Ironwoman Wednesday: Recovery

Today I’m back with another Ironwoman Wednesday with Jamie at From Couch to Ironwoman, Michelle at IronwomanStrong and Gabi at Lean Green Island Girl!  These girls are all training for Ironman Louisville, which is just 4 1/2 weeks away, and I’m training for Ironman Mont Tremblant which is 3 ½ weeks away (holy smokes batman!).   Needless to say, we can all relate to each other with all of the crazy training we’ve been doing.

Today’s top is RECOVERY. Which is all very fitting, since I recently realized that I need to spend a lot more time with self-massage… daily! My glutes and hamstrings are so tight that things are getting aggravated going from bike to run, oops. To be honest, self- massage was taking a back burner and now it’s come back to bite me! I’m not in a lot of pain or anything, just uncomfortable… this needs to get fixed stat! As I get into my last few weeks of heavy training, recovery is going to play a critical role.

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The ironic thing is, when I first started blogging this year, I wrote a post about how I hate rest day. A few of my blogger friends responded to the post and said I will start to appreciate rest day with Ironman Training, and they were right! Now that I am in the middle of my PEAK training, I love my rest days or even my ‘step back’ days. I don’t always have a rest day in a training week, but I will typically have one ‘easy’ training day, on Monday’s for example, after a long weekend of workouts. My coach has me taking an actual FULL rest day every 3 weeks and boy do I treasure these rest days! Funny how things change when you start training 15-20 hours a week!  I also have what I call ‘step back weeks’ where I will train for only 9-10 hours during a week. During my step back weeks, I’m able to spend even more time on recovery!

Here are my key players for recovery:

  • Self-Myofascial Release. Finding trigger points mean everything in self-massage/myofascial release. It has been speculated that trigger points may lead to a variety of  injuries. The theory is that trigger points compromise the tissue structure in which they are located, placing a greater strain on other tissues that must compensate for its weakness. These in turn can break down and so the spiral continues (source). Little did I know that I have all of these knots a.k.a trigger points in my Gluteus Maximus, ouch! Now that I have figured out how to help these areas of pain, I will be working on them daily until August 17th. I like to use my Trigger Point kit and lacrosse balls for myofascial release!
  • Warm Epsom Salt Baths. I have mentioned this on the blog before, but I have really found relief in taking Epsom Salt baths during Ironman training. The combination of the warm water and the salt (magnesium) helps to loosen your muscles and accelerates the healing process after a tough workout. I love this brand for it’s soothing lavender scent!
  • Seeing a {good} massage therapist… often. Before training for an Ironman, I would only get a massage after a long race i.e. the Boston Marathon. Getting a massage post-race is nice, but massage is even more critical pre-race (who knew!), think of it as preventative maintenance. My little secret weapon is I get massages every two weeks, and boy does this help big time. I also notice I am way less sore after a race if I’ve gotten a deep tissue massage in the days prior to competition.
  • Fueling properly. I mentioned post race fueling in a post last thursday, but this is key for recovery. Drinking something for recovery within a 30 minute window post workout is SO crucial!  This will begin the repair process with muscles that have been broken down during training… and will take away the ‘hangry’ feeling.
  • Getting enough sleep. I am the first to admit that I don’t always get enough sleep.  I have gotten better at it (7 hours versus 6 hours a night), but my sleep habits could improve. One thing that’s great about IM training, is I am exhausted by the time I get to bed and there’s no tossing and turning like there used to be… out like a light!  Sleep is essential for muscle recovery (and mental recovery too!)

Kristin Lawhorn 7.7.14 223

How do you recover after a tough training week or race?


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  • Reply Smitha @ FauxRunner July 23, 2014 at 6:16 pm

    Sleep is the elusive factor in my recovery 🙁

    Friends did Mt. Tremblant last year and loved it! Good Luck!! Try to stay sane during taper!!

    • Reply Kristin July 24, 2014 at 1:34 pm

      Yes sleep is definitely a challenge for me! SO glad to hear your friends loved IMMT! Ha, I will try and stay sane during my taper:)

  • Reply Sara @ lifebetweenthemiles July 23, 2014 at 6:32 pm

    I’m a big fan of myofascial release and Epsom salt baths too! Sleep is so critical too, but I am in the same boat as you…how can you get in more than 6-7 hours when we get up so damn early to train everyday? I’d have to go to bed at 7p.m. and clearly that isn’t happening!

