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Are these important? Is it better to have a recovery run after your speedwork day than to take the day off entirely? How slow do you typically run for these?

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For me, it would depend on the speed work.

Intervals: no run.
Tempo: do the recovery run.
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I would do a recovery run in lieu of the off day.

Typically my recovery run's were also my LSD days. I did them 45-60 seconds, per mile, slower than my tempo runs.

I used the HRM to help me keep in the zone. My tempo runs were >145 BPM, and recovery runs <132 BPM
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An elite runner recommended recovery runs after a race, as well as after a long run. Worked wonders for me this fall. Swear by it.
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After a long run.. HOw long are you talking... 10-15, you can have a speed day the following day if you are within 18-35 yaer old range.
I do agree I use to do recovery runs after a hard race, and my workouts throughout the week went soooooo much smoother. Did not feel like knives in my calves.
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Those days following a 'hard' day, you do need some kind of 'active recovery'. Whether that's an easy 4-miler or getting on the bicycle, rower or elliptical, but something to work out the DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness). Out of more necessity than design, my day off has become the day before my long run and it works real well to be rested up and then the exhaustion level of the long run isn't so deep. Then the day after my long run and the day after my other 'quality' run of the week, whether that be tempo, intervals or a race, I'll do some active recovery versus a day off. And when I hit peak form, the workouts almost become a series of quality/recovery/quality/recovery/quality/recovery.
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Long run means different things to different people of different mileages. For me, it means anything 15 miles or longer.
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:1: Right now 5 to 6 would be a long run for me. This summer it wouldn't have been.
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I think they're important in the big scheme of things. It's hard to get in high mileage and take more than one day off a week.
My recovery runs are at roughly 70% of my Max HR.
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Probably best to think in percentages when comparing long runs. A long run is a single run that's about 30% of your weekly mileage. Putting much more than 30% in to one run is pushing the injury envelope and keeping it much below that doesn't quite creep in to 'long run' benefits. So if you put in 25-mile weeks, your long run might only be as much as 8. On the upper end, a 60-mile week runner would best be logging an 18-miler. And of course, on the waay extreme of high mileage marathoners, 100-mile weeks won't calc to a 30-miler in the week, but at that kind of mileage, there is a whole new set of principles that come in to play.
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while in training I rarely take a day off, if I were to choose, I'd take the day before a long run.

Recovery pace????? slow....doesn't matter.....at least minutes slower than my marathon race pace or about 2 minutes slower than 5k pace. some of my very bestest recovery runs, I've done with my son.....immediately following a hard workout.....I get him and we do about 8 minute pace and walk when he gets tired/////repeat/////repeat////// I've done this a few times and I swear I'm so ready to gooooo the next day. So the recovery run pace......slow enough to see the scenery and stop if it's something interesting. I stopped during my midweek long run today.....I saw a hawk circling above me and I wanted to see what he was after. Surely he didn't think I looked like I was weak and dying, did he?
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Thanks for the replies all!! :D
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