Recovery, OFF Season & Yoga

Thanks for hanging in there for those that read that very lengthy race report and thank you for all the congratulatory comments!  Like I said in the last post, I’m feeling surprisingly good for just doing a half ironman.  I’ve woken up before my alarm the last couple of mornings because of the daylight savings change, but seem to be getting lots of rest.  That doesn’t mean I’m about to go do any hardcore workouts anytime soon – I’m enjoying my recovery week and taking it easy!!  Time to repair.  My muscles are a little sore, but I wore my fave CEP Compression socks (no affiliation, I just find them to be the best I’ve tried), and I decided my post-race “present” to myself would be a massage.  I know, I got a pre-race one too, and I didn’t have any major aches, but I thought a general “flush” would be a good thing for recovery after a long event.  I love that I’ve found a massage therapist that knows athletic bodies and can find any issues and inflammation without me even having to mention it!  I can tell she is well-versed in human anatomy and has done her homework.  Sorry hubby, I think my ironman training budget might need to include massages, I’m kind of addicted!! 

My appetite has been pretty huge this week, despite eating when I’m hungry – which is all the time right now.  I’m sure in a day or two things will be back to normal, but for now I’m listening to my body and eating what it wants, which includes a few of my favorites: peach pie green smoothies, pizza (light on the cheese!), sweet potato fries, nut butter, and homemade cookies with lots of dark chocolate – no big surprises here! 

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{ most of the batch are gone by now… }

I also really enjoyed a 30-minute walk to the downtown Farmer’s Market (Wednesday at lunch) to get my legs stretched out and get more veggies for my almost-empty fridge, as well as some freshly baked rosemary bread, mmm.

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{ My Farmer’s Market kale was 2-3 times as big as at the grocery store, but the same price! }

So that’s recovery in a nutshell.  I’ll resume to some very easy biking and/or swimming this week, but with pretty low intensity & duration.  That, plus I’ve also had this weird yoga craving lately.  I still stretch after most workouts, but after about a year or two of not much yoga in my life I’m finding I’m really wanting and enjoying it!  Backstory: I read the Science of Yoga (review here) back in 2012 when I was really into yoga, and after reading it I became a bit disenchanted with yoga.  After understanding its history and lack of scientific research, as well as reading about some of the scam-like nature of some of the popular offshoots I questioned whether it was a waste of time and I put more focus into strength training.  I had also felt that the yoga class costs were quite high.  I understand the economics are pretty slim for yoga studios, but sometimes it’s hard to reason $15 for a single hour of yoga class.

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{ I’m sure there are all sorts of things wrong here, but it felt great after a long day of hiking }

But there’s something I missed and couldn’t shake.  A sweaty flow, the grateful bow of Namaste at the end of class, or just breaking out a pose here and there to boost my spirit?  During taper I took the extra time to stretch and even did a couple of 20-minute sessions, and while on my mat I came to realize that I don’t need to view yoga as a workout physically, but more so just to enjoy it for its mental benefits (joy, stress relief, mental clarity), and to help with range of motion & flexibility.  Why should I dismiss something because of lack of scientific research if I know if makes me feel good and happy?  So, yes, I’m looking forward to a little more yoga in my life during the off-season, even if it’s just a couple yoga download sessions here and there.  Of course I have all sorts of other plans for the off season too, including strength training, building my core, practicing technique…

I’ll leave you with this Huffington Post infographic if you haven’t seen it already; the article admits the scientific research is still young, but shows there are many potential benefits to the practice.  Namaste y’all!

BodyOnYoga

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6 thoughts on “Recovery, OFF Season & Yoga

    1. Haha – yes! Trying not to indulge too much, but I’ve been doing the “well I just did a half ironman so I guess I can eat just one more…” Sadly it’s been a week so I guess I can’t use that excuse anymore 🙂

  1. Very good for you and all well deserved after a great season. Don’t rush into the off season training too soon and enjoy a little rest, both physically and mentally.

    1. Not to worry, I’m taking it super easy this week and have a 2 week vacation coming up soon with no access to bike/pool anyway 🙂 Best of luck on your upcoming race!

  2. seriously, come to bar method with me! you get all the good stretchiness of yoga but it’s strength training too. i think i owe a lot of my half PR this past weekend to it… anyway, let me know when you want to come!!

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