Over two weeks since Taupo Ultra and I went for my first proper leg stretch last night. I’m still a little bit poked… It may have been the Melbourne Cup beers but I’m sure the body is still fairly weary from the pummeling it received in mid-October.
I huffed and puffed round a flat and easy 10km loop through down the beach, through Queen Elizabeth Park and home. I was pretty spent when I got home.
Similar to how I felt post-Ironman, you just don’t know quite how deep your body went until you try to do some exercise. I’ve read some interesting articles on how to recover properly from serious endurance events but in my view, you cannot underestimate how much these sort of events take out of you. The secret to a long and enjoyable athletic career has got to be avoiding burnout and I reckon one of the primary causes of that is not letting the body bounce back fully from those really depleted places you put it in during these events.
The older I get and the more I value lifelong participation over flash-in-the-pan success, the more important I think this is.
The moral of the story? Go easy in the post race phase. Recoup, take stock, drink some wine, make some plans, cook your partner dinner, play Lego and snakes and ladders with the kids. Your body (and probably your soul) will repay you tenfold when you start asking those tough questions of it in the next build phase.