How to Recover from a Triathlon
I have done 14 Ironmans now and after each one I learn new things about how to recover properly. Swimming, biking and running for nearly 10 hours really does a number on the body AND the mind. On top of that, the race day starts with a very early morning and usually ends in a late night. It is very tempting to just do nothing and start eating junk food the day after the race. Yes, I have done that and have learned from experience that it isn’t the best option. If you want to replenish your body properly and get your legs strong again it’s important to do the following:
1) Rest: Sleep! If you have traveled to a race, plan for the day after the race to relax. Respect what your body has been through.
2) Turn off your mind. Completing an Ironman takes an enormous amount of mental energy. Take a day or two to switch off your mind from triathlon. I love to tune out by going to a movie with reclining seats or going to a museum.
3) Exercise! Yep, that’s right. The day after the race go on an easy bike ride, take a walk, go for an easy swim. Try to get in 45 minutes of light training. Break it up into 3 15 minute walks or a 20 minute swim and a 30 minute ride. I also like to hit the gym…to stretch, foam roll and do light body weight only strength work. Get the blood flowing to your muscles. It’s the best way to help them recover.
4) Hydrate. Probably the most important of all, make sure to rehydrate. After my last race I was extremely dehydrated from the hot weather. On top of that I got sick the day after the race and lost even more fluid. Not the way to recover from a race. Fortunately, I had a few cans of new V8 +HYDRATE®. It’s a refreshing and hydrating plant-powered drink from V8. It’s isotonic and uses sweet potato juice at its core to achieve superior hydration. In addition, each can has one full serving of vegetables, so I was able to get in much needed nutrients as well as electrolytes. It comes in three flavors: Strawberry Cucumber, Coconut Watermelon and Orange Grapefruit. It has a crisp and clean taste and I think I had about 6 cans throughout the day after my race! Check out this link for pricing and availability: https://ooh.li/9b6c710.
5) Eat. After a race is the time to recharge your body with healthy, lean and clean foods. I find I crave salty foods after a day of sweet race fuel. Grilled fish, a hearty salad and pad thai are some of my favorite things to eat post race. For breakfast, a yogurt parfait is a good idea.
6) Start planning your next adventure! With proper recovery you’ll be back up and running sooner than you think.
What are your favorite ways to recover? Let me know in a comment below, I’m always open for new ideas!