The Fit Life in Words
Tips on Nutrition, Workouts, and more. Because you can always improve.
Before the race:
Cut your toenails 2 to 3 weeks prior. They tend to take a beating throughout the 70.3 or 140.6 miles! A lot of triathletes cut their toenails a day or two before, but most times that ends up leaving no protection for the end of their toes. And then, the blisters appear. Give your toenails enough time for growth and for protection.
Expect swelling. You get swelling in your hands, feet, and head. This is because of the internal pressure caused by the amount of force you're putting out. Be sure to have an adjustable helmet or hat in order to adapt throughout the bike ride portion when your head starts swelling. Also, consider going up half a size in your cycling and running shoes.
The day after:
Stay on top of electrolytes, hydration, and protein. Start the day off rehydrating. Eat more protein. Salt your food heavily for electrolytes.
Swim with fins. The best thing you can do is go for a swim with fins on because you force blood flow to your legs and the biggest muscles. It's advantageous to not only get nutrients to the needy muscles and bones, but also to bring back any byproduct through the heart and allow it to buffer.
Don't stress about any post-race blues. If you're not too motivated after, remember that it's a physical and chemical reaction within yourself. It's not because you don't care about life anymore or you're apathetic about the sport. You release so many endorphins and have so much adrenaline pumping that you need to get it out. There's a lot of byproduct happening. You find that you're usually normal 2 to 3 days later.
The week after:
Do the things that make you happy. The things that make you happy in life are usually the same things you're fighting for on race day. Don't forget why you started and what you're underlying motivations are; the people and things you care about most. Make sure to spend time doing those things once the race is over, even if you're tired.
Go for a walk. You might question your efforts and feel the need to speed it up to a run, but resist the urge. Remember....you're recovering.
Take a break from running. Five days is a good window, but 8 days is better. Your body will appreciate it.