Thursday, September 24, 2009

Recovery – What’s That?

I was perusing one of the issues of Triathlon Life (USAT’s magazine) that I had laying around and I stumbled across an article on recovery. This being my second serious season in triathlon, I still have a lot to learn about nutrition, recovery, speed work … well, let’s just say I have a lot to learn about a lot of things related to triathlon! The one thing I think I have been fairly successful at doing is fitting IM training into my already hectic life, without feeling like any big balls are being dropped or like I am completely neglecting some other area of my life.

Then I read about all of the other things I should be doing (e.g. recovery) to ensure peak performance, and I feel like it is a lost cause. There are simply no additional hours in the day! I did my long run this morning and instead of taking an ice bath I took a shower and went to work. I did eat oatmeal right away – does that count for something? Saturday I will do my long brick for the week, and again an ice bath and nap should be on the schedule, but I will be rushing to make it to my son’s first soccer game, still covered in sweat. I will have a change of clothes, but I imagine, I still won’t smell very good. Thankfully, at 5, Andrew will not be embarrassed by my attire or by the fact that I stink. On both accounts, I couldn’t start my workouts any earlier to build in time for proper post workout recovery.

This is when having a coach would be so helpful – having someone knowledgeable to help me prioritize my workouts, nutrition and proper recovery, all the while understanding that my employer does not have afternoon nap time and that my children want to see their mommy. I am not downplaying the importance of recovery in anyway, in fact, I have a day off every single week and I do try to utilize my hour of TV time before bed to stretch with the foam roller and most importntly, I listen to my body… but let’s face it, the average age grouper is living a life similar to mine. What tricks do you all use to maximize your recovery?

Another article I read suggested that the lack of recovery (post workout meal, massage, nap, etc) is one of the key differences between the FOP (front of pack) and MOP/BOP (middle/back of pack) athletes.

All said and done, performance is important to me, but I am racing against myself, trying to do the best that I can do and of course, have fun! Oh, and if you see a stinky mom or dad at soccer this weekend, be kind!


Eliza said...

Keeping everything in balance is most important.

If you did ALL the things everyone out there says you should you'd drive yourself crazy!

Just decide what works for you and be objective about if you need more recovery or less.

Kristin said...

Recovery is huge, but you don't have to commit tons of time. Do you use a recovery drink? I found that to make a huge difference even when there wasn't time for all the other stuff. In 32 weeks of training I only napped once. I simply didn't have time. I stretched every day though and that was key. I also did the ice baths whenever they made sense. You only need 10 minutes in there and it helps. Lastly, compression tights. Zoot CompressRx changed my life!


Coaches are over rated. (smile, coaches :) I like the "listen to your body" technique.

Go to GNC and buy some L Glutamine. Mix it up with some chocolate milk and drink after a heavy work out. Great for muscle recovery.
They also have other muscle recovery products also.
I'll probably be in Houston Wednesday and do the BCRR run at Rice. I usually start at 6pm at entrance to parking lot 21 on Rice Blvd.