The Duration of Active Recovery

run siences vo2max 1The duration of active recovery should balance between an effective lactate removal and time availability within and after a training session. In most of the studies, the duration of active recovery was long (20 to 60 min , McGrail et al., 1978; Cazorla et al., 1983; Baltari et al., 2004). The most significant decrease in blood lactate concentration was observed after the fifth minute of recovery (McGrail et al., 1978). However, using swimming for recovery (500 yd, ~8 min) the blood lactate concentration did not change compared to passive rest, and at least fifteen minutes (1000 yd swimming) was needed to reach near resting concentration (Beckett and Steigbigel 1993). This was probably attributed to low post-exercise lactate values. Cazorla et al., (1983) reported that 20 minutes of active recovery eliminated blood lactate at a level equal to 60 min of passive recovery.

Furthermore, five minutes as well as ten minutes of active recovery showed a similar rate of lactate removal, while both rates were faster than passive recovery (Toubekis et al., 2008a). It is likely that 10 to 15 minutes of active recovery is adequate to reduce blood lactate compared to passive recovery. However, it should be noted that blood lactate may be different from muscle lactate.