood flowing to those tender areas, but not do more damage so as to hinder the healing process. This is where a Shake Out Recovery Run comes in.
Here’s when you do it: when you are sore or have just done a long run the day/two days before. Here’s how you do it: select a flat course, grab your watch and make sure you don’t go faster than your usual warm-up pace. This will ensure that it remains just a Shake Out Run and doesn’t turn into a crazy negative-splits workout (you know who you are). Enjoy the view, run with a friend who is slower than you are, chat with other runners and keep it slow.
This sort of run will not only help minimize the duration of the soreness, it will help your muscle fibers heal and get you back out on the road for those butt-kicking workouts you enjoy so much. So, take a day and plan a scenic route for your Shake Out Recovery Run. I did mine yesterday and here’s where I ran:
So what are you waiting for? Go out and run!