I'd like to draw attention to the article Tea highlighted on race recovery.

The article is Determining Your Recovery Time.

An interesting read, but I don't think the article quite reaches where it is aiming. I like the idea of having a guide for expected recovery requirements. While giving plenty of items to take into consideration I don't believe it provides a good algorithm to work with. The problem is inherent in most attempts at reducing all the aspects that go into training and racing into a representative number. It usually just doesn't work.

Two concerns include:
  • Nutritional elements: firstly how do we define good versus bad, and why does bad equal prolonged recovery. For long events, a forced slow down due nutritional problems may result in less musculature stress and lessen time for recovery.
  • Overall definitions are too arbitrary and seem to give equal influence to every element.

Working from the assumption "that you are recovered from the race completely—so that you can do a race-quality training session or another race with no residual fatigue or affects remaining from your last event" does not allow for the big races. Some races add to your fitness. They are the ones such as 10km run, where working towards a marathon. These have relatively short recovery periods and you're back into full training quickly. On the other hand, big races such as an attempt at a marathon PB or and Ironman event will usually have such an enormous recovery requirement, that by the time you are without residual fatigue or affects remaining then your actual fitness will have dropped substantially.

I suggest taking the article as a tentative reference. Add your own experience. Then be honest with how you feel post race. If the race seemed to have to hit you hard, add a little more time for recovery beyond what you feel is necessary.

Then again, do we really have to recovery fully (whatever that truly means) after each race?


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