On Fitness: The Right Way to Recover After a Race

usnews.com—October 22, 2007

U.S. News & World Report writer Katherine Hobson notes online that, “After six Ironman triathlons in six years, I'm tired. I'm tired of training so hard—running 35 miles a week, biking 150, and swimming almost 4—that I can't keep my eyes open past 10 p.m. (thus depriving myself of Without a Trace). I'm tired of having a weekly pile of dirty laundry taller than a small child. But mostly I'm just physically and mentally exhausted. So since my last Ironman in late August, I've pretty much vegged out. But my injury-prone foot is acting up more than when I was training 20 hours a week—and I'm feeling sluggish rather than energized.

“What's going on? I thought that resting would allow my body to fix itself and be ready for whatever I throw at it next.


“I called Lisa Callahan, medical director of the Women's Sports Medicine Center at Hospital for Special Surgery in New York. She says there are a handful of formulas for figuring out how long I should stay away from hard-core training after a race. Some advise a day for every hour of a big race; others say a day for every mile of a running race. However you calculate it, I've been sitting on my butt for too long.

“I should incorporate these principles into my regular fitness program once I get going again. The amount depends on the person. ‘Healthy recreational athletes should take a minimum of one rest day a week,’ Callahan tells me. You can take more than that if you're doing particularly strenuous exercise, are recovering from an injury, or are older.”

Read the full story on usnews.com.

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