4/21/17

Don't be afraid to be competitive on race day


On race day, every athlete will have a reason for enduring the pain and the physical challenge that comes with racing.  I encourage you to love competition for competitive feelings help you feel energized, confident and ready to take on a challenge. 

Far too often, athletes get in their own way before and on race day. Nerves, anxiety, fear, self-doubt can shift a race ready body into a frozen body that is unable to perform.  

The thoughts in your mind may play ping-pong between positive and negative but this nervous energy is totally normal and needed. Gloria (Dr. G, my mental coach) believes that nerves are a good thing as it means you are ready and that you care. 


The beautiful thing about competition is that the stress that is felt before a race is a sign that you are willing and able to face a big challenge. This nervous excitement can be a great thing as it is a sign that you are ready and willing to stretch your physical limits and possibly, do something that you have never done before. 

  
Embracing the competition means that you will let other athletes have the race that they trained for without feeling bitter, jealous or upset. Never should you compare yourself to someone else and decide that you are too slow, too heavy or that you will never be that good and you don't belong out on the course.  Every athlete at a race can be competitive. No matter how long it takes you to get to the finish line, not only do you deserve to be there but you worked hard to be there. 


It's good to put a little pressure on yourself with a no expectations attitude. Never lose trust in your abilities. Be confident and enjoy the race experience. 

In a recent article by Dr. G, she discussed some simple tricks to stay mentally tough, no matter what obstacles get in your way. 

For anyone who is racing in the near future, here are my two favorite paragraphs from the article (I recommend reading the entire article):

"
Only you know what got you to the race and will get you to the finish line. Everyone has character strengths and experiences that they can capitalize on in challenging situations. First, have awareness of what your strengths are and secondly, use them. Embrace your competitiveness, your humor, your grit. Remember, it was your time, money, training, and planning that got you to the race, so own it. Enjoy the process and focus on doing you on race day!

Successful athletes know their goal so well that they can close their eyes and create a mental picture of it in their mind. The more vivid and clear your goal is, the more your brain and body know where to aim. Motivation increases when you know where you're are aiming your efforts. This means creating a picture in your mind, putting visual cues of your goal in your environment, or writing it out specifically and clearly in your training log. Then leading up to the race, you can recall your goal to help focus and direct all that energy so you're more excited and less freaked out."

4/20/17

Share the road tips for motorists

Image result for trimarni greenville cycling


Every time I get on my bike to go for a ride, I feel safe. Understanding that accidents do happen, I always ride cautious and alert. Although my reaction time on two wheels is not as stellar as Karel's, I do feel like I have the skills to ride safe on the open road.

Prior to moving to Greenville, I felt scared on my bike. With limited options to ride, I always felt like I was risking my life on two wheels as it seemed like every car needed to get somewhere fast and the person behind the wheel was distracted. 

Although we, as cyclists, can not control every person behind the wheel of a car, I do feel strongly that we live in a very bike friendly area and that the cars share the road with cyclists. From our door step, we have an unlimited amount of routes that we can ride, at any time of the day. Although we know the routes to avoid during higher traffic times, we select country roads (and the roads less traveled) as the drivers are less distracted and less rushed and the views are breath taking. 

One of my favorite things about riding in Greenville is that it is fun. Although it is very challenging to ride where we live, it's always an adventure to see the mountains, say hi to all the animals and to look at all of the scenery. We can change our route on the fly and thus, we never have to repeat our routes if we don't want to. Riding in Greenville has given me a great love of cycling because the riding is never boring. For someone who loves nature, being on the bike is great therapy, even when I am working hard and trying to stay on Karel's wheel. 

Image result for greenville cycling trimarni

Greenville has a very active bike community which means we often have bike-related events. For example, this Friday, in celebration of Earth day, to raise awareness about alternative transportation options in Greenville, a cyclist, bus rider and motorist will see who has the shortest and quickest morning commute in downtown Greenville. For more info about this event, visit this link.

Although the easiest solutions to safer roads is to stop the distracted driving by prohibiting the use of cell phone usage while behind the wheel and enforcing harsh penalties if a cyclist is hit, I believe that education of sharing the road with cyclists is very important. As an example, in Europe, specifically in Czech where Karel is from, cars and trucks understand how to safely pass a cyclist. Many times, the cyclist has the right of way. The cars work together on both sides of the road so that the cyclist can ride safely, without harm, to get to where he/she needs to be. Seeing that a bicycle is used as a form of transportation in many places around the world, it's understandable that the bike is more than just a form of physical activity but it is also an inexpensive and environmentally friendly way to get to places quickly and easily. 

