Triathlon Expert Offers Four Tips for Race-Day Recovery
Champaign, IL (May 20, 2009) -- John Mora knows what it takes to be a successful triathlete: He has competed in almost 200 running, cycling, and swimming events, including marathons, sprint triathlons, and Ironman competitions. In the upcoming full-color edition of his popular triathlon guide Triathlon 101 (Human Kinetics, March 2009), Mora expands on the first edition, which sold more than 75,000 copies, and offers new information on off-road triathlons, planning for a competition, and race recovery.
According to Mora, recovery from a race is just as important as the race itself, and triathletes must be diligent with recovery strategies. He says, "The things you do and don't do in the minutes and hours after a triathlon will either set you up for a quick and painless recovery or cause you to stumble and sneeze in the next few months."
Mora suggests four recovery tips for avoiding injury and sickness:
Keep moving. After crossing the finish line, continue walking for 5 to 15 minutes after the race and bring the heart rate down gradually. According to Mora, walking also helps disperse some of the copious amounts of lactic acid in the muscles. If there is a logjam of people in the finishing chutes that forces a complete and abrupt stop, walk in place without lifting the knees up too high. "You can also try some light stretching, but be careful to keep your movement slow and your range of motion limited," Mora advises. "Overstretching in your current taxed state may activate reflexes in exhausted muscles that could cause cramping or injury."
Drink up. Even if water is consumed throughout the race, continue hydrating with an electrolyte-replacement drink after the race. "Complete restoration of the fluids and electrolytes (potassium and sodium) lost after a hard endurance effort is an important component of recovery," Mora explains. "This is even more true in hot or humid conditions. Try to drink two cups (16 ounces) of fluids per pound of body weight lost."
Take advantage of the "carbohydrate window." According to Mora, the carbohydrate window is a critical time when ingesting carbohydrate during those first two hours after a race helps replace muscle glycogen at a rate twice as fast as normal. "Even a small snack like a banana or energy bar will help with recovery," Mora advises. In addition, a moderate amount of protein may aid in recovery. Most energy bars contain some protein, so having one on hand at the finish line is a good idea. "An electrolyte-replacement drink and a high-carbohydrate, moderate-protein energy bar are the perfect finish-line menu items for recovery," Mora says.
Eat healthy and take supplements. The immune system is weak after a triathlon, especially a long-distance event, highlighting the need for healthy food choices. Mora advises an all-natural diet consisting of complex carbohydrate, like vegetables and whole grains, to completely replenish lost muscle glycogen, which may take as long as a week. Dishes should be composed of 60 to 70% carbohydrate and a moderate amount of protein and fat. "It wouldn't hurt to take some immune-boosting supplements, such as vitamin C, garlic, vitamin E, and an antioxidant blend," Mora adds. "It's very common for endurance athletes to catch a cold within days after an event."
For more information on Triathlon 101 or any triathlon resources, visit www.HumanKinetics.com or call 800-747-4457.
Part I: Getting Ready to Tri
Chapter 1: So You Wanna Tri?
Chapter 2: Planning to Race
Chapter 3: Getting the Right Stuff
Part II: Triathlon Training Basics
Chapter 4: Swim Training: The Key Is Technique
Chapter 5: Bike Training: Putting in the Distance
Chapter 6: Run Training: Putting One Foot in Front of the Other
Chapter 7: Training for All Three
Part III: Tri-ing Your Best
Chapter 8: Fueling Up for Triathlon
Chapter 9: Staying Healthy
Chapter 10: Peaking to Race
Chapter 11: Nailing the Big Day
Chapter 12: Tri, Tri Again
ABOUT THE BOOK
Triathlon 101, 2E
ISBN 978-07360-7944-0 · $18.95
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
A competing triathlete for 20 years, John Mora is a renowned fitness author and has published over 500 articles in his career. He is a member of USA Triathlon and has participated in almost 200 running, cycling, and swimming events, including marathons, sprint triathlons, and Ironman competitions. Author of the first edition of Triathlon 101, Mora strives in this newly updated version to prepare his readers for their first or next triathlon.
Mora is the running columnist and triathlon feature writer for Windy City Sports as well as the former contributing editor to Triathlete. His articles have been featured in many national magazines, including American Health, Women's Sports & Fitness, and Runner's World.
When not writing or training, Mora enjoys recreational cycling and tennis. He resides in Plainfield, Illinois.
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