I Don't Need to Recover

Typical Saturday/Sunday for an age-grouper:

Wake up at 6 a.m. (or earlier) inhale some calories, fly out the door (hoping not to forget any important gear) and hope to hit the pool/pavement right as the sun rises.  Then attempt to get in a high quality, long session and head back home right when then rest of the world is waking up.  Next, jump in the shower and then surrender to the day's to-do list.  The to-do list could range from cleaning the home, grocery shopping, hanging with friends, social events, meetings, running a week's worth of errands because you put them off to train during the week, cooking, doctor's appointments, kids, family etc.  Notice how I didn't say anything about recovery?

In my opinion the most difficult part of triathlon for an age-grouper is recovery.  Every age-grouper is so timed crunched that they often leave out the recovery phase.  Ironically enough recovery might be the most beneficial and productive aspect of training! It is during recovery that the body is given a chance to heal and grow.  My friend and training partner Dan put it perfectly when talking about the recovery phase, "recovery allows the body to absorb the training."  What he told me I was already aware of but how he phrased it truly gave meaning to how I understood recovery.  I continued to learn the significance of recovery during a "classroom" session at a training camp in Vermont (that was put on by my Coach). Despite having a greater understanding of recovery I still ignored its importance and crashed and burned last season. 

Since the return of my health (2.5 months later) I now have the wisdom of recovery and look forward to it (despite always wanting to train).  Recovery is very difficult for age-groupers to fit into their everyday lives but let me tell you it is as important as any threshold, Tour de France, Kona type session you have. With that being said  I'm still learning how to recover properly.  Most of my weekends are jammed packed so recovery is usually very limited.  Today however I felt I had one of my better recovery sessions after biking for a little over two hours and a brick run for 20 minutes.  I made it home around 10:30, cleaned my apartment, jumped in the shower, and ran some errands (with some lunch throw in) After tackling the to-do list, which lasted a couple of hours, I was then was able to take a solid hour nap, ate some more food and hydrated and spent the rest of the afternoon/evening off my feet and cooking dinner with my wife.  This is as close to a true recovery as I have ever had and I feel great.  It may not be ideal but as an age-grouper, I'll take!

Important things about recovery:
1. you need it, I don't care how great you feel or where you are in the season
2. stay off your feet
3. hydrate and replace the calories burned
4. stretch
5. Nap
6. if you can treat yourself to a massage


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