While running at UNC- Chapel Hill many moons ago, I distinctly remember my college coach, Joan Nesbit Mabe, storming up to our team with her kids’s sand toys ready to demonstrate a point…to the men who never listened. Holding up the bucket with sand, “This is your workout.” Then holding up a water bottle, “This is your recovery run.” She dumped some water into the bucket of sand and swished it around, and poured out the bucket contents. Repeated. Plenty of sand left…certainly not a fresh bucket until 2-3 swishes later.
Her analogy was for the guys team because they were hammering their easy runs, and then were bonking on the workout days because they did not have time to get all the “sand” out of their legs. Workouts are what are important, so don’t be in the hole before you even start. Recovery days are there for a reason. Though I listened during this talk, it took me until I started training for the marathon to really learn to take care of my body. If you care enough to workout, care enough to take care of yourself before and after with proper hydration, nutrition, and rest. Your body will thank you and hopefully you’ll get a PR or two.