Even without competing most of us can assume that Triathlons are tough. Triathletes usually follow a time-consuming training plan to become an athlete of three individual sporting events.
One of the most important aspects for triathletes – whether you are a beginner, or a professional is the recovery process. If you don’t take care of yourself after competing in a triathlon then you risk extended periods of healing time.
So, we at ProSwimwear are here to give you our top ten tips on Triathlon recovery! These tips highlight some of the things we believe are most important to a healthy and happy recovery!
1. Carefully Consider Recovery Time
The primary variable on your recovery time length is the type of Triathlon that you competed in. If the Triathlon was a Sprint Distance, then you will require less recovery time than an Ironman 140.6! The smaller Triathlons require anything between 7-10 days for your body to recover. It is recommended that you take 48 hours off completely, meaning no training, to give your body the break that it needs!
On the other hand, recovering from an Ironman 140.6 would require at least 20 days or more for your body to recover! It is recommended that you take one whole week off training so your body can rest!
These are only recommendations and there are variables such as the experience of the triathlete as well as personable variables. Your body is the vessel that carried you over the finish line, treat it as your constant medal of accomplishment: something to be proud of whilst taking care of it.
2. Every Recovery begins with Rest!
The pinnacle of every triathlete’s journey to recovery is sleep! Sleeping well can have a plethora of benefits including bones, muscle and structure repair that may be stressed. Other benefits include fluids to rebalance and get brought back into line. Sleep also allows you to mentally relax. The shutting down of the active brain will help your mental recovery after your triathlon.
The amount of sleep you get after a Triathlon is critical. You should, if possible, be getting between 8-9 hours a night to allow your body to start the reparation process. It is recommended to try and be as relaxed as possible before you sleep. You can try things like meditation, soothing sounds or perhaps even getting a lavender diffuser to help you sleep! Every bit of rest you get is a resting step towards racing again.
3. Hydrate, Hydrate and Hydrate again!
Another critical factor to Triathlon recovery is staying hydrated! Being hydrated has effects on the blood, and if you are not hydrated then your blood plasma can drop. This can affect your circulation. Drinking water and making sure you have plenty electrolytes will help you return to maximum functionality.
When you are well hydrated water inside and outside of the cells that contracts muscles provide nutrients and removes waste so that you can go back to performing when the time is right. Being dehydrated will lower your blood volume making your heart work harder to get blood and oxygen to your cells. Keep a bottle of water with you when you are in recovery, and make sure to have drinks with electrolytes in them too!
4. Nourishment and Nutrition
Nourishment is another part of a successful recovery. A post-race treat won’t hurt, be it a beer, burger, both or otherwise. It’s the days following your race where your nourishment will really count.
Your body will need protein in regular amounts to maintain the amino acid pool. Normal amounts of Carbohydrates will keep glycogen stores replenishing steadily and gradually.
Omega-3 fatty acids are important as hard exercises increases the stress hormones within the body. Omega-3 fatty acid EPA will help regulate the stress response. Omega-3 is hard to get naturally within the diet so supplements can be recommended. Antioxidants are important, and foods high in antioxidants such as tart cherry juice may reduce muscle soreness and inflammation after a race. Avoiding things in excess and keeping a balanced diet should help you recover!
5. Revitalising relationships will help recovery
One of the most underrated things within post-triathlon recovery is the mental recovery. The structure of training combined with the stress and pressure of race day can easily cause someone to feel frazzled! As much as post-race it is important to take some time to yourself, it is also equally important to give attention to some of the relationships in your life.
Spending time with loved ones, be it family, friends or a partner will do wonders for recovery. Being organically distracted from stressful thoughts and surrounding yourself with positivity and love will rejuvenate your brain. Take some time off to spend with the people you love, and you’ll find you start enjoying recovery much more than you ever anticipated.
Recovery doesn’t stop…
It is important to constantly and continuously look after our bodies whether that’s post-triathlon, training or even an ordinary time in our lives.
There are many more recovery tips than mentioned here. Some people like to get sports massages to physically unwind after a race, some wear compression clothing, some use hot and cold therapy. It’s important to reflect on everything but being kind to yourself during the process.
It is also important to plan to introduce training into your life in a way that isn’t going to hinder recovery. Listening to your mind and your body is something that takes just as much practice as the Triathlon itself – but with practice and patience we can all cross the finish line.
Visit ProSwimwear for excellent Triathlon supplies including women’s wetsuits, men’s wetsuits, tri-suits, goggles and a wide selection of accessories! 2XU also stock a wide variety of compression clothing to aid with your recovery!
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