Recovery, for each mile a day keeps the injuries away.

Ian Anderson. 14th June 2020

Many years ago, I had some advice from a fellow runner about recovery.

For every mile of running hard it takes a day for your body to recover.

So, for a half marathon, it takes about 2 weeks to recover or after a club training night, with say 20 minutes of hard effort, it will take about 3 days to recover. This is a rule of thumb and will vary from runner to runner. The fitter you are, the shorter the recovery time. After you have recovered, you can resume full training or race. During running, cellular damage within your leg muscles occurs. The body needs to repair this before you can return to full training. This is a follow up to Elfed’s excellent recovery advice. Here are a few more tips to help with your recovery between runs.

How do you know when your body has recovered?

Firstly, listen to your body, if you feel tired or jaded or in pain you haven’t recovered. Secondly, use your resting heart rate (RHR). It is best to measure this first thing in the morning, after walking about a bit and then sitting down for 5 minutes or so, before eating any food, or having any caffeine. Get to know your RHR and if it is 10 or more above normal your body has either not recovered or your immune system is fighting off a cold or infection. Anxiety may also lead to a raised heart rate. The fitter you get, the lower your RHR will get.

What should you do in the 30 minutes after a run or training session?

After you have finished your cooldown and stretching routines and are fully hydrated, and before you sit down, take a short walk to bring your heart rate back down gradually and to clear out the waste products left from your run, keep warm by putting your track suit back on and have a small snack to start the recovery process. Your small snack should consist of 3 or 4 parts carbohydrate to 1 part protein and be about 300 calories. This could consist of a banana, an energy bar, fruit, yogurt, or chocolate milk, or Alysonís cake. Your body needs nutrients quickly to start off the muscle recovery process. Eating shortly after exercise helps replenish glycogen stores and electrolytes. In this time, the body secretes an enzyme called glycogen synthase that converts carbohydrates to muscle glycogen. This advice is for judging when to return to running with effort again. Please continue with your other forms of exercise. Walking is an excellent exercise.


Thatís all folks! Hope that you are all OK and getting fitter. Any questions, send me an e-mail at