Friday, July 04, 2008

How not to recover from an Ironman PSA.

Well, in the past two weeks since Iron man, I've run 15 miles, biked about 45 miles, and swum about 2000 meters. Not all at once. it was spread out over mostly this week.

I was surprised to find, as the week went on, I just wore flat down. This morning I swam for about 30 minutes at Lake Cochiti - which, FYI, is warm enough at 65 degrees to eschew the wetsuit and wear my point zero3 fastskin instead - and then went for a 2 mile run afterwards.
Did you read what I just wrote? A TWO. MILE. RUN.

And I was barely able to keep running.

True, the first mile was all uphill, but still: barely able to keep running. Tired legs. Breathless. I complained to Baboo about it and he quizzed me about what I'd been doing this week. Finally, he said, "You can't recover from an Ironman AND be on a diet. You need more carbs." I looked that up and, as usual, he's right:

According to this website, factors that can slow recovery include these that I've been doing for the past two weeks:
* Delay in intake of carbohydrate after exercise.
* Inadequate amounts of carbohydrate.
* Reliance on carbohydrate-rich foods with a low glycemic index.
* High-intensity exercise during recovery.

Oooo. There's that whole "high intensity" thing. For me, most of the time I'm moving I'm honestly going as fast as I can; running any slower would be, well, walking. Or standing still. So, yes, I've been running "hard" and biking "hard". Breathlessly. And drinking sugar-free drinks.

And little did I know, that even though my weight was dropping, I was depriving myself of much-needed carbs that I needed for recovery. I wasn't having problems when I was training with this system, and I figured recovery would be the same.

So well, now I know. I'm eating a large bowl of spaghetti and I have a 12-mile flat run tomorrow, so we'll see how I do. I'll fuel with sports drinks and gels and stop starving myself, at least this week. I've reset my WeightWatcher's Online points thingy to "maintenance"(you can do that) just until after this next half iron, and then I'll carefully go back into weight loss mode after that.



  1. I've really struggled with de-carbing and training. It worked okay at first but as the training increased I got slower and realized I needed more carbs. Oh darn!

    I have a long ride tomorrow - I think it's time for some pasta!

  2. I say, all the more reason to drink chocolate milk. It's a great recovery drink and helps to satisfy a sweet tooth.

  3. How is the point zero3 fastskin? It's looking like Vineman 70.3 may end up too warm for wetsuits so I'm curious... Do you feel like it adds any buoyancy at all (what I really need)?

  4. Muppetdog, the pointzero3 doesn't have any buoyancy at all. In water when saturated it neither sinks nor floats. That's the only way it would be legal in a non-wetsuit swim. It does make you slick in the water, though, and reduces drag. (Lucky for me, I have natural buoyancy.)

  5. carbs = bad is a tough nut to crack. you're body was really telling you it needed something. glad you listened to it. going on maintenance mode sounds like a perfect idea. you're an ironwoman!

  6. Anonymous8:45 AM

    A big bowl of spaghetti won't hurt you with all the training you're, you are starting to look itty-bitty girl!

    I feel like a big balloon after a long race or a long run.

  7. That makes sense! I started WW 2 weeks ago and couldn't figure out why I was so tired. My legs were jello and my PT blew. Well....low and behold I ate a "normal" day - no junk food just more of the good stuff - exceeded my points and had a FANTASTIC run the next day. Being an athlete and wanting to be thin shouldn't be this hard!


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