Wednesday, November 14, 2007

We all need a reminder!

"I just completed an IM race last weekend and I want to know when I should start training full volume again?"

Does this sound familiar to you after completing an IM race, or knowing someone who just did and can't wait to get going again? That doesn't sound like me "NOT" For most age groupers you are looking at 6-8 weeks, at least, to fully recover depending upon what you do for training, regeneration, and nutritional support for the body. The body must go into overtime to repair the damage from the race in terms of the muscular and cardiovascular systems. Your immune system will work overtime as well to help heal you internally along with trying to keep the variety of germs and virus's from getting you sick.

The first thing is to pay close attention to nutrition. Stay away from simple sugars and bad fats. Look at making sure you balance out the food that you eat so you are taking in quality protein/EFA fats, and complex carbs (vegetables) each day. Limit the alcohol and excessive sweets that have a tendency to make it into our diets after an IM race.
"Does this mean Gummy Bears" "Just Kidding"!

Second look into getting in some body work on a weekly basis. Massage, hot soaks with Epsom salts, hot tubs, self massage and other myofacial release type treatments will help to get you back to normal. "Now that's what I'm talking about"!

As for the training- if you come back too early you will prolong the recovery time. When one of my clients completes an IM race I say no running for at least 10-14 days.
Running is responsible for the most impact of the 3 components of the IM race. Start with some very easy swims after a period of time off (usually 4-5 days). Keep it simple, like drills, stroke work, and long recoveries between any easy repeats that you may do. Just keep the heart rate way down in the aerobic zone.
Then for the bike- start easy for short periods of time. Stay on flat roads in the small chain ring (even consider riding on the indoor trainer for a while) and keep the rpms at 90+ for the rides. Start with 45 minutes and slowly build from there over time.
Consider alternative training: water running, elliptical trainer, yoga, hiking, or other types of easy cardio work that will help you to recover.

The bottom line is to listen to your body and not let the mental aspect get in the way. Recovery is what will make you stronger, not just the quality training and racing.

Steve Fluet- Head Coach
Endurance Sports Training Systems

"Darn so this means I have to take it easy for a couple more days" hehehee : )

I will post my Ironman Florida report here soon; with some photo's :)