Top recovery tips for triathletes

Top recovery tips for triathletes

What is the best form of recovery for triathletes? With so many fads and products telling you how to recover, its difficult to decide what really is going to give you the most bang for your buck. Our resident triathlon coach, Rudolf gives some great insight into how best to maximize your recovery as a triathlete and gives us his top recovery tips for triathletes.

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Lets talk recovery and top recovery tips for triathletes

Brad Brown: Welcome back onto yet another edition of Tri with Coach Parry, I’m Brad Brown and we’ve got our triathlon coach, Rudolf Naude with us once again, Rudolf, howzit, welcome back.

Rudolf Naude: Hi Brad, thanks for having me again.

BB: You’re welcome, let’s talk recovery. It’s a question that popped up in our forum on and I think it’s a great question. People were asking, what are some general tips to improve your recovery because as much as training hard is important, recovering hard is important too. So what are your top recovery tips for triathletes?

RN: The best recovery you can get is sleeping! I know it’s not easy for everyone, I know a lot of people have got day jobs, 8:00-5:00 but if you can put in an extra sleep when you can, then go for it. Afternoon naps if possible or at night, if you’re working 8:00 until 5:00, don’t stay up until 10:00 or 11:00 because that’s just going to hurt your performance with sleep and training in general.

That is the first option that you need to do. The second thing is nutrition. Nutrition plays a very important role because as you’re training you’re emptying your tank and you need to refuel the tank. I know a lot of people, because we’ve got busy schedules, they tend to eat a lot of junk food, like take-out and so on. That’s not the ultimate sin, but try and limit that.

Don’t eat McDonalds or KFC every other day, but if you feel like you had a hard day and you’re craving it, you’re allowed to have once a twice a week, you can have that, but also when you eat, as soon as you’re done with a hard training session, get some carbs in and especially protein because protein helps you recover the muscles, rebuilds the builds once you’ve damaged them after a training session.

As soon as you’re finished have a protein shake, a recovery shake, or just an energy bar straight after your training session and then as soon as you can, get home or work, get a proper breakfast in. If you’re training in the morning or afternoon, same principle, small bite to eat straight after training, even it’s a steri-stumpie, I know a lot of people drink milkshakes after training, that helps, I still do that as well, then a proper, decent meal with carbs, protein, fruit, veggies, the whole lot in the afternoon.

If you’re lucky and you have a wife or husband that can cook for you and you have a hard session, tell them: I’ll be done at 6:00, is it possible that we can have dinner ready at 6:15. I know that’s a stretch for a lot of people, but that would be an ideal world you can live in.


As simple as sleep & nutrition


BB: Rudolf, you make such an important point about the two and it seems simple, but if you can get those two things sorted, your sleep patterns and your nutrition, you’re well on the way to really helping your performance across the board.

Sleep is the big one. People don’t really realize how big a role that plays and I always say, and I know I’ve spoken to Lindsey about this often as well, is throw a toddler or a baby into a mix that’s not sleeping too well and see how, not necessarily just your performance, but how you feel in training, what an impact that has to know how important sleep is.

It’s not just getting lots of sleep but also what you do prior to sleep. Turning off screens, not having phones and blue lights in the room, those sorts of things make a big difference too don’t they?

RN: Definitely and also general life stress that you have also plays an important role in your work. Like you said, if you’ve got a baby and he’s sick and not sleeping or you’ve got a few bad days at work, there’s deadlines and everything and you’re stressed, that’ll also have an impact in your training and recovery.

You need to talk to your coach and say: Listen, I’m going to have a very bad week at work, there’s a lot of deadlines, big projects coming up, we need to step back on the training because you don’t want to carry on training as hard as you do, but you don’t recover as well as you do, then your training is going to suffer and your work is going to suffer.

It’s a compromise between the two. You have to give and take on both sides and then communication is very important. If you can balance out those three, sleep, eat and general life stress, then you’ll be well on your way to have a good recovery and good sessions and good training and racing.

BB: Just tell your boss that Rudolf Naude says you can have a nap under the desk once a day after lunch, it’s all good!

RN: Let’s not and say we did!

BB: So those were Rudolf's top recovery tips for triathletes. Rudolf, as always, great to catch up, thanks for your time today on Tri, much appreciated and we look forward to catching up again soon.

RN: No stress, thanks for having me Brad.

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