13 SIMPLE Ironman 70.3 Triathlon Recovery Tips - Recover from your race FASTER!!!

Best recovery strategy for Ironman Blues?
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Congrats on your Ironman 70.3 race and finish!!!

We put so much time into preparing for our Ironman 70.3 triathlon races that so often we haven't even thought about recovery.

Ironman 70.3s are incredibly taxing on the body, but there are a few things that you should be doing to help your body recovery faster and feel fresher.

These tips come from my own personal experience racing 160+ triathlons, 50+ Ironman 70.3s, 25+ Ironmans, and 40+ Marathons. I am one of only a few athletes to ever qualify for both the Ironman 70.3 Worlds and Ironman Kona championship as an age-grouper and then continued working, grinding, and growing to make it back as a professional.

#1 - Drink a protein shake as soon as possible after the race. This will start the recovery process as soon as possible. You will get plenty of carbs at the food tent, but easily digestible protein options are often lacking. Have a family member bring you a protein shake at the finish.

Put your dry recovery product in a blender
bottle. Just add water at finish.
It is so easy to do. I prefer to put some plain whey protein isolate (20g) + 1 scoop of Base Amino (10g) in a Blender Bottle. Whey is very quick to absorb and easily digestible, but Base Amino is free-form amino acids that are immediately ready to be used by the body without any further breakdown.

Drink another shake at night before you go to bed and one more the next morning. Personally, I continue this pattern for two more days after the race.

#2 - Keep moving - Don't sit for extended periods of time. Take frequent short walks to keep the blood moving thru the legs so toxins and dead cells can be processed by the lymphatic system and expelled from the body. If you have a long drive home then try to walk a few steps while at the gas station and again when you get home. If you have a long flight get up mid-flight to walk around.

#3 - Avoid caffeine  - Many rely on caffeine as a staple and need a little pickup, especially the morning after the race. Remember this is about recovering faster. Caffeine is going to add further stress to the system + it is diuretic. If you can avoid it for a few days your body will thank you. Instead, get someone to pour you some decaf without you knowing it.

#4 -  Avoid alcohol - I know everyone wants to celebrate their race and plenty look forward to the post-race drinks. Just remember, alcohol is a diuretic and it negatively affects your sleep. If maximum recovery is your goal look to something else to drink.

Possibly the most relaxing
way to recover!!!
#5 - Get a massage or invest in recovery boots. Treat your body this week and get a nice relaxing massage. If you own a pair of recovery boots then sit in them for 30 minutes post race and again that night before going to bed. If you don't have a pair then think about it as an investment. They are an awesome and relaxing recovery tool!

Here is a short comparison on two units I did many moons ago: Normatec ($1295) Vs Air Relax ($450).

#6 - Drink lots of water - if your urine is dark then you need to be drinking more fluids, but you also need to drink water regardless to help flush those toxins.

#7 - Take a nap - The more naps the better. Don't think of naps as being lazy, think of them as aiding the recovery process.

Bromelain ie Pineapple Enzyme -
 Natural anti-inflammatory + 
breaks down proteins
#8 - Avoid NSAIDs and other painkillers as they are going to be hard on your system. If you need something for pain look to natural anti-inflammatories like Bromelain, the enzyme in Pineapple that is a natural anti-inflammatory.

You can buy and eat Pineapple or just buy Bromelain itself which is extracted from Pineapple. It also aids in the breakdown of proteins which will further the rebuilding process. The following Source Naturals 2-pack is what I purchase. It is a more natural way to deal with pain.

#9 - Limit Exercise - walking is great, swimming is great, spinning is good, some very slow and short runs are ok at best. The key here is to listen to the body. If you are used to wearing gadgets then maybe leave them at home this week. Don't be afraid to go by feel in the week post race.

#10 - Take an Epsom Salt Bath - Epsom salt can help relieve general soreness from delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS). DOMS is what you are feeling when you feel that pain in your quads or calves and especially when walking down the stairs. Epsom salt can help relieve that pain naturally. Pour a generous amount of Epsom salt into a warm bath and soak for 15-20 minutes. Try to relax the mind as well.

Epsom salt baths can promote
bloodflow and helps with DOMS

#11 - Be cognizant of germs - The long race + travel can really wipe out your immune system. Now normally in life I actually like to build up my immune system by exposing it to germs, but now is not that time. Some stress is good, but you just did a Ironman 70.3 and your body is overstressed and vulnerable. Be a little extra cognizant of germs for the next few days - they are looking for a weak host.

#12 - Roll it out - You might be too sore after the race or even the following day, but use a foam roller to help break up any adhesions and to continue to promote blood flow back to the tissues.

If you don't have a foam roller, you might consider one. Personally, I love my Rumble Roller. It is rough at first, but once you use it consistently your tissues will become more supple and you will never use anything else again. I have the long version for home use (black, firm), and a short version for travel (blue, soft).
My personal collection of *knobby* foam roller

If the idea of using a foam roller like this is too much torture then massage guns can be a great alternative, albeit more expensive, and noisy. The following $145 Bivi, which comes with two batteries, is what I kept after I did my Bivi vs Theragun review.

#13 - Post Ironman Blues - Be aware that the post Ironman Blues are a real thing. You spend so much time and energy focused towards completing your race and then it is over. Some lose that sense of purpose they had while training. Take this time to refocus that energy on things you may have been neglecting - family, friends, kids, pets, work, hobbies etc. Start planning your next adventure too!

So that is it. Conscious awareness is half the battle when it comes to recovery and doing a few things on this list goes a long way. If you liked this post then feel free to share it or tag someone else that can benefit from FASTER recovery!

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