We give it our all during a hard training session, push ourselves to our limits with some ultimate goal in mind. But then we come home…and after all the hard work, and asking so much from our bodies, we need to give them something back! So, while it may be tempting to lie down on the couch and do nothing, there are a few things that need your attention.
The first: hydration. There’s not much chance that a triathlete will grab a beer or pour some wine right after a training session, but if you are one of them you should reconsider. After a hard workout you should make sure to hydrate well. Drink water or an isotonic sports drink, especially if it’s been a hot and sweaty session. The last thing you want to do is dehydrate your body by drinking alcohol. So wait a bit longer before you grab a cold beer out of the fridge.
Another temptation that’s best to avoid, as much as you can, is unhealthy snacks. While a snack is fine and well-deserved after training, chances are that you end up eating an entire package of biscuits just because you are too lazy to make yourself something healthy. To avoid that, it can help to think about what you are going to eat after a session beforehand, and to make sure you have enough good food in the house. You could even put a protein bar on the table next to some fruit, or anything else that you might feel like eating after training, to make things easier for yourself.
Don’t wait until you’re cold
Don’t wait to take a shower until you feel cold. Or, if you’re not going to have a shower because you still have another training session waiting for you later that day, put on some warm clothes. It’s fine to lie down on the couch for a little and eat something, but don’t let your body cool down too much. Better to scroll through Strava and upload your training after you’ve taken care of yourself.
If you are one of those athletes that likes to combine a run with a visit to the supermarket, you probably know how hard it is to stay focused on buying the things you need instead of the things you want at that exact moment. If you end up strolling through the supermarket in your running gear, there’s a good chance you’ll get cold, and a chance of filling your cart with cookies, chocolate, or other unhealthy cravings. So, if you have the freedom to do it another time, it might be better to not go grocery shopping right after training.