This is a portion of an article that originally appeared in the January/February 2016 issue of Running Times Magazine and was authored by Phillip Latter.
When Mike Caldwell, Greenville Track Club-ELITE Head Coach brings recruits to the club's South Carolina campus, he discovers they're not worried about adjusting to life in a small Southeastern city or leaving the comfort zone of college to train in a professional group. Their biggest worry? It's the recovery days. Twice a week they run 45 minutes total. That's it. For elite college runners used to averaging 12-15 miles per day, this sounds downright crazy.
The key to Caldwell's system is a strong delineation between workout days and recovery days. Durning hard interval sessions around 5K pace, for example, his athletes will cover five to six miles in volume, as opposed to the more traditional three or four miles. In order for his runners to handle that volume of quality, Caldwell believes they need to be fresh heading into the sessions.
"I think a lot of people just don't understand recovery," Caldwell says. "Our recovery days are vital to our system. We're able to run hard on our hard days (because) we only ran 45 minutes on Wednesdays and Fridays."
Mike Caldwell is the Director and one of the coaches for ASICS Greenville Track Club-ELITE. For more on Mike please visit his page on this website.