3 Post-Race Recovery Tips for Triathletes

Build Your Foundation for Speed

While the idea of "speed" and "recovery" may seem counter-intuitive, you can use recovery workouts to focus on a high cadence, one of the foundations for building better speed. 

Numerous studies have found that pedaling and running at high cadences lead to faster efforts in both sports. The shorter workouts during recovery days allows you to focus on high cadence intervals on both the bike and run without causing any significant fatigue.

More: How to Find Your Cadence Sweet Spot

In cycling, you're either a "masher" or a "spinner." A masher is someone who likes to push the big gears, cranking out high speeds while turning the pedals over at around 85 rpms or lower. A spinner is someone more likely to spin at 85 rpms and higher.

Mashing leads to greater muscular fatigue, whereas spinning at a higher cadence allows you to ride at or near the same speeds with less fatigue. A higher pedal turnover is simply more efficient, and by creating less fatigue on the bike, you'll be able to run faster off it.

During recovery rides, you can work on intervals of one minute or more where you increase your cadence while trying to maintain your speed.

For example, eight to 10 one-minute intervals is at 85 rpms or higher (it helps if you have a cadence sensor). If you feel yourself starting to bounce in the saddle, back off. Take double to triple the length of the work interval to pedal easy.

One of the common denominators in faster runners is quick run cadence. Most elite runners can maintain 200 steps (or better) per minute. Their ground contact time is very low, which means they touch the ground and get off the ground very quickly. 

The shorter your ground contact time, the faster you are. Again, doing intervals of one minute at a high cadence, with three minutes of rest between, can help you increase your run cadence and lead to greater speed.

READ THIS NEXT: Determining Your Race Recovery Time

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