Whether you are riding a bike for fun, to commute, to enjoy the fresh air or for training/exercise, you should never have to ride scared. Instead, ride on bike friendly/accessible roads, be seen and always make sure to be alert, skilled and prepared for the unexpected. 

To help improve the safety of cyclists on the road, here are 10 important safety tips from Yield to Life. 



10 Safety Tips for Motorists from Yield To Life


1. Different but Equal

In all states, cyclists are deemed by law to be drivers of vehicles and are entitled to the same rights on the road as motorists. Expect cyclists on the road. Watch for cyclists on the road. Treat them as you would any slow-moving vehicle.

2. Patience, not Patients

Patience, especially on the road, is a virtue, and can save lives.
Your patience may involve:
  • Waiting until it is safe to pass a bicycle and refraining from tailgating.
  • Giving cyclists the right of way when the situation calls for it.
  • Allowing extra time for cyclists to go through intersections.
  • Recognizing road hazards that may be dangerous for cyclists and giving cyclists the necessary space to deal with them. In conditions where there is not enough room for a cyclist to ride to the right, they are allowed to ride closer to the lane of traffic, and sometimes even in the lane of traffic.
Never engage in conduct that harasses or endangers a cyclist. Above all: Be tolerant. Be understanding. Be careful.

3. A Passing Grade

Do not pass a cyclist until you can see that you can safely do so. You should allow ample space between your vehicle and the bicycle and make sure you do not place the cyclist in danger. If you pass too closely the drag from your car can pull a cyclist off course and cause the rider to swerve out of control.

4. The Right Behavior

Watch out for cyclists when you are turning right. A bicyclist may well be to the right of you and planning to go straight at the same intersection. Do not speed ahead of the bicyclist thinking you can negotiate the turn before they reach your car. The cyclist may be going faster than you think and, as you slow to make the turn, the cyclist may not be able to avoid crashing into the passenger side of your vehicle.

5. To The Left, to The Left

Also look for cyclists when making a left-hand turn. Cyclists who are crossing straight through the same intersection in the opposite direction may be going faster than you realize. It is particularly dangerous on a descending slope, when cyclists pick up more speed.

6. A Back-up Plan:

Bicycles, and the people who drive them, come in all shapes and sizes. When backing out of your driveway always look to see if someone is riding in your path. Children on small bikes might be hard to see. Drive slowly and look carefully.

7. Egress Etiquette

After parallel parking, make sure the coast is clear for opening the car door to exit. Make sure there are no cyclists riding alongside your car or fast approaching. By using the rear view mirrors and by turning around, a driver can spot an approaching cyclist and circumvent a disaster. A cyclist cannot anticipate when a driver will open a door, but a driver can easily detect a cyclist who may be in the line of danger.

8. Respect

Cyclists have a rightful spot on the road. Cyclists also positively impact the environment with each revolution of their wheels by opting to ride rather than drive. Do not resent cyclists. Replace frustration with a smile every time to see a cyclist.

9. Honing Your Horning Habit

Do not to honk unnecessarily at cyclists. If the need does arise to honk your horn to alert a cyclist that you are about pass, do so at a respectable distance. If you are too close, the noise itself can cause a cyclist to lose his or her bearings and create a hazardous situation for both you and the cyclist.

10. Try it, You’ll Like it

If you can’t beat them, join them. Ride a bike. It may just change your life. Riding is good for you and good for your environment. At the very least, it will give you a better appreciation for the problems cyclists face everyday on the road with respect to motorists.

4/19/17

Riding 107 miles in Greenville - a milestone!


Ride stats: 
5:53 total ride time
107 miles covered

7274 elevation gained
18.1 mph average speed
2 refueling/hydration stops
Too many animal friends to count but I said hi to all of them.



After 11 years of endurance triathlon racing, I am still finding myself improving in training and on race day. I remember back in 2004, while in graduate school and training for my first marathon in January 2005, I was told by several exercise professionals that I would struggle in endurance sports as a female vegetarian athlete. While endurance training/racing is not easy for any individual, I don't see myself as a female vegetarian athlete but instead, an athlete, who happens to be a female and a 25 year vegetarian.

