I worked with Dick Brown for over a year in the mid 90′s while training for the 1500 (the metric mile). On a side note, Dick has coached several world class athletes, including former olympians.
I thanked him and said to Dick, the training element I remember the most is one of the most difficult concepts to teach, and yet it’s the most important. It’s recovery. And Dick said, “I was hoping that’s what you were going to say.”
We went on to discuss that motivated runners have the ability to push a button and go hard, but they have a difficult time backing off and going easy, especially on the days that are supposed to be easy. So what happens is they push too hard on the easy days and the then can’t put the pedal down on the hard days because it’s just not there.
Frequently I hear about injuries or conditions that limit people’s regular training, most of which are related to lack of recovery. So just a little reminder, if it says go easy, do yourself a favor and go easy. You’ll be happily surprised at how much stronger you’ll feel the next time your plan calls for you to pick it up.