Active recovery plans

Before I completed Ironman Canada Whistler, I told Kelly I planned to take two months off running to really let my body heal.


Well, I don’t think that’s going to happen! I got the itch to run a couple days after the Ironman. I tried to soothe the itch with some long trail walks. Of course they didn’t quite cut it!

I’m in New Orleans this week and my favourite way to explore a new city is on foot and running. So I packed my gear and by time this post goes out, I’ll hopefully have gone on a great run in a new place!

That doesn’t mean I plan to run a lot yet.

Active recovery

Active recovery is basically taking time off from usual exercise routines, focussing on lighter impact, less intensity and decreased volume. It should let my body recover from the stress of training and racing while still allowing me to maintain my sanity and a little bit of fitness.

In the first week after the Ironman I went downhill biking, kayaking, and on long walks through the trails. All low intensity and supremely fun!!


The second week I mountain biked a couple times, took my cruiser out, tried a Barre class, went on one spin on my road bike and started back with some core work. I really meant to incorporate yoga but just didn’t find the time.

In my third week, I’ve hopefully gone on a run. Other than a shorter run once or twice a week, I want to try some other things including more barre classes, some new yoga classes, and more mountain or cyclocross biking.

Active recovery is important to me for a few reasons. I eat a lot better when I’m active. If I’m sitting around not doing anything, I tend to eat more junk. I also crave activity. Lastly, I don’t want to completely lose my fitness.

I don’t have race plans for quite a while, so I’m content to sit back and enjoy a variety of activities!

What’s your favourite way to actively recover?

48 responses to “Active recovery plans

  1. Sounds fun to just do whatever you want for a while after so much structured training. Hope your recovery goes well!!

  2. I love your plans for active recovery – especially exploring New Orleans while on a nice easy run!!!

  3. I love going on long walks to recover. How did you like the barre class? I am going to try one next week!

  4. I love running in new cities, that is the best tour guide!! That is the one thing my hubby and I both enjoy when we are out of town!

  5. sounds like an awesome recovery plan!! im like you- if im doing nothing, i eat junk food, i feel lazy, and then i just feel worse. i love seeing new cities on foot- i usually walk, but maybe i should start kicking it up a notch 🙂

  6. Enjoy your time in New Orleans. Make sure you stop at Cafe du Monde for some beignets after your run. YUM! I was in New Orleans a few years ago for a conference, and I loved exploring the city by foot in the early morning. Just steer clear of Bourbon Street! You don’t want last night’s sticky residue on your running shoes!

  7. Great post, with some good guidance for all levels. Thanks, and congratulations on your outstanding earned title of “Iron Woman.”

  8. Sounds like a really good recovery plan to me! Doing what you feel like! I hear ya with the yoga – I need to do that too. I love running in new cities, such an amazing way to explore 🙂 Have a great time in New Orleans!!

  9. I do long walks with a little jogging here and there. I try to resist the urge to full out run but its tough! I loveeee NOLA! I’m going there for my bachelorette party in February and I can’t wait to get back there 🙂

  10. Great post on active recovery. Looks like you have been having fun! I love hiking for my recovery time. In fact I look forward to that after my marathon this Saturday!

  11. Good plan, you’re a smart one as ever! 😉 There are so many things I enjoy doing, when I can’t (or shouldn’t) run, I just go and find something else to do. Call it active recovery or simply displacement theory, it works for me!

  12. I am similar to you – I go crazy without exercise and tend to eat worse! I also use my post goal race recovery time to try out new workouts and do things I didn’t make time for before. Can’t wait to hear what you thought of barre!

    • Yes- I love doing the things I didn’t make time for before!
      I really liked barre; I thought it worked all my weaker muscles that cause my injuries/niggles. I hope to go back soon!
      Have you done it, or are you just a pilates girl?

  13. So jealous you are in NO! Great recovery activities. I like to go for walks. But I am itching to do something sweaty within a few days so it is tough for me to relax!! 🙂

  14. I love to take walks and garden to stay active and get myself outside after a race! I like your active recovery choices, too.

  15. Have a great time in New Orleans. Such a fun city! I have never thought about it before but I guess my active recovery consists of more running. I am not good about switching things up. I have started taking a dance fitness class that I enjoy so I guess that is a start though!!

  16. Active recovery/time off helps me mentally reset and refocus my training, whether in a good way because I was coming off a good season and felt motivated or in a not so good way where I just needed the rest. I like to hike and bike!

  17. I love recovering on the bike after runs. I can explore, let my legs relax, and enjoy being outdoors. You are amazing! I might take a year off after doing two races!

  18. triathlonobsession

    I’m hoping you made it up to Audubon Park for a run. And one of my favorites from when I lived. There was to run up the street car tracks on st Charles. Run off all the amazing food! 🙂

    • How long did you live there for? I bet it was an amazing place to call home!
      I wish I read this before I came home. I didn’t get there for a run; I guess I’ll have to go back to scope it out!

      • triathlonobsession

        A few years for law school, then I moved to New Mexico. I used to ride my bike around the city a lot. And had a lot of iced coffee at PJ’s—yum! Surely you made it to case du Monde for cafe au lait and beniets? 🙂

      • Sounds like you’ve lived in fascinating places! I was amazed at how many cyclists I saw there.
        I definitely ate beignets from Cafe du Monde!

  19. In New Orleans I like to run down the St. Charles streetcar line through the Garden District. Beautiful homes, live oaks, and a green belt to run on to boot!

  20. Hope your first run post IM went great! Fun place to run, too 🙂 I’m heading out for my first post IM run tonight… hopefully my legs cooperate! My active recovery has been lots of miles on the road bike (though I really do miss my tri bike!) 🙂

    • The new scenery masked the tired feeling in my legs 🙂
      I love how much you love to bike! I can’t wait to read about your WI training; it’ll inspire me to become a better cyclist and enjoy it more!

  21. I’m a huge fan of hiking with my pup! She takes her sweet time sniffing everything, so I’m active but still taking it easy. Congrats on the Ironman!

  22. Sounds like a few months of running just for fun is recovery too! Hope you had a great run!

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