Recovery: Heading towards OFF-season

Whether you are aiming for a podium, a personal best, or simply following the pack, recovery is an important aspect to consider for all runners after a particularly big effort day. As you may be heading towards your off-season, here are some aspects to consider for a best transition into the next racing season.

Emma Bates at the finish line of the NYC marathon

What happens during recovery?

If you have just finished your last race, your body has endured a fair amount of stress that requires time off, both physically and emotionally. A dedicated recovery time will serve as a physiological adaptation. In other words, your body remembers what it just went through and will adjust things internally to better react to a similar stimulus.

Athlete tapers, races, and then goes into recovery period

The athlete above had an important race on Aug 20th. 2 weeks earlier, he began his taper which is another form of recovery to ensure the body is well rested for the task ahead. After the race, we can see a progressive decrease of all metrics for more than a month before building back up. This prolonged recovery helped this athlete adapt to the stress from the race while giving them proper time to rest.

How to monitor recovery through your COROS watch?

Recovery Timer

A quick and easy way to assess your recovery is through the widget on your watch’s main face. This gives you a quick glimpse of your readiness which is based on your Fatigue, Load Impact, and Base Fitness. It’s okay to fall within the red zone, but plan your following days accordingly to allow your body to recover and prevent injuries.

Fatigue

Displayed as a simplified Training Load Management Chart from Training Hub, this widget states the “Fatigue Zone” you may be at. During your off-season, it is okay to let this number go down (<20) to allow an almost full reset of your body before beginning your next training block. Head over to our EvoLab Metrics page for more information.

Heart Rate Variability (HRV)

HRV gives you a quick reading of your physical and mental state based on your autonomic nervous system. A high number (>80) would mean that you are indeed recovering quickly and in a generally relaxed state. For more information, read an in-depth explanation of HRV.

What can I do during recovery/off-season?

As athletes who are passionate about getting out and reaching our goals, it may be hard to sit back and recover. If you feel concerned, here are some alternatives to fill you.

  • Cross-training: If Winter is well established where you are, ski touring is a great opportunity to get some elevation in your legs while keeping yourself away from impacts. If you are one of the lucky ones enjoying the full sun all year long, cycling can be a great way to provide some exercise volume with low impact while recovering from your recent running race.
  • Stretching: For us runners, a lack of mobility is one of the main reasons for lower injuries. Grab a roller and make sure to stretch the main muscle groups for its full range of movement.
  • Strength Training: The off-season is a great opportunity to work on weaknesses and prepare for the next race season. Discover this new 30-min Bodyweight Workout to increase lower-body and core strength for the season to come!
Recovery moment at the NYC marathon
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