While athletes undergo triathlon training, much of their focus is on what workouts to do, what food to eat, and what drills to run. Very few athletes put any thought towards how they will be recovering from their training sessions. Recovery is one of the most important aspects of training because without proper recovery, athletes will not be ready for their next workout, and therefore will not be able to continue to improve.
CoachUp coach and former Pro Triathlete, Todd P., believes that while athletes are training for events, they are never fully recovered until they stop training. However, he thinks that it is important for athletes to have “adequate recovery” time between triathlon training sessions. Todd notes that adequate recovery varies depending on the athlete and how hard they are training. “Adequate recovery may range from a shorter recovery ride, run, or swim later in the day or the following day, to literally not training for a day or two,” he says. Regardless of what adequate recovery means to the athlete, it is important they schedule time for it.
The theme of athlete recovery is starting to become more mainstream across the sports community. Gatorade launched a unique blend of drink specially made for post-game muscle recovery. Other companies have followed suit with a range of drinks, snacks, and even chewables to make sure athletes have what they need to recover. However, athletes need to keep in mind that their bodies need more than just these kinds of quick fixes to reach their adequate recovery. This is not only the job of the athlete but also the job of the trainer or coach.
Coaches who factor adequate recovery into their athlete’s triathlon training schedules should take into account the athlete’s age, length of training, and intensity of the workout. This also becomes the job of the athlete, who knows their body’s condition best, to communicate with their coach or trainer to make sure they are all on the same page. Todd warns athletes, “Without adequate maintenance of your recovery levels, you’ll never achieve your optimal potential, and you may as well peak now because you sure won’t on race days!”
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