    • Reply Kristin July 24, 2014 at 1:34 pm

      It’s literally impossible to get more sleep! Going to bed before 10 is such a challenge and seriously NEVER happens!

  • Reply Gabi @ LeanGreenIslandGirl July 23, 2014 at 7:19 pm

    We’ve been wondering about Epsom salt baths! Gotta try one now that we’ve reached the 2 peak training weeks. I also swear by massages. I see mine once a month, but these next 2 months I’m trying once every 2-3 weeks and then self-massage, every day if I can. It’s so good to get rid of those knots and trigger points! Have a good last big week of training!

    • Reply Kristin July 24, 2014 at 1:35 pm

      Yes you must try Epsom salt baths!! I’m telling you, you won’t regret it:) Ugh anything to help with nasty trigger points!!

  • Reply Amanda July 23, 2014 at 11:38 pm

    I’m a firm believer on getting enough sleep. If I don’t I’m just a wreck for the next day. I aim for 8 or more each night and do a pretty good job keeping on track. Always enjoy reading your linkups! Thanks!

    • Reply Kristin July 24, 2014 at 1:36 pm

      Sleep is SO important and I’m jealous you get 8 hours a night! I usually do OK on 6-7 hours, but I crash by 3:00 PM every day. Thanks so much Amanda!

  • Reply Desiree July 24, 2014 at 12:55 am

    I love Epsom salt baths also. I tried ice baths in the beginning but I tensed up so much. I also see a chiropractor regular. She does massage too. At night I roll Rubz balls under my feet. Makes a huge difference. I’m thankful my family is early to bed early to rise and we all try to stick to that schedule. Even my teens are good with early bedtime. These tips and posts are very helpful. Thanks for sharing.

    • Reply Kristin July 24, 2014 at 1:37 pm

      I also tense up with ice baths. I find the warm epsom salt baths are more relaxing and soothing on the muscles. I also love taking a bath at night and waking up the next morning feeling less ‘tense.’ I love my Rubz ball too! Thank you for the feedback:)

  • Reply Cassie @ Rural Running Redhead July 24, 2014 at 1:39 am

    I love that puppy meme! I get so hangry. 🙂 I also have a hard time with getting enough sleep. I can’t seem to get more than 6.5 hours on a regular basis, but I go to bed as early as possible!

    • Reply Kristin July 24, 2014 at 1:37 pm

      Ha ha I get sooo hangry, it’s out of control. I’m also at that 6.5 hour sleep mark, often!

  • Reply Kristen @ Glitter and Dust July 25, 2014 at 12:22 am

    Recovery is something that I have started paying a lot more attention to. Who knew it was so important? I go to this place called Recharge and use compression boots that go all the way up to my hips. It is life changing. I also take ice baths every so often, especially when it is 100 degrees outside. I ordered some of that Epsom salt and can’t wait to try it! My sleep is a pretty consistent 7 hours a night and I sometimes can get in a nap if need be.

  • Reply Leslie @ Triathlete Treats July 25, 2014 at 2:53 am

    I am glad that you are enjoying your “rest” days! I love them. Just nice to mentally and physically re-charge!!
    Recovery is just as important as the training! I try to sleep as much as possible. I try and get at least 7 hours. Sometimes it is 6 but I usually have a day or 2 that I can sleep 9-10 hrs. What?! 🙂 Those are my favorite days! I use the foam roller every day and get a massage every 3-4 weeks during regular training. During heavy training I get one every 2 weeks!
    I haven’t tried the Epsom salt baths but I have been wanting to!!

    • Reply Kristin July 29, 2014 at 2:23 pm

      Funny enough, I have a rest day today. I’m going to enjoy every minute of it! You are right, recovery is just as important as the actual training. I also try to get 9-10 hours a sleep one night a week, it’s usually Friday or Saturday night. It’s amazing when that happens! Oh and def trying the Epsom Salt!

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