The speed in which you recovery from a race depends on a number of factors like distance, course difficulty, race conditions, your conditioning and age, to name a few. One rule of thumb is you need one day of rest for each race mile. So after running the Woodstock Memorial Day 10k (6.2 miles), I should have rested at least 6.2 days before doing another hard workout. The race was on a Monday morning so by Sunday afternoon I should have been okay.
I decided to do a little experiment though to see if I could get away with a shorter recovery. On Tuesday I didn't run. On Wednesday I did an easy 5 miles, followed by a rest day on Thursday. On Friday I tried to do a hard 5 mile workout. Although I felt fairly good, my time was about 75 seconds slower than I expected. I then rested on Saturday and tried to run a medium paced 8 mile rail trail run on Sunday. But I was so tired that I only manged 7 miles at a slow pace.
As I examined my logbook, it became apparent to me that the Friday hard workout was probably a mistake. I believe my Sunday workout would have been better if I had run easy on Friday. I plan to do some more experimenting with this rule of thumb. Perhaps I just had a bad day on Sunday, but I really doubt it.
I'm curious to know what other people do for race recoveries. Do you use some other rule of thumb? Thanks for sharing.