Recovery: Worse Than Taper

I have been thinking about writing this post since the first day after 70.3 Ironman California.  At first it was going to be a long the lines of enjoying the down time to recover from the race.  Then it was going to be how to recover from the race.  It changed multiple times and I am glad I never wrote it until yesterday morning while sitting on my couch at 4am.  I got up early because Saturday was going to be my first true action back in the training world. [caption id="attachment_1714" align="alignleft" width="302" caption="Lots of discussion and pictures of puking this week"][/caption] The week after the race was a couple of days of doing nothing.  There was a day of riding the spin bike for 1 hour and 30 minutes.  I wound up riding for 30+ miles which I always take 10% off because the spin bike can make you look like Lance Armstrong.  One day I went for a 30 minute run and put in 3.6 miles which was awesome.  It felt great to be out there for that, but truth be told recovery week #1 has meant a lot of inactivity.


This recovery has truly been worse than taper.  With taper I was at least active even if it were for shorter time frames.  I could be intense during taper week for 30 minutes and it felt great.  Now I can sit on the spin bike for 1 hour and 30 minutes and sweat profusely and still feel like I did nothing because I was not pushing myself.  Activity to get my legs back?  Yes.  Activity to get my mind back?  No. My mind has been a wreck this week about getting back out there.  It is fighting itself just about every minute from 3am to 8am.  It is fighting to stay asleep because there is no workout to be done, but it is so used to waking up at that time.  Once awake I think about all the people that are out there training for their next race and I am jealous about it.  I want to be out there, but like a good soldier I follow my Coach's orders.  She puts together a plan, that is hours and days and weeks in the making.  Who am I to put her hard work in the garbage and not pay attention?  There is a reason I work with a coach so that I don't have to think about these things and just do them.  So that is what I do.  I read Training Peaks and it says OFF so I do nothing.  It says 30 minute EZ run and that is what I do. I am coachable in that regard, but I am not a sit back and watch life go by person.  I texted Coach from the transition area and told her that the goal was to run faster after the bike.  That is what I wanted to be a focus.  Who does this?  She told me I was harder on myself than she is on herself and didn't think that was possible.  This past week I sent a Facebook message to her asking when training picks back up for CapTexTri and Austin 70.3, and oh how are we going to fit in qualifying for Boston.  Who does this?  Who doesn't want to sit back and enjoy the couch for a week or two?  Me, that's who (I think I just channeled my inner Dr. Seuss.) [caption id="attachment_1713" align="alignleft" width="225" caption=" Nothing Like Pushing Yourself"][/caption] There is nothing like pushing yourself to achieve, and I don't care what it's at.  Maybe you want to be faster, or maybe a better parent.  Knowing that your boundaries are only mental is what is great about pushing yourself.  Fight that mental glass ceiling and you will be successful. It was around Wednesday night or Thursday morning that I came across this article and this article in that discussed recovery.  It was very eye opening because it discussed recovery and planning.  How long to recover and what to eat for recovery.  It helped for about 12 hours.  I said to myself why risk injury?  Sit back and enjoy the fruits of your labor.  I have enjoyed those fruits and now I want to get back in the saddle.  I want to feel the open road and the wind in my face.  I want to wear lycra and spandex and not worry about getting laughed at (that was a joke.) In reality triathlon is a lifestyle that I have chosen and embraced.  It is a part of who I am.  It is a love of my life.  I can't imagine not having Karen in my life and I feel the same way about SBR.  I need it and have to have it.  Look, there are worse addictions. Yesterday I finally got my wish.  It was the opportunity to go for a 5 mile walk/run with the participants of Marathon Makeover followed by two hours on the bike.  The pace was leisurely but it was the idea of being on the open road.  Getting back out there.  My schedule next week is a bit more taxing on the body.  I actually get to ride for a while and run too.  Swimming will be out for another week while the tattoo heals but it feels like the training is going to start up again and I am loving it. Recovery is just as important as taper, but for recovery is 100x worse.

Do you enjoy your recovery phase?  If so, what is your favorite part?  The physical recovery or the mental break from the training?  Which is harder for your?  Taper or Recovery?

Jason Bahamundi

About the Author:

I grew up in New York and lived there for 34 years until I got divorced and moved 1600 miles to my new home in Texas.  I love New York and miss it but that does not mean that Texas hasn’t been great to me because it has.  It was here that I discovered endurance sports and specifically the sport of triathlon.  Triathlon has given me new life through all the challenges it presents.  I no longer look at life the same way and I can say that is in part due to my endeavor into this sport.

Related Stories