Restorative training

Hi All!


Wow, December can feel hectic, can’t it? For most people December is a good time to exercise restoratively. What does this mean? As with most things in life – it’s different for everyone!


That’s one of the things I love about coaching and advising people – there is no one prescription of “take this and call me in January”. We have to understand ourselves before we jump into what someone has told us we need.


I’m sure we’ve all heard the well-meaning advice from non-running friends who say “just take a break when you’re super busy – relax!” Ha. Ha. Ha. When has not running ever made any of us feel more relaxed? But what I’m learning is that different types of stimuli are more restorative to certain people and others for others. For example, I know there are many in this group who love nothing more than a good long swim to unwind. I would like to do these, but they take all my mental and physical energy and they are certainly not relaxing. For myself, any long run up to 90 minutes can feel restorative. I have a low sensitivity to this stimulus and so I can do it and feel mentally and physically recharged. I like short sprints and strength, but I have a high sensitivity to those stimuli – I can feel sore for days and I can’t do too much of it before I’m fried. For others it’s the opposite – the gym might be where they recharge and the long runs can feel draining. I know some people who find that yoga puts them into a rage! I find that hilarious. But then – why do it? Because other people tell you it’s good for you? You know when it’s not.


There is no good or bad in this. You can get to the same results through different means. I was listening to a podcast talking about exactly this – they had three 800m runners running the exact same times by the end of the season. But the athletes couldn’t train together other than the warm-up because their sensitivities and responses to different training stimuli differed so much. One thrived on long aerobic runs whereas that tired out and broke down another. One thrived on really short, fast efforts, which would injure one of the others. And one was a hybrid of the two. And their final results were the same to the second.


All this to say, be honest with what feels good for you and try to figure that out this month. Don’t do what you’ve read another athlete does. Don’t do things that feel hard but “should” feel easy. Figure out what is restorative to you. And do as much of that as you want.  


Onto tomorrow’s workout! This will be the last one I’m in town for (negative COVID tests willing) – I’ll send along workouts for the rest of the month as we go though.

Lakeshore and Leslie – 6:00 for warm-ups, 6:15 GO TIME:


  1. 1 mile tempo (to get your body warmed up), 2 mins, 2 sets of 4 x 400 w 1, 2 mins bw sets. Option to finish w 1 mile at mara or ATB pace.
  2. If new or just getting into workouts, do 800m to start vs 1 mile (turn at the 400 marker) and leave out the final mile.


See y’all in the am!