There is a huge training lead-up to any race, particularly longer distance events like IRONMAN Triathlon®. You’ve committed a ton of time, energy and focus to show up on race day. However, when the race is over, you may find yourself asking, “What do I do now?”
Below are tips and ideas for post-race to help you with your recovery.
- Don’t underestimate your fatigue. We recently talked to a pro female triathlon who completed an IRONMAN then quickly followed it with an IRONMAN 70.3 two weeks later. Afterwards she said her musculature wasn’t tired, but her body lagged for weeks. This feeling can be more frustrating than having your quads hurt post-race. It is easy to ignore this type of tired and try to push through with your training. Instead, we encourage you to respect your body. Sleep more, take recovery walks and don’t over commit yourself.
- Get bodywork done. This includes massage, dry-needling, chiropractic and more. When you put your body under stress during a long-distance race, your muscles become stressed and tight, which can lead to imbalances. If you continue to train while your body is compromised, you increase risk of injury.
- Gently move your body. Yoga, walks, easy swims and casual bike rides are some ways to stimulate blood flow through your muscles after a a big race without further stressing your system. When you aren’t intentionally moving around, keep your feet elevated and wear compressions socks or sleeves, especially as you travel home from the race.
- Spend time with family and friends. Chances are you let a few relationships weaken during training. Post-race is an excellent time to reconnect with people you enjoy. Throw a party, go on vacation with friends (or family), or simply invite someone along for a like. This is the perfect time to revisit other hobbies you set aside for triathlon.
- Refuel your body with healthy nutrients. Athletes can burn upwards of four times an average person’s calorie needs during an IRONMAN. Rehydrate and replenish the calorie deficit post-race. You most likely consumed a lot of sugar from sports drink and gels during the race, so aim for healthy foods with a good amount of protein to facilitate protein synthesis and muscle recovery. One of our favorite post-race meals is a burger with sweet potato fries!
We not only want to see you have a successful race, but also have full recovery so that you can continue to reach new goals in the sport. Please contact us if you have additional questions or need a training plan for your next triathlon race!