Periodization, Recovery, Triathlon -

Principles and tips on Recovery in Triathlon

By Coach Michael Lyons, Tri NZ level 2 certified Coach and Co Owner of TriEdge
Training makes you worse and Recovery (or proper rest) makes you better. 
The whole time we are training we are putting the body into a state of over reaching (vs. over training) and this forces the body into an adaptation phase that only manifests properly when we rest. A proper training plan, appropriate to the individual athlete and a feed back loop with a good coach will also enhance this process. Here are some general principals - 
  1. There should be 2 to 3 load weeks followed by a recovery week.  
  2.  One to Two recovery days a week (recovery can be active such as a walk with the family, easy swim in the pool, ride to work etc.)
  3. Sleep - this is vitally important and its the first question we ask athletes who are falling sick or plateauing The amount varies from person to person but one rule is constant, it is the hours before midnight that count the most. Switch off the gadgets and social media and get this done. 
  4. Correct intensity at the appropriate time in your program - once again, this is where a good coach and regular feedback ads significant value. 80% of your training loads should be strength/endurance focused with the final 20% being speed and sharpening focused. 
  5. Nutrition - eat nutrient dense food for best recovery; remove inflammatory foods from your diet such as grains and sugars, move your nutrition to more Low Card and high fat for best results. 
  6. Mental recovery - a night at the movies for example to allow yourself to mentally refresh
  7. A "winter Season" - a hard concept in the tropics but a month or so completely off structured training but still including some unstructured fun exercise such as circuit training, trail walk etc. can prepare you for the next level in the new season. 
  8. Stay off your feet, elevate your legs, wear compression post training use an ice bath for your legs, stretch and foam roller are good disciplines. 
  9. Sports massage from a good sports masseuse will speed recovery and also help keep muscles healthy and injury free by eliminating knots and scar tissue.

Best wishes in training well and recovering even better!

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