Rest duration after long run varies, experts suggest


After completing a long run, whether it’s a milestone distance or a regular part of your training routine, it’s essential to give your body adequate rest for recovery. But determining how long to rest can be tricky. Two experts, Nicola Cowee, a running coach and women’s fitness specialist, and Dr. Alan Ruddock, an associate professor of sport physiology and performance, shed light on the ideal rest period and considerations for post-run recovery.

Image credit: Stylist

Nicola Cowee suggests that a rest period of about 24 hours is suitable for most runners after a long run. However, she emphasizes that individuals may need longer rest if they’ve just completed a significantly longer distance than usual, such as a first half marathon. In such cases, a few days of rest or light activity like walking may be beneficial to allow the body to recover fully.

Dr. Alan Ruddock echoes Cowee’s recommendation, suggesting that runners typically need about 24 hours of recovery time between runs. He emphasizes the importance of incorporating rest days into training plans to prevent overtraining and reduce the risk of injury.

While a 24-hour rest period is generally sufficient, it’s essential to listen to your body and adjust your rest accordingly. If you notice signs of fatigue or decreased performance, it may indicate the need for additional rest. Factors like changes in terrain, footwear, or training intensity can also affect your recovery needs. For example, running on hilly terrain or switching to new running shoes may require more extended rest periods to allow your muscles and feet to adapt.

During rest days, it’s essential to engage in activities that support recovery without adding extra stress to your body. While some runners may enjoy complete rest, others may prefer active recovery methods like stretching, yoga, or foam rolling. These activities help improve flexibility, alleviate muscle soreness, and promote recovery without compromising progress.

Ultimately, finding the right balance between training and rest is key to achieving optimal performance and preventing burnout or injury. By paying attention to your body’s signals and adjusting your rest accordingly, you can ensure that you recover effectively and continue to progress towards your running goals.

Re-reported the article originally published in Stylist.

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