The Triathlon season is a long one, and it’s probably tempting to enter every race possible if you’re a keen Triathlon racer like we are at KitBrix. The effort and training put into just one race is a lot to put your body through, so it’s equally as important to factor in your post-race recovery time and methods. Not giving your body the right time to recover after these races can leave you exhausted and sore, despite your finish time going up.
The idea of running (and even winning) every race is exciting, but the recovery between triathlons varies depending on three things; the length of the race, how you paced yourself during the race and your level of experience and fitness.
Triathlon Recovery Tips
Immediately after the race, the quickest way to aid recovery straight away would be keeping your muscles warm with a transition coat, insulated changing robe, blankets or a thick towel. You’ll also need to get yourself stretching properly to avoid any cramping or pulling of your muscles. As you go on, your workouts should reflect your recovery until you’re back to usual.
Breaking down the types of Triathlon, here are some tips on post-race recovery
Sprint Distance Triathlon Recovery
As one of the shortest triathlon distances, recovering from a Sprint Distance Triathlon typically takes 7 to 10 days.
- 1st-2nd day post race: Complete rest
- 3rd day post race: Begin easy/steady and all workouts kept to less than 1 hour
- 7th-10th day post race: Resume normal training
Olympic Distance Triathlon Recovery
Recovery from an Olympic Distance Triathlon will typically take 10 to 14 days.
- 1st-3rd day post race: Complete rest
- 4th day post race: Begin easy/steady workouts with swims less than 1 hour, runs less than 40 minutes and bike workouts less than 2 hours
- 10th-14th day post race: Resume normal training
Ironman 70.3 Triathlon Recovery
You can expect to be in recovery from an Ironman 70.3 Triathlon for 14 to 28 days post race.
- 1st-4th day post race: Complete rest
- 5th day post-race: Begin easy/steady workouts with swims less than 1 hour, runs less than 1 hour and bike workouts less than 2.5 hours
- 14th-28th day post-race: Resume normal training
Ironman 140.6 Triathlon Recovery
As one of the longest triathlon races out there, the Ironman 140.6 Triathlon can take 21+ days to fully recover.
- 1st-7th day post-race: Complete rest
- 8th day post-race: Begin easy/steady workouts with swims less than 1 hour, runs less than 40 minutes and bike workouts less than 2 hours
- 21st day post-race: Assess how you feel and resume normal training once you feel fully recovered after 21 days. Do not rush this stage as some triathletes can take up to 3 months to feel 100%.
While everyone is different, try and pay attention to your body and what it’s telling you. If rest is clearly what you’re in need of, listen and take a well-earned rest.
Triathlon Recovery Nutrition
So, in order to be in your best shape for the race, you’ve been really good and eating a healthy, balanced diet to keep yourself fit - but don’t go for the blow out cheat meal just yet.
Think about your metabolic recovery - energy and carbs. Maybe you’re at the end of the season, or you’re taking a break to train for the next race, either way, you’ve put your body and your muscles through a lot so they’ll need time to recover functionally. The following food groups will ensure you recover properly
As you probably know, your body won’t store protein, so it’s important to keep topping up your protein levels. Eating around 20-30g of protein after the race will provide your body with the amino acids needed for recovery. Think eggs, meat, and fish. Why not throw together a three-egg omelette?
Top providers of energy, eat carbs after training or exercise that the body can absorb easily to keep a regular flow of energy. Good examples would be oats, wheat and grains. A meal with a good portion of rice would also be beneficial.
Including foods high in antioxidants is perfect for easing muscle soreness and inflammation, so get snacking on some blueberries, raspberries, kale, and even a bit of dark chocolate.