Q: “Recovery” in Workouts?

In your workout the other day, you mention 3 min. recovery.  How do you recover?  Easy jog? jog/walk? I’m never very consistent – sometimes I jog, sometimes just walk, sometimes rest entirely, but that’s usually for shorter intervals and shorter rests.  I was just wondering how you go about the recoveries in your sessions?  Thanks.




There are four types of recovery that I use during workouts between intervals:

  1. Walk:  Speed intervals with short rest.
  2. Granny Shuffle:  speed or speed endurance workouts with slightly longer rest (45 seconds +) (800/1500/3k sessions)
  3. Jog: VO2 Max type sessions with 1:30 rest or more.  Usually I walk the first 20-30 seconds, and the last 10 seconds (3k/5k/10k sessions).
  4. Easy Run:  for continuous fartleks, or other interval workouts meant to push up your lactate threshold by making you run continuously (10k type sessions or longer).

The workout I tweeted about involved three types of recovery:  2k @10k pace, 3 min jog into easy run, 2x1k with 90 seconds jog, 3 min jog into easy run, 5×400 with 30 seconds walk recovery, 2x 1k with 90 seconds jog.

Recovery intervals are designed to get your heart rate below a certain threshold before starting to run hard again.  Most of the time, the aim is to get my heart rate under 140 before starting the next rep, especially on the first few sets.  If I do that, I will make it through the entire workout (which is the most important thing).  If that means I have to granny shuffle or walk, that’s what I do.

As the season goes on, the granny shuffle turns into a jog, or even a light run and my heart rate can still come down into the recovery zone in time for the next rep.  If you can recover at faster and faster paces, not only is it a sign of fitness, but it means you can handle surges in races.