You trained for months, raced for hours, and now you've finally crossed the finish line. After the initial celebration of completing your latest race, all you want to do is eat a big meal, lie down and bask in your glory.
Don't make the mistake of skipping steps such as proper hydration and sleep that will help you recover from your race.
It's common to have a post-race high, but losing track of what you should be doing to optimize recovery can come back to haunt you and your body.
Here are five ways to help speed up your post-race recovery.
The importance of post-race hydration often depends on how well you hydrated during the race. For sprint-distance racing, it's easier to stay on top of your fluid consumption. As races get longer, however, many athletes experience dehydration.
Drink immediately after your race, if you're thirst. Pick a drink choose that sounds satisfying, but won't dehydrate you. If you're craving alcoholic beverages, it's best to wait until have consumed non-alcoholic fluids and fuels before you indulge.
Similar to hydration, post-race fueling depends on how long your race was and how many calories you burned and consumed.
Most triathletes do best with liquid calories that are high in carbohydrates, contain protein and have minimal fat. Some examples include chocolate milk, almond milk and vegetarian shakes that can be pre-made and stored in a cooler. There are also several manufactured products designed specifically for recovery.
Be sure to get something to drink and some calories 30 to 60 minutes after the race. Plan to eat a meal an hour to two hours after your event. While it's fun to celebrate with a big meal, control your portion size.