As I sit here and reflect on Ironman Lousville there are many things I have yet to elaborate on. Before I stop, take a breath, and then put my thoughts into words I wanted to share one thing that relates to all Ironman athletes.
As we all know, the body goes through 26.2 miles of loading post the swim and bike. In the six Ironman events that I have taken on I have always felt like a rockstar within about 1 week of active recovery.
Please keep in mind that all athletes will recover at a rate that is specific to their genetic make up. Some can recover rapidly and others will need significantly more time to absorb the stress of racing/training. One of my athletes, Meredith Dolhare, is a prime example of being a freak in regards to recovery. She can take on an IM or Ultraman and be ready to go in about 2 to 3 days. She is an outlier or exception to the rule.
The majority of us need more then a week to fully absorb an IM. Please know that your muscular system will recover significantly faster then your skeletal system, for example. I was prompted to write this today because nothing is worse then an injury that shows up about 2 to 3 weeks post an IM. I share this with you because today I was reminded of how I need to pull back a bit on the run at this phase of re-entry into training. Its funny how in tune you become with your body as you use it more and more.
Allow the micro trauma to the skeletal system to be absorbed. The body was designed perfectly to break down and then repair.
As a general rule of thumb allow yourself up to 3 to 4 weeks for the body to fully absorb an IM. This range varies as noted above, but I think it is safe range to work from. It is during this time that I would spend more time in the water and bike. One of my favorite post race/workout actitives is to do super slow walking lunges within a 3 to 4 foot deep pool. I exagerrate the range of motion to open up the hips and then go into a cooler pool and swim. This is repeated for about 30 min. I always come out feeling like a 18 year old. I am 37 years old. You get the picture.
Train smart and study your body,