-by Lauren Brandon
There are so many different types of feelings when finishing an Ironman. You are most likely very physically and mentally drained, even if you had a great race. It is important to let your body and mind let down for a moment after the months of dedication and hard work. A lot of people experience a bit of the post-Ironman blues so you have to figure out how to work through these feelings. Here are some tips for post Ironman to help you recover both physically and mentally.
1. Massage and easy training: The physical pain after an Ironman can be pretty intense. Your muscles have been in overdrive and they definitely need some TLC. If you’re able to get a massage a couple of days after your race, then definitely get one. This will help flush some of the lactic acid out of your body. Also, do some easy spins on the bike or easy swims the week after your Ironman to help with muscle soreness.
2. Compression socks & recovery boots: There is nothing quite like the post Ironman cankles! I find that if I don’t have compression socks on during the few days after an Ironman, then I get a lot of fluid build up in my legs and they get really uncomfortable. If you have recovery boots, then use those too because they will also help with the recovery process.
3. Nutrition: Of course it is okay to splurge a bit on food after your race in terms of both what you eat and how much you eat. The week after an Ironman, it is important to listen to your body and eat when you’re hungry. If you crave something, then eat it. You will find that especially days 2-4, you will have a large appetite, so make sure to satisfy your body`s need for more calories. I would bet that after a few days of eating what you want, you will be craving some healthy foods and want to get back on your normal eating habits.
4. Relax and let loose: You make a lot of sacrifices to train for an Ironman, so make sure you get some time to relax afterwards. Enjoy the extra food and drinks that you have withheld from for so long, get a lot of sleep, and spend time with your friends and family. Remember that your family might not have gotten to spend much time with you these past few months because of your training schedule, so do something nice together.
5. Be proud of what you accomplished: This is one of the most important things to remember. A lot of us might not have reached the goal we set out for ourselves, but that’s okay! Maybe your time wasn’t what you wanted, or something out of your control caused you to struggle on the day, but things happen. No matter what, it is important to be proud of all the work that you put into getting to the race despite what the final outcome might have been. We all worked hard, set out to achieve a goal, and that’s what is important.
6. Plan for the next event: It’s easy to get a bit down after a race that you have been planning and training for months. Nothing makes us more motivated and excited then signing up for the next race! It gives us a new goal to get ourselves moving again. Enjoy the process of trying