This entry in my series on recovery at Ironman.com exhorts you to put your feet up and enjoy that egg nog.
This time of year, articles offering advice on how to keep your weight down during the holidays are as numerous as cans of pumpkin in the grocery store. Just look at any health magazine. But for those who are really serious about this sport—those who work and train to near-exhaustion through much of the year–the holidays offer a welcome respite to the racing season’s relentlessness. Contrary to what you’ll read elsewhere, I’m going to propose using the holidays to indulge and—gasp!—even to gain a little weight.
Some may call the holiday season time off, but it’s actually an invaluable part of your training cycle. Think of it like an extended night’s sleep after a busy year, instead of a busy day. As you rest, your body actually works hard, repairing the effects of a year’s worth of heavy training. Micro-tears heal, inflammation leaves the joints and, yes, fat pads the system, preparing it for more work in the new year.
And for more on recovery, please enjoy The Athlete’s Guide to Recovery.