General Discussion Triathlon Talk » What to do after your ironman race? Rss Feed  
Moderators: k9car363, alicefoeller Reply
2017-08-04 3:38 PM


Subject: What to do after your ironman race?
Hi all,

Long time reader, first time posting a new message.

Within a couple of weeks i hope to complete my first full Ironman. I followed my trainingplan and i feel confident to finish the race. However, i started to wonder how you should do after the Ironman race. Should you refrain completely from exercise for a couple of weeks? Should you start relative soon with light jogging or so? Any ideas, recommendations or experiences?

2017-08-04 5:33 PM
in reply to: MaximusNL

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Extreme Veteran
Subject: RE: What to do after your ironman race?
Everyone recovers different. I think it partly depends on how the race goes. For example, I had stomach issues on one of my IM's and was not able to run much. I was super fresh the next day and didn't need much time to fully recover from the race. However, for my first IM, I left everything on the course. It was a few days before I could even walk! Of course, temp, humidity, etc can have an effect too.
But to answer your question... IMO, take a week off with maybe some light spinning to shake out the legs.
2017-08-06 11:35 AM
in reply to: #5225728

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Subject: RE: What to do after your ironman race?
Everyone is different, but I would recommend taking a couple of weeks off and do nothing... it can be pretty amazing! You've been training for months and your body, mind, etc all need to recover. If you have a family, spend some time with them and recharge your batteries! Build up the bank of spousal approval units if you have one!

When you start to feel the itch go for some easy rides or swim. The run should probably be the last to come back simply b/c it puts more stress on the body.
2017-08-07 10:38 AM
in reply to: Toefuzz

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Oviedo, FLA
Subject: RE: What to do after your ironman race?
Beer...Lots and lots of beer....

I took about 5 days off. Day 6 was an easy ride. Day 7 was an easy run. Probably should have taken the entire week off, but I seemed to feel pretty good. The following week I took a couple swims, couple of runs and a nice easy ride.

I think it's a personal thing on how your body feels. Listen to your body and don't be afraid to take time off. If you push it you might be opening yourself up for an injury.

2017-08-07 10:52 AM
in reply to: MaximusNL

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Camp Hill, Pennsylvania
Subject: RE: What to do after your ironman race?

More than physically, most people a mental break from all the structure.  Physically, most people feel relatively fine within a week after an IM, but when they train, they'll discover they don't have quite as many "gears" for a few weeks.  The top end will just seem to be missing.

To deal with both aspects of this, for a first time IM triathlete, I'll typically tell them take 1 month of unstructured training.  Do what you want based on how you feel physically and mentally.  It could be sbr, or something completely different.  If that's once or twice a week, great.  If it's 6 or 7 days a week, that's great too, as long as rest is still a priority.  Listen to your body.

After about a month, start structured off season training based on your plans and goals for the following year.

Enjoy your race!


2017-08-07 11:16 AM
in reply to: TriMyBest

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Exton, PA
Subject: RE: What to do after your ironman race?
I try to start running again within a 3 or 4 days, nothing hard just easy runs. I find at my age if I stop for weeks on end, starting up again is very difficult.

2017-08-07 1:27 PM
in reply to: MaximusNL

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Placitas, New Mexico
Subject: RE: What to do after your ironman race?

3 IM races, three different post-race recoveries.  

#1.  IMCdA 2009, I spent the next morning getting my shoulder x-ray'd, browsed the finisher gear, didn't feel too bad.  As we started the drive back, I got progressively more sore and stiff even with some sightseeing at Yellowstone.  

#2.  Vineman 2011, I got up the next morning and ran an easy 3 miles.  Spent a couple days touring N. California including some hiking at Yosemite.  

#3  Beach2Battleship 2014, Got up the next morning pretty stiff, spent 2.5 years not doing much of anything.  

I don't recommend the last...

Expect a bit of post-race malaise.  You'll have spent a year focused on this one event.  Whether it goes exactly as planned or not, you'll spend some time wondering "now what?"  You'll also spend some time re-hashing the race, and wondering if you could have shaved minutes here and there to have hit some time goal or threshold.  You'll be facing an entirely blank training calendar and the lack of structured training will feel disconcerting.  

2017-08-07 9:08 PM
in reply to: MaximusNL

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Tucson, AZ
Subject: RE: What to do after your ironman race?
It really depends on your experience, how hard you raced/completed the competition compared to your fitness level, and your future race plans and goals.

I wrote up some general tips for the 1st week post Ironman. Just some general guidelines about taking it really easy out there because there is no one answer.
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