So it’s been 5 weeks since IM Barcelona. Immediately after the race I noticed pain in my hamstring; a somewhat dull pain and annoying to run with. So I knew then that my short break from training should turn into a long break to not only recuperate but recover from injury. While I was a little sad, I realize that I did a lot this year and I’m lucky that my body held everything together for me to participate in every race I had planned.
To recover, I have not/will not run or bike for 6-8 weeks. And for the initial 6 weeks only occasional swimming with a pull buoy. It’s difficult to just stop after endless months of preparation and training but as I have big plans for next year’s season, I am motivated to recover correctly so I can perform well for my chosen races.
However, recovery is not just about doing nothing. I get regular massage, do light yoga and use the foam roller. The other element that I think is most overlooked is what I eat. Many athletes work on their nutrition during training and racing season and once the last race is finished, they go crazy eating all the things they had cut out for so many months. I say you still have to watch what you eat; you still have to nourish your body to repair and come back stronger. Sure the two weeks following a race, why not relax and eat what you crave but after that I say get back to a diet of recovery.
And well, how many times do we hear of people who did an Ironman and 2 months later they talk about how much weight they’ve gained since. So really, once the last race is over we still need to eat well but as the weeks go by, start cutting back on the quantity. I’m not talking about deprivation or feeling hungry but if the amount of energy being expended has been severely cut back, I have to cut back on how much I eat without sacrificing quality food that will aid in regeneration.
As I said, it’s now 5 weeks and where am I? Better, a lot less tension when I bend over, I no longer feel it when I walk and in fact I don’t feel it much at all. But I know it’s not yet healed. I know if I start running I’ll feel it. So for the next couple of weeks, I’ll continue with what I’m doing and add longer yoga sessions, a little more swimming with pull buoy and some strengthening exercises for the core. All the while looking forward to 2017 to keep the motivation going