Without a doubt, self-improvements have kept me enjoying each season of triathlon racing and training as I never feel bored or stale in a 3-sport sport. Although there have been many setbacks since I started endurance racing, I've learned that development from season to season and training consistency are key components to experiencing success on race day. In order to continually experience performance gains, my health has always remained my #1 priority. With a healthy body and mind, performance gains will come. Knowing that I can't always do the same things over and over and expect different results, every year as life changes, I carefully pay attention to better, smarter and more effective ways to nourish my body, fuel my workouts, train and race, never with rigid rules, methods or strategies. To me, training is a fun hobby that allows me to use my body, explore nature, travel and I use it to help me manage life stress and release energy, so I never like to put added pressure on my training/eating when it comes to performance improvements. Finding this balance between great dedication and just enough flexibility has been extremely important to my athletic development over the past 11 years. 


On Saturday, Karel and I ventured out to Lake Keowee,, which is the start of the Mountains to Mainstreet bike course. Since the start is ~45 miles away, instead of driving, we rode our on our tri bikes. Because the M2M triathlon course is a point to point to point course, we decided that the best way to pre-ride the 58 mile bike course was to bike to the start and then bike home. This made for a long ride but we were both mentally and physically excited for a morning together, on two wheels. Plus, we absolutely love exploring new roads/routes and the scenery and mountain views that come with riding in Greenville, so we knew the ride would be just as fun, as it was long. Oddly enough, the ride went by really fast! And the M2M course is so beautiful and scenic but also very challenging - just what we love in a bike course!

As athletes, it's easy to get overwhelmed by the journey of training as it's normal to have an outcome goal in mind for race day. Without specific goals, it's difficult to find the motivation to train, especially with those early morning wake-up calls and squeezing in a workout with a tired body/mind after work. 
Knowing that race day success is the sum of many small efforts, repeated over and over, it's important to always consider your own fitness journey and that every day, you are getting closer to building a better, smarter, stronger and faster version of yourself. Instead of wishing for quick results or comparing yourself to other athletes, celebrate your own accomplishments in your own journey.

There have been many times in the past 11 years when I have said to myself "I feel so strong" or "I have never felt this fit before." Just when I think that I can't feel any fitter or any more strong, I develop and find myself capable of even more with my body. Patience, hard work and consistency bring results and while it is great to have big goals and dreams, you must celebrate the small improvements and victories to let you know that you are making progress. 

Since moving to Greenville, SC in May 2014, I have only completed one ride over 100 miles (summer of 2014). Despite training for four Ironman's since we moved, riding 100 miles in Greenville was never a focus as the terrain is extremely challenging and the miles go by very slow here. We always go by time for our long rides as this makes for quality training and a better return on our training investment.

Throughout our long Saturday ride and especially after our ride, I couldn't help but think, over and over, where I am with my cycling fitness and where I was in 2014 and even more so, in 2006 when I did my first Ironman. I kept telling Karel after the ride "I can't believe I did that!"
Now, I can ride with Karel and he doesn't have to wait for me. Now, my skills allow me to ride safe and efficiently. Now, I feel one with my bike.

As much fun as it is to PR, stand on the podium or qualify for an event, every small achievement in training moves you closer to becoming better than you were yesterday in training and even closer to achieving something with your body, that you never thought was possible. In the big picture, athletic development and athletic success is not about the results but it's about progress.

It's easy to lose motivation and enjoyment for your sport if you believe what you are doing isn't working or if you don't see big improvements so the next time you find yourself questioning why you do your sport and why you should continue to put in the work, take a moment to reflect back on the progress you have made over the past few weeks, months and years. Thinking about big goals can be overwhelming so make sure to celebrate the little milestones and track and share your progress along the way. 


4/18/17

When training becomes excessive and obsessive


Every athlete needs a high level of dedication, passion, desire and commitment in order to perform at a high level in training and on race day. For many athletes, the motivation to athletically succeed is borderline obsession. Since training for an athletic event may resemble excessive exercise, an unhealthy obsession with exercise may go unnoticed by a coach, training partner or friend. You may even think that your commitment to training is normal and even encouraged by your coach and those who look up to you as a fitness role model.

For every athlete, it can be difficult to understand whether or not your motivation and commitment to your sport is "normal", especially since many athletes are interested in diet and training strategies in order to improve health or performance.

