Before I raced at Ironman Estonia I wondered what my recovery would be like. Previously I have done a couple of middle distance/half Irormans and one long distance tri (about 2/3rd of a full Iron distance event).
My recovery was OK for all of them, although racing the sprint national champs two weeks after the ITU long distance World's in 2018 was a stretch!
I have to say this time around it wasn't so good.
My achilles on both legs were pretty sore for a few days to the point where I was struggling to walk. My kind and supportive housemates in Estonia thought this was hilarious and even videos my pathetic efforts to keep moving post-race!
My left achilles remained inflamed for a couple of weeks, but quite frankly I was in no state for training anyway due to a stinky cold and a chesty cough. Generally I felt quite rough.
Someone recently told me that about a third of Ironman competitors get ill afterwards, so at