As impossible as it might sound an Ironman Triathlon morning after run can really help speed your recovery.
There is tons of information available about triathlon gear, diets, training programs, supplements, and many other factors necessary to reach the Ironman finish line, but not that much about how to deal with the morning after.
(1)THE MORNING AFTER RUN
When you first wake up it will take a few seconds to realize what you have accomplished. Your first overwhelming thought will be of the ache you feel in just about every muscle of your body.
In the sudden realization that you are indeed an Ironman you will bound out of bed overcome with euphoria……
Well actually, no you won’t.
It’s more likely you will climb out of bed like the gingerbread man and take about 50 short agonizing quad-searing steps to the shower that’s about 5 meters away.
So what’s the best thing to do to start the physical recovery process?
You go for a run.
Keep in mind that you’re not going out to set a new 10k personal best. What you are actually doing is stretching out constricted muscles and speeding up the dispersal of lactic acid.
I don’t know if that’s true or not but it sounds good. I’m no sports doctor and I won’t pretend to understand all the medical hocus-pocus.
What is truly more important and to the point is that I can pass along to you what I learned from my own Ironman experiences.
Decades ago after I had run a few marathons but was still pretty new to the running game I made a trip to Oregon with about a dozen hard-core marathoners from our local Roadrunners club to tackle the Seaside marathon.
The morning after the race they pretty much pushed me out the door to go for a run with them. Just an easy, relaxed trot for a mile or so they promised.
I thought they were nuts and that it would be impossible, but much to my surprise I was still able to run pretty well after a few minutes despite the stiffness and soreness I woke up with that morning.
SPEED UP YOUR IRONMAN TRIATHLON RECOVERY
After the first few marathons I ever ran I just wallowed in a sea of aching muscles for about a week before I ventured out on even a short run.
It was amazing how much faster I recovered from that Seaside marathon compared to my previous marathon experiences.
It was just a few short years later in 1982 when I stumbled onto this sport called Triathlon and more to the point the Ironman Triathlon in Hawaii.
In my first few Ironman races the aches and pains were much more wide-spread than I ever experienced after a marathon and it never crossed my mind to attempt going for a run the morning after Ironman Hawaii 1984 or the next few Ironman races in Penticton.
I’m not sure why. I guess because initially a marathon and an Ironman seemed like such different events and the fatigue and pain after an Ironman was just so much greater.
But one year after about my fourth Ironman Canada I decided to give the morning after Ironman Triathlon run a try even though it wasn’t something I had planned ahead of time.
The first thing in the morning after an Ironman I always made it a point to get a copy of the local newspaper that had all the race-day coverage, pro results and pictures.
The store was about two blocks away and I decided to try and run over to see what it felt like.
The result was exactly the same as it was when I ran the morning after a marathon.
At first it was really hard and painful, but it got easier the longer I kept up the steady, easy pace.
AN IRONMAN RECOVERY ATTITUDE ADJUSTMENT
That day was the beginning of what would be a normal routine for the rest of my age-group Ironman career.
Going out for that run changed the way I approached the days and weeks after every Ironman race that followed.
In the early years I did what most people probably do after an Ironman.
Pretty much a lot of nothing.
Running easily the morning after an Ironman seemed to have a psycological impact as well as a physical one.
I realized that I could manage unhurried, relaxing swims, a short jog, or an easy spin on the wind-trainer in the days right after the race.
It had nothing to do with training. It had more to do with accelerating the healing process by easing back into the very movements that caused the pain in the first place.
It’s sort of like when you decide to begin a weight-lifting program and how your muscles ache after those first few workout sessions. You really stressed them beyond what is normal and what they are used to.
But after a days rest you’re right back at it lifting those same weights despite the soreness and eventually it just goes away as your body re-adjusts to the new demands you are placing on it.
So the next time you do an Ironman, lace up those running shoes and head out the door and ease your self into an easy run by first walking slowly and then lengthening your stride and picking up the pace a little and then letting that lead you into an easy run.
Even if you just run easily for a few blocks it will have a positive effect.
You will be surpised at how well you can run despite the aches and pains and how quickly you will recover over the next days and weeks by following the same pattern in all three disciplines.