Ironman Chattanooga. Ironman Louisville. Ironman Florida. With so many races coming up or just being completed, there are a lot of Peak Performers out there starting their recovery or about to start their recovery. Even if you've finished your Ironman your training isn't over; you have one more step. Reovery.
For IM finishers, recovery is critical. The faster you try to come back the faster those injuries can pop up. Below are a few suggestions for coming back after your Ironman.
Coming back from your Ironman:
Step 1:Take at least 2 or 3 days completely off. This means no running, biking or swimming. Short walks are encouraged to loosen tight and sore muscles. I would even suggest no running for up to 7 days post-IM.
Step 2: Keep it aerobic! After 3 days go ahead and get in a swim and a bike. The important keys here are to keep the workouts aerobic. Stay between 1,000-2,000 yards on the swim and the time between 30-90 minutes on the bike.
Step 3: Incorporate running. Again, I would add this into your mix last. Most people tend to injure themselves at this point by trying to run too much or too quickly after their race. Keep it short (20-25 min.). Keep it aerobic.
Step 4: 2-3 weeks post-IM: continue to keep all workouts aerobic and short!
Step 5: 3-5 weeks post-IM: keep it aerobic but increase your duration(3,000 yard swims, 2-3 hr bikes, 60-90 min. runs). Be very cautious with increasing the intensity, especially on the run.
Step 6: Take rest days! Be sure you are giving yourself 2 days off, at least, each week to continue allowing your body to heal and recover.
By the end of those few weeks you will have built a quality aerobic endurance and your body should be ready to slowly incorporate more intensity.
Enjoy your recovery!