Excessive exercise has many health consequences, such as bone and muscle injuries, hormonal issues, cardiac and other organ problems. On the mental side, the addiction to exercise may cause withdraw, isolation, loneliness, depression, low self-esteem, anxiety and guilt.

Since the need to train (or exercise) is necessary to help you mentally and physically prepare for your upcoming event(s), all athletes should recognize that something is not normal when training becomes unenjoyable and instead feels like a chore or obligation.

Athletes who tend to overexercise will use exercise as a way to feel a sense of control over their body. In other words, life feels so out of control that diet and exercise need to be tightly regulated to avoid feelings of guilt and anxiety. For the athlete who is seeking performance gains, it's completely normal to want to become more dedicated to training and healthy eating, in order to feel athletically ready for an upcoming event. Persistence and consistency are two sure ways to gain fitness and confidence for race day.

However, now a days, it seems like more athletes are tying self-worth to physical performance and/or a body image, while obsessively comparing to a "successful" athlete or a past version of themselves. As I mentioned in the previous paragraph, coaches can add fuel to the obsession by encouraging the athlete to train harder or longer or to adhere to a strict, rigid or controlled diet in order to reach x-goal by race day. When a coach (or magazine article) suggests that an athlete can become a better athlete through training and nutrition, it's easy for an exercise addicted athlete to exercise more and to restrict food and create food rules, in an effort to perform better.

As a sport dietitian who often works with athletes who are experiencing the negative mental, emotional and physical consequences of severely altering the diet and training excessively, it's important to explore the shift, when a natural desire to be better turns obsessive and excessive.

For example, here are some symptoms of Anorexia Athletica, which co-exists with disordered eating patterns and is characterized by obsessive and excessive exercising and often co-occurs with calorie restriction, induced vomiting and body image issues.

  • Overexercising to the point that fulfilling sport-related goals become more important than almost anything else in life.
  • Exercise is specifically used to control body weight. 
  • Exercise provides a sense of power, control and self-respect.
  • Constant obsession with food and weight. 
  • Refusal to miss a workout.
  • Difficulty scaling back workouts due to sickness, injury, fatigue or poor sleep.
  • Conflicts between family, friends, kids and/or training partners or feeling alienated. 
  • Anxiety and guilt when a workout is missed or if exercise volume isn't "enough".
  • Little to no enjoyment for exercise but continues to train/exercise. 
  • Haphazard training with little structure/quality. 
  • Self-worth is tied to physical performance and body image. 
  • Constant comparison to other athletes. 
  • Lack of satisfaction with personal achievements. 
  • Rigid food rules and dietary restriction
  • Feeling out of control in many areas of life. 
  • Denial that there is a problem. 
  • Never feeling good enough.
Whereas many athletes take diet and training to the extreme in order to improve performance, other athletes may use exercise to feel better about body image and weight, thus creating an addiction to exercise, often along with calorie/food group restriction, in order to boost self-esteem. Athletes may even use words like "eating clean" or "getting back on track", never realizing that there is an underlying issue that needs to be explored. 

Understanding that it is very difficult to define "excessive and obsessive" exercise among highly competitive, dedicated and motivated athletes, I encourage you to explore your current lifestyle to determine whether your current eating patterns and training regime is helping you achieve (or move closer) to an optimal level of performance and athletic readiness without sabotaging your health and quality of life. With far too many coaches wrongly encouraging athletes to lose weight and increase training loads in order to become faster or stronger, you should never ever have to take extreme measures to become a better athlete. 

What you believe about your appearance, how you feel about your body and how you feel in your body are important components to athletic success. Exercising more, adhering to rigid food rules and restricting calories will never help you appreciate and feel proud of your body. To get to the root of your exercise addiction issues, explore your feelings of self acceptance and athletic worthiness to understand if your dieting desires and inner belief that you are not training "enough" are tied to your body image and poor self-esteem. 

Training for an athletic event should be a challenging, fun and enjoyable experience for your body AND for those around you, who care, love and support you. Sport does not discriminate among body types or fitness levels. If you have recently found yourself paying more attention to your appearance than to your own health and/or performance or comparing yourself to other athletes, never feeling fast, strong, lean or good enough, your desire to become a better athlete may have shifted into an unhealthy obsession. Too much of anything can be negative so it's important to be able to differentiate between an unhealthy addiction to exercises versus a healthy desire to perform at your best, with great self-esteem and a great relationship with food and the body. 




