You may have noticed that sometimes we have not programmed a cool down at the end of a run. This does not mean that it is not beneficial for some athletes, but if it is not indicated, this means it is up to the discretion of the athlete based on how the session went for them.
However, to offer clarity and perspective we aim to provide context for when a cool down is necessary and when it is not. Most simply put, any time your heart rate goes over threshold you will want to utilize a light cool down.
After a Hard Session (Threshold and Above):
- Cool downs are a great tool to bring the stress down after a hard session.
- A cool down allows the muscles to relax and heart rate to lower. It is a chance to regulate breathing and provide muscles with more oxygenated blood.
- A cool down can speed up the recovery process and help you avoid sore muscles after a hard session.
- To execute, simply add-on 5-10 minutes of very light jogging or walking to bring the heart rate down.
After a Low-Stress Session (HR Z1-Z2 with Temporary Peaks in Z3):
- A cool down is not necessary when the heart rate has remained relatively low.
- However, if the athlete feels the need to execute a cool down, please feel free to.
- This is a good time to reflect on whether you have been going too hard during programmed low-stress runs!
We aim to empower the Purple Patch athlete to approach your training with an educated lens that allows you to confidently make these game-time calls.