This week I was slow.
So. Very. Slow.
IronClad was a great day. I pushed myself harder than I realized was possible. I slept the sleep of angels that night and the following night. As a result, I jumped right back into things on Monday morning.
I quickly learned that a 42-year-old body needs more than two nights of sleep to recover from something as strenuous as a CrossFit competition.
It’s taken me until today, more than a full week after the competition, to feel back to normal.
This week reminded me to take recovery seriously. Below are some tips for recovering from a huge physical effort like IronClad.
Go back to a beginner-mindset
Don’t set new high-aiming goals yet. Give yourself a chance to recover by keeping the same training routine, but at a lower intensity. Focus on optimizing technique with lighter loads.
Sleep is the number one recovery “activity”
Medical professionals recommend 7-9 hours of sleep every night. Sleep is free and works better than any amount of foam rolling or stretching. Make time to catch some serious z’s!
Fuel your body
Make sure you fuel your body with a balanced diet and that you’re not operating at a caloric deficit. Right after a big physical effort is not the time to cut down on calories. For the first week afterwards make sure to replenish with all the macronutrients you need.
Recovery should be viewed as being just as important as the training leading up to the event. Your food-stores are depleted, your muscles have sustained damage, and it might be really difficult to listen to all the signals your body is giving you all at once.
Cut yourself some slack. Slowly return to your normal routine. Your mind will be ready to return to training before your body is (I know mine was).