Post Race Recovery – How much time off should I have?

Post Race Recovery – How much time off should I have?

Hello Everyone,

I have been asked this question a number of times recently so thought I would share my thoughts on the subject with everyone on the RG Active Blog.

There are probably a number of opinions on this subject as I am sure different coaches have different thoughts and ways of structuring their athletes training and racing schedules. The following thoughts are my personal thoughts and the way that I approach rest and recovery after races.

John’s basic calculation for working out how much time off to have after a race:

For every hour raced you should have one full day off of exercise to recover.

Example One: 14hour Ironman = 14 full days off, NO EXERCISE!

But…….. After your full days off you have to build in a period of training that introduces intensity and volume gradually getting your body back to where you want it. If you start training too early after a race, or you don’t build back up slowly you will never see the true benefits from the race and recovery.

Recovery is AS important if not MORE important than the training, and this is often something that athletes forget. You will never see the benefits from all the training you do if you body isn’t given time to repair itself after the damage you do during training.

Example Two: 2 hour Olympic distance race = 2 full days off of exercise and 5-9 days of gradual build up back into full training.

All of the information above is based on the time off being after you ‘A’ race, the race which has been your main focus for a certain period of training time. You also have training races, which are races that are designed to improve your fitness and experiment with nutrition, race strategy, pacing etc. From these races  I would still suggest you have some time off, but it depends on where in your training programme you are and what intensity you raced at to determine how much time.

This does obviously get more involved the more you race, and the longer of more involved the event is, but this covers what I consider the basics of how much recovery you need after an event.

I am going to be writing more blog entries over the next few weeks and am going to try an answer as many questions as I can.

I hope you found this entry of interest and I look forward to hearing your thoughts and speaking to you soon,



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