Monday, June 11, 2012

Post 140.6 Recovery

What exactly does one do after completion of a 140.6? I'm sure this is far from by the book, but I'm going to share my post 140.6 recovery timeline. Unless you are super experienced of have a coach, I have found the recovery to be just as daunting as the training.  And regardless if your season is over or not, I think it's smarter to give yourself a mental and physical break. I see too many athletes who just keep plugging away post race. Not a good strategy in my book (especially if you have a lot of your season left).  Here is my own personal time line in chronological order:

Day of post race: Hydrate...hydrate... and eat what you can. Surprisingly I scarfed down some fresh fruit and a pizza. Who would of thought I would be able to keep that down? And don't be surprised if you wake up at 3 am and are ready to binge on whatever you can get your hands on. Just go with it. And do make sure to go back to the finish line to cheer in the final athletes!

Day After: Continue to hydrate and feel free to use this as a cheat day. You deserve it! I wouldn't recommend working out but definitely don't sit on your arse. Bust out those sexy compression sox! If you have to travel, compression is a must! And again move around as much as you can...You don't want to end up with a crazy blood clot. And don't forget some mimosas or wine to celebrate :)

Week 1: Attempt to trial some light swimming with short intervals. I would recommend 2-3 sessions. Listening to your body is an absolute must. For the type As out there, I would create a recovery strategy but then again gage it on how you feel. I would stay off the bike and away from any kind of running. I swam 2x (2000m and 2700m). You might feel lost, sad, and depressed without a training schedule and race on the horizon... This is pretty normal. Watch your diet as you aren't training 20 hrs a week anymore :) Reflect on things that went wrong/right on race day and think of ways to work out the kinks in future cases.

Week 2: Introduce some light cycling and continue to swim. Again short intervals. Your body is still healing. If you are dying to run, I would wait until the end of the week to start. For this week, I swam 2x approx 3000m, rode 2x (1 hr and 2 hrs), and ran 30 min. I trialed an easy cross fit intro class.

Week 3: Feel free to get back to the swim, bike, run. For this week I also started a cross fit fundamentals class to work back my speed and strength. I also went on vacation and did a ton of surfing. I think my rhomboids are still sore lol.. Feel free to cross train!

Week 4: Time to get back on track for me! I still have most of my 2012 triathlon season to go..... You might feel slow and sluggish as you transition back. This is normal. Now bring on 140.6 #3 :)

Anyway this is how I've spent the last couple weeks. And comparing IM #1 and #2, I will say the recovery does happen faster during round 2. Hope this helps! What is your post 104.6 recovery secret?


  1. My post-IM Louisville recovery strategy for week 1 can be summed up as "Bake a double-batch of amazing yummy cupcakes*, then sit on the couch, chow down on said cupcakes and watch TV/play on the internet". After that I think I followed a similar strategy as you did - I would've gone stir-crazy otherwise!

    *amazing yummy cupcake recipe:

  2. Great post! I have to say, did my first half this weekend and am struggling - can't even fathom 2x the distance. Congrats again and thanks for the tips!

  3. It is months after my ironman and I'm still eating pizza. Maybe I should try week #2 and actually do a real swim work out? OK, after this slice.

  4. a month is a must. Take a whole month before resuming regular workouts. The best post-race food i've found is mac and cheese. the highly processed crap.

  5. This is perfect timing, I was doing a 2 week rest since my half - and incorporated some of this :)

  6. Dont forget the massage and body work, least for those of us over 40 there are lots of Acu/Soft tissue appts to get us back to equilibrium. I also do epsom salts bathes, much more than ice bathes these days. Seems to help with soreness and aches and pains:)