Long runs are considered the centerpiece of marathon training. I have discovered that the key to these long runs aren’t just how I run them, but instead it’s also how I recover from them. Like many runners, recovery is an often overlooked phase in my training, but after yesterday’s 20-miler, I am reaping the benefits of true rest and recovery. Studies show that during the rest period after long runs and intense exercises, muscles regenerate and get stronger, which is definitely important in our training.
Actor and running coach, Robert Vaughn, summarizes that an experienced marathoner with years of training may need a recovery time of 48-72 hours after a long run. Novices may require two weeks. In a Runner’s World article titled The Long Run, Hall Higdon told readers to treat a weekend long run like a race. “Taper for it, and rest or jog easily both before and after.” Since I am three weeks away from the marathon, I chose Hals recommendation.
Similar to our intense training schedules, many of us are living busy lives. Sometimes one who is always living a frenzied life can miss out on some of the most important moments with family and friends. In contrast, a Christian, too, can miss out on what God has planned for them. Just like rest and recovery is important to a runner, God tells us in scripture that He needs us to enter into His rest to stay in the race. Hebrews 4:11 says, “Let us, therefore, make every effort to enter that rest, so that no one will fall by following their example of disobedience.” This means rest in every area of life, spiritual, physical and eternal rest. Will you join me in rest and recovery?