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Recovery Runs

Recovery run effort level should be at an RPE of 4 – 5, Zone 1 or 65% to 75% of your Lactate Threshold Pace/HR or Power. The duration for a recovery run is between 40 and 60 minutes.

A recovery run serves two primary purposes in your training schedule. The first is that it allows you to add distance to your weekly running at such a low effort level that you require minimal downtime to recover from the run. 

The second , more important reason for any distance runner is that recovery runs when properly executed, at very low HR levels, stimulate the Vagus nerve and activate your bodies Rest and Digest mechanism (parasympathetic system) as opposed to the Fight or Flight response (sympathetic system) higher levels of activity elicit.

The run is done at a low heart rate, focusing on breathing, in and out through the nose, mouth closed with longer exhales than inhales. A recovery run should feel meditative. Do your best to let thoughts that increase your stress levels float away. A good recovery run is a relaxing meditative practice. You should finish a recovery run feeling refreshed.