Want to get stronger and faster? Include recovery in your training plan.

The cycle of training and adaptation is how fitness improvements happen in your body. Training causes glycogen depletion, micro-tears in muscle fibers (it’s a good thing!), and cellular breakdown that can only be repaired and built back stronger with strategically placed recovery periods.

Triathletes face a daily challenge finding the time to do workouts (swim, bike, run, strength), while working a full-time job, spending time with family and still getting 8 hours of sleep every night. One of the most common obstacles to improvement in sport is over-training and not prioritizing recovery in your training plan. Recovery should be built in from the start at both micro and macro levels. Inadequate recovery during training can result in injury, illness, burnout, and decreased performance.

When to incorporate recovery into your training plan:

  1. Between hard workouts: Avoid consecutive hard workouts in a single discipline.
  2. Every 7-10 days: Build a recovery day into your plan.
  3. Every 3-4 weeks: Plan a 2-3 week build progression followed by 1 recovery week (lower volume, reduced intensity, and days off when needed).
  4. Pre-race taper: Cut back training volume for 1-2 weeks prior to priority races.
  5. Post-race recovery: Plan recovery week(s) after priority races.
  6. Post-season recovery: Take an off-season recovery period between seasons.

What activities are permitted or discouraged on recovery days?

Avoid swim, bike, and run workouts as well as anything that raises your heart rate above Zone 1. Gentle movement is encouraged (ie. walking, yoga, stretching). Release tight muscles using your favorite recovery modality: massage, foam rolling, percussion gun, compression boots, etc. Recovery is different for every individual but should be focused on activities that bring joy and reduce physical (and mental) stress. Read a good book, take a bubble bath, listen to relaxing music. Whatever it is that makes you feel more relaxed is the right thing for you!

If you would like more detailed advice on how to incorporate recovery into your training plan, feel free to contact me at jmdaylu@gmail.com.

J'ne Day-Lucore

J’ne Day-Lucore

JDL Coaching

When J’ne retired from her 33-year engineering career in 2017, she joined RMTC and has been a board member and volunteer RMTC coach since 2018. She was a competitive runner in her early years with a 2:40 marathon PR and held course records for the Pikes Peak Ascent, Mount Evans and Mount Washington road races. She was inducted into the Mount Washington Road Race Hall of Fame in 2013 and the Colorado Running Hall of Fame in 2019. She has been a part-time running coach for 30 years and became a full-time certified USAT triathlon coach when she retired in 2017. She is also a certified yoga teacher and cycle instructor. Coaching allows her to pursue her life-long passion for training/racing while growing the future community of athletes.

For more details, please contact J’ne at jmdaylu@gmail.com or text 303-396-7485.