After Your Big Race: Recovery and Reboot
by Sue Aquila
Due to geography and my target market, the business that I own is cyclical. Very busy in the fall, not-for-profit over the holidays, very busy in the spring and moderately busy in the summer. When I started my business, the holiday period felt very stressful. After a few years I learned to embrace our slow time as one of recovery and reboot for our staff/business.
The same principle of recovery and reboot applies to our training. This is the first year out of my five years in triathlon that I have needed to recover and reboot. Why now? This year I got it “right.” My focus and effort was there to the very end. Build and peak were spot on. Taper went perfectly. No illnesses and no injuries. It all culminated in my best race day to date. When the race was over, I found that I had physically and mentally emptied the tank. Welcome to my triathlon not-for-profit period.
As soon as the race finished, I was in recovery mode for two weeks. Recovery for me looks just like training minus the training part. Focus on sleep, nutrition, etc. This is the time to rack up some zeros and allow my body to knit itself back together. The first week I focus on just trying to use the bathroom without the safety bar. The second week I am moving my body again within the parameters of low impact and low heart rate.
While recovering, my most important part of this process is the reboot. I find fatigue and rest is a great time to ask yourself why you do the things you do. Especially about the things you do repetitively. Identify your repetitive actions and then ask yourself, “Is this something I want to or should keep doing?”
My biggest self-discovery is that I no longer need or want to get up at 5:15 a.m. to run. It was a necessary habit when my daughter was little and reinforced by seeing my friends. To continue to train at a high level, I am learning that sleep is fundamental. I rebooted.
We are in a sport that rewards discipline and drive. Use your recovery time to question your repetitive actions. Reboot to make your next season your best season.
Sue Aquila is a USAT Level 1 coach who balances her ironman training with running a successful business that she built from the ground up. She blogs regularly at fewoman.com. You can also follow her on Twitter @fewoman.