It’s September. And I don’t know about where you live, but here in the lovely North Eastern part of the US, triathlon season is winding down. People are getting ready to just lace up their running shoes for the their fall running race and wave goodbye to open water until next summer.
But even if you have a few fall races lined up, it’s about that time when everyone has put in their hard work, run many races, and beat their bodies to their breaking points to get there. And if you’re in the body is beat and tired camp, than you deserve some well earned rest and recovery.
When my athletes finish up a tough season, the first thing I do is schedule them for a full week of rest. Yes, you read that right, seven days of rest. I do pencil them in some active recovery, but I mark them all as optional. This allows my athletes to decide when they feel rested enough to get moving again as well as provides them with some structure on how to do it appropriately and in a way that will continue to aid their recovery while keeping them from being completely sedentary.
Active recovery is important. If done correctly is actually helps your muscles recover faster. Things like yoga and stretching, an easy swim, or a short trainer spin in a high gear to flush out lactic acid are all good choices. Preferably active recovery is done after you’ve caught up on some sleep. I do not suggest doing this at the same before-the-sun-comes-up-o’clock you do your regular training during. If you have some Z’s to catch up on, do that too.
Then, of course, are the big two things you can do right away; rehydrate and refuel. Water, water, and more water. Recovery drinks with balanced electrolytes are also a great thing to slurp down after a race. Follow that up with a meal that has protein to help repair your muscles and carbohydrates to start replenishing your glycogen stores and boost your energy.
Whether it’s a 5k or all the way up to a full Ironman, or even just a tough workout, everyone needs to make sure their recovering correctly and resting up. Rest and recovery are a component of racing and training that is often times overlooked. Not only do you need it, but if you’re working hard you definitely deserve it too. So sleep for a few extra minutes (or hours), drink some chocolate milk after your next race, and kick up your feet!
Do you take extra rest time at the end of your race season?
Favorite way to refuel?
Tri Talk Tuesday will be returning to it’s monthly link up now that triathlon season is coming to an end. Our next link up will be on October 6th! Our theme for October will be Off Season. Make sure you come link up!