- Short before long: race the shorter event first. You’ll be able to get recover faster and have a solid build up and recovery week leading toyour next race.
- Location: find two races where travel is at a minimum and the type of environment is similar.
- Familiarity: look at races you may have done before to keep the added stress of finding your bearings and keeping logistics easy.
What to do after the first race
- Post-race fuel window: Ingest a good recovery drink ASAP. Make sure your drink of choice includes carbohydrates and protein. Eat more than you normally would, as this is the time to ingest as many carbohydrates with protein as possible to ensure a solid recovery.
- Take advantage of the post-race massage at the event
- Flush your legs: Jump back on your bike for a super easy spin two to four hours after the first event
- Rehydrate: For these next 24 to 48 hours it’s crucial to drink and replenish your electrolytes. Keep a water bottle at hand and drink at least three bottles right after the race. A good rule of thumb is continue drinking until your urine is clear.
Recovery: What you do immediately after the race will be crucial for the following days and overall recovery
- Sleep: Take naps, get at least eight hours of sleep a night and try to put your legs up as much as possible during the week when not training.
- Nutrition: Keep the treats at bay and focus on high quality nutrients to help repair your muscles and body. Eat a salad and lots of vegetables daily and continue replenishing on your hydration.
- Tools: Any tools that may aid in recovery are great to use. I use self-massage balls and foam rollers. If you can, get a massage during the week too.
Train to recover
You won’t make any gains to your fitness for the next six days, so all training should be thought of as recovery workouts. Below, I’ve provided a sample week for in between back-to-back races. Take a day off mid-week rather than right after the race. This allows for more active recovery in the earlier part of the week and gives you a complete mental break. Use this rest day off pure recovery and stay off your feet as much as possible. I recommend keeping workouts short but frequent.
Extra considerations if you’re packing for destination back-to-back races
- Pack another pair run shoes in case you have blisters from the first race and need a different style or pair
- An indoor trainer can be easy to travel with and useful for recovery spins
- Bring extra race fuel
- Pack two of items that are easily lost (ie. goggles, race fuel, water bottles)