4/17/17

Recovering from a half ironman distance triathlon


After Ironman 70.3 Florida, Karel and I were pretty sore. Like usual, we tossed and turned all night after the race and woke up exhausted. On Monday after the race, our almost 10-hour drive was rough. By Wednesday, we started to feel a little bit more normal and by the weekend, we felt mostly recovered. Oddly enough, we both felt like we recovered really quickly after the event, despite the normal post-race insomnia and soreness.

Being sore, exhausted and a little run-down after an endurance event is normal. And to be honest, I think many athletes enjoy the feeling that comes with racing in an endurance event as that post-race feeling signifies the effort that was needed to get from the start to the finish. It's kinda like you earned that feeling and you are proud of it. Thinking back to my very first half ironman 11 years ago, the feeling was unlike anything I had ever felt before. As the years went on and I had more half ironman distance triathlons under my belt, I could anticipate what my body would go through after a race. In other words, I became much more comfortable with understanding my body after an endurance triathlon event.

Although there is no one specific guideline, rule or method to speed up recovery after an endurance triathlon event, I feel it's important to walk you through some of the factors that contribute to recovery time after an endurance event, some of the mistakes that athletes make when recovering from an endurance event and a few strategies to help you get back to good health after an endurance event.


Why is recovery important? 
In training for an event, we welcome (and need) intentional and residual training stress for proper peaking and then we need to provide the body with a taper, in order to reduce the psychological and physiological stressors of consistent training in order to optimize performance and enhance previous training adaptations.
After a race, recovery is the time when the body returns to a normal state of health and mind, so that you can once again, consistently do high-quality training sessions with no residual fatigue from the last event.

Many athletes make the  mistake of training for one race at a time and not seeing the season as a progression of fitness from race to race. In other words, you can actually gain fitness from race to race, so long as you properly recover and continue with well-planned, structured training. Take too long of a break and you lose what you gained in previous training but come back to soon, and you remain stale, tired and fatigued with little ability to take fitness to that next level.

Factors affecting race recovery
How fast or effectively you recover from an event depends on many factors. For many athletes, a fixed training plan allows for no individualization that are relative to the factors affecting the athlete before, during and after the race. Even within one season, recovery time for one athlete may differ race to race, whereas some races require a longer recovery time than others.

Factors affecting race recovery include: 
  • Distance of the event
  • Athlete experience in the sport
  • Finishing time
  • Racing intensity relative to distance
  • Racing intensity relative to race priority/season planning
  • Race preparation and ability (or lack thereof) to remain consistent to training
  • Life stressors (family, travel, personal, work)
  • Age
  • Athletic ability/resilience
  • Length of taper
  • Health status leading up to the race
  • Nerves/anxiety before the race
  • Nutritional status leading up to the race
  • Fueling/hydration execution during the race
  • Pacing during the race
  • Difficulty/ease of race course
  • Environmental conditions on race day
  • Terrain management on race day
  • Type of course layout 
  • Setbacks on race day (ex. dehydration, cramping, bonking, nausea/fatigue)
  • Post race nutrition, including refueling and rehydration
  • Post race sleep habits
  • Post race stress
  • Post race travel
  • Timing of next race
  • Mental state post race
Although you can not control every factor listed above, it's important to consider that your post race recovery doesn't simply include what you do (or don't do) in the 24-72 hours after a race. Although completing an endurance event should bring you great satisfaction and confidence, prolonged activity (specifically in a race environment), plays a signficant role on your health and fitness status going into the race. And in addition to the muscle, tendon, bone and joint stress on the body during an endurance event, there is great stress on the heart, organs and brain. Therefore, recovery after an endurance event should not be taken lightly, nor should it be assumed that just because you complete a race that you will return to 100% health in x-days so that you can get back into training again. 

Common mistakes made by athletes post-race
The 48-72 hours after an endurance event, like a half ironman, are critical for optimizing recovery. Seeing that poor sleep, poor hydration and nutrition, extreme muscle soreness and travel will all impede recovery, athletes should be aware of the consequences of returning back to training too quickly. Considering that racing is a great stress on the human body, returning back to training too soon, without optimal recovery, may negatively affect metabolic and hormonal health, central nervous system functioning and mood, not to mention lingering fatigue. In other words, if you rush the recovery, you may dig yourself into a hole that you can't get out of for several weeks, if not months - or the rest of the season. 

Here are some common mistakes made by athletes post-race:
  • Using anti-inflammatories to reduce inflammation 
  • Not executing a rehydration and refueling strategy in the 24 hours post race
  • Eating "too" healthy in the 24 hours post race
  • Eating "too" unhealthy in the 24 hours post race
  • Resuming "normal" training, despite being sleep deprived 
  • Resuming "normal" training, despite form being affected by soreness and niggles
  • Being too sedentary in the 3-4 days post race
  • Returning back into intense training because a race didn't go as planned (ex. didn't PR, podium, etc.)
  • Returning back into intense training because a race exceeded your expectations and you are itching to get back into training for the next race
  • Returning back to training because you don't know how to function in life without training
  • You hate resting/recovery
  • Following a fixed training plan and not listening to your body post race. 
Get your body back into good health after a half ironman distance triathlon

As a general guideline, I don't believe that any athlete can fully recover in less than 72 hours after an endurance event as glycogen needs to be resynthesized, hydration status needs to normalize, tissues, muscles and fibers need to heal and sleep patterns must return to normal before any type of training (for physical adaptations) is initiated. However, moving blood can certainly help to expedite the recovery process. Here are a few suggestions to help you recover from a half ironman distance triathlon. 
  • Give yourself 4-6 hours to rehydrate and refuel after the race. Understanding that it may take time for your appetite to return to normal, it's OK to eat what you crave but just be sure to eat and rehydrate with water and electrolytes. Not eating/drinking for 6-8 hours after a race is not good! 
  • Continue to focus on good refueling and rehydration methods for the next 48 hours with permission to indulge as you wish, within reason. By this time, you should be slowly returning to your normal eating habits, emphasizing real, wholesome food options.
  • Don't sit in the car or get on an airplane in the 4-8 hours after a race. Ideally, give yourself one extra night of rest before you are forced to sit for an extended period of time, so that you have an opportunity to move your body. 
  • Avoid getting a massage in the 48 hours post race. Rehydrate yourself and focus on daily mobility for the next 48-72 hours. Schedule a flushing massage at least 3+ days post race. 
  • Consume anti-inflammatory foods, like pineapple, fish and leafy greens in the 48 hours post race.
  • Wear compression post race. Graduated compression socks (and not calf sleeves) will help with blood flow. 
  • Use a safe and muscle relaxing cream (ex. we use Mg12) on any tight/sore muscles after a race. Avoid taking any anti-inflammatories in the 48 hours post race. 
  • Avoid alcoholic beverages in the 48 hours post race. Avoid caffeinated beverages in the 6-8  hours before bedtime. 
  • Try to get yourself into a good sleep routine as soon as you can. Do not allow yourself to return back into structured training until you can get a consistent 7-8 hours of sleep without waking up throughout the night. 
  • To hurry the recovery process, it's advised to do something non weight bearing and very light  on the body in the 24 hours after a race (if you can spin on your bike for 15 minutes in the hour after finishing a race, that would be recommended). Instead of recovering by being sedentary, try to move blood through swimming and bike riding. 
  • Give yourself 3 days to not follow a training plan but instead, exercise as it comes natural to you. When you have the time, go for a swim or spin but avoid setting an alarm or returning back to your structured training regime too quickly. There's plenty of time for that after you recover. 
  • Avoid running for at least 72 hours. Since running is very corrosive on the body, it's advised to keep your runs short (ex. 15-60 minutes) while including walk breaks and running every other or 3rd day for the next 5-7 days (ex. if your race is on Sunday, your first run should be no earlier than Wednesday or Thursday and then for the next 5-7 days, you should be running 15-60 minutes every other day or every 3 days). 
  • Understand that some body parts will recover faster than others but there is deep damage inside you that you can't feel. Generally speaking, you will not make any additional training adaptations for at least a week and for the less trained/fit, it may take at least 2 weeks to fully recover so that you can begin to train for physiological gains. On the flip side, an elite or trained athlete who is on the verge of overtraining or is racing very intensely, may require 2 weeks to feel fully "healed" after a race. 
  • Accept that age, previous fitness and racing execution will affect your recovery. Don't compare your recovery to another athlete, focus only on yourself. 
  • If you can't keep good form during a workout, stop immediately. Poor/inefficient form is a sign that your body is not yet recovered and you could risk further damage or injury. 
  • Have fun in the 5-7 days after your race. There will be a time to push hard again. Enjoy the lower intensity workouts and having a bit more free time, as you slowly ease back into structured training.