Race Recovery

I miss exercise.



I’m 12 days post-IMLP, and according to pretty much everyone who knows anything, my body is still in intense recovery mode. For good reason, obviously. Even though I feel like I want to go do some speedwork and run all the miles  and lift lots of weights this weekend, all the exercise physiologists out there are adamant that the human body can’t be recovered enough to get back into a normal workout routine this soon.  All of those smarty-pants people tell me I need AT LEAST four weeks of easy recovery – and still, at that point I need to continue to be cautious and closely evaluate how my body is feeling. I’ve been reading Page’s  updates on her Ironman Couer D’Alene recovery and have been soaking up a lot of knowledge on the process. She’s an incredible athlete that I look up to – her race was a few weeks before mine and I’m learning a lot about what to expect throughout the recovery period – and just how serious you need to take it.

I'm taking it verrry seriously.

I’m taking it verrrry seriously.

So far, I’ve gone on a lot of walks and did a 30 minute bike ride, a 30 minute easy run (oops, shouldn’t have done that), and an hour of yoga. (No, not all on the same day. That’s in total.) SOLID 2 HOUR TRAINING WEEK, PEOPLE. I should be swimming, – I don’t want to lose the skills and strength I’ve picked up – but…that’s one thing I’m just not motivated enough to do right now. Sigh.

What now? Active.com has a great breakdown of recovery phases. I’m currently in the “Honeymoon Phase”, which is probably the most perfect way to describe it. I “feel good enough to workout, but probably shouldn’t”. Dang it.

Recovery is tricky. Mentally (and even physically) you may feel ready, but your body can trick you – so rude. By using the chart below, you can evaluate all the factors that effect recovery for any race. The idea for the chart and all of the information came from this article on Active.com; I just gave it a little visual uplift:



It’s hard to come to terms with the fact that I need to rest. This is almost worse for me than the “taper crazies”.  All week I’ve been seriously planning a 12-14 mile run for this weekend…but after doing my research…seriously, Kara? That can’t be a good idea. I definitely don’t want to derail my future plans because I was too impatient to recover properly. (Impatience is a very common theme in my life.) So for now, I’m going to attempt to control the variables that I know can potentially aid in a faster healing time – drinking lots of water, eating non-processed, healthy foods, and kicking my feet up while I still can.

What’s your favorite way to recover? How much rest time do you give yourself after an “A” race?

I’m a writer currently living in New Jersey and blogging about running, fitness, wellness, and motivation. I want every reader to laugh and feel empowered, balanced, and motivated! Subscribe by email to get 1-2 newsletters a month with post updates, my favorite articles, running playlists and more!


  1. August 13, 2013 / 8:17 pm

    I am the worst at recovery… I must admit that after each race, my recovery period gets shorter and shorter. 😛

    And P.S., is that a Leinie’s I spot in that picture!?

    • August 14, 2013 / 11:12 pm

      YES!! :)

      • August 14, 2013 / 11:12 pm

        Good eye :)