I am writing to you from the lovely state of GA at the end of a week-long triathlon camp that my hubby and I have been helping to coach. We have spent 6 days in the northern GA mountains with over 30,000 feet of climbing on the bike, about 8000 or so yds of swimming, and a mega 18 mile trail run to top it off. Chuck and I finished up with an extra last day 30 mile ride and a local 13mi trail run that supported a nature preserve. Whew. We are hoping this helps out for the upcoming REV3 Quassy Triathlon and REV3 Williamsburg Triathlon races on our docket.
Although I am new to the team this year, I have been around triathlon for over 16 years. I am one of those crazy endurance types that seems to feel better as time goes on. I’d like to just talk a little about recovery, which is critical to long term performance, and how Powerbar fits into a racing and training plan. Also, as we get older, recovery is key to continued gains in fitness. And as much as I hate to admit, I am now in my upper 40s and have to think about this a lot.
My first recovery tool is the ice bath. I have been sitting in the cold creek here in Helen, GA at the end of the days, and the cold is a great anti-inflammatory. You only need about 10-15min but it has to be cold, under 60 degrees. There actually is no strong evidence that scientifically proves this works. I have a PhD so I have looked! But studies are hard to carry out, and then you have to ask what they are measuring and if it applies to you. Anecdotally, though, I feel they are effective and allow me to go day after day.
Second, nutrition is also big. I actually think eating within 30 min of exercise with around a 4:1 carb protein ratio is important. Whether you use real food – pb and j, oatmeal – or a Powerbar product like their bars or recovery drink, you should do it! Some have difficulty getting down real food so try the Powerbar Recovery Sports Drink.
Third, you should also make sure you fuel during the activities to not end completely depleted. This just devastates your glycogen resources. Powerbar Energy Blasts Energy chews, gels, and their all their Performance Energy Blends have been a basis for my activities this week. I particularly like the real fruit Blends because they have real fruit purée and thus taste like real fruit.
On a final note, stretching/rolling/massage incorporated into your routine is important. We all lose flexibility as we age and this can lead to more injury. Hip flexor, quadricep, hamstring and shoulder stretches that open up these muscle groups always hunched over swimming, biking and running can be done while watching TV, making dinner, or brushing your teeth! That’s how I get it in!