Triathlon Post Race Recovery
Last week I talked about what you shouldn’t do after a race, so this week I wanted to focus on what you should do. Focusing and emphasizing these key points are essential to helping with recovery both mentally and physically and priming you for an even better race down the road.
- The first thing that I do after a race is savor being done. Even if my race did not go the way I wanted it to, I still savor that I was able to toe the line and be healthy enough to compete. As I said previously, no one likes a sulker so be grateful and happy. There will be more races to come. After the post race high is gone…
- Refuel and stretch even if you are exhausted make sure you get some good nutritious food into you to help mitigate inflammation and dehydration. Post race fare is not always nutritious so you may need to pack your own. While the beer tent might be calling, keep mind that copious amounts of alcohol wrecks your recovery so if you are thinking about the next race or if this was not your A race, limit intake. A post race massage will also do wonders for your recovery too.
- Analyze: Make sure you look at your data files (HR, Power, pacing etc) and write down what went well and what did not. This is crucial for your coach (or yourself if you are self coached) to modify your next training block to address your weaknesses and so that you do not make the same mistakes twice. Did you run slow? Maybe you pushed too hard on the bike which your powerfile can validate. Bad swim? Time to hit the pool again and work on sighting. If you bomb this race, maybe it’s time to get a coach. These post-race ruminations are very informative clues that will direct your next training block.
- Clean your gear! Triathletes are notorious for finishing a race and then leaving your sweaty tri suit, wetsuit, shoes, cycling shoes, etc in their bike box for months at a time. You spent a good deal of money on this equipment so rinse off your wetsuit and hang it in the shower, wipe down your bike (especially the drive train), and take your insoles out of your shoes.
- Plan: Now that you are done start planning for your next race. It will keep you motivated to get back in the pool, on the bike, and into those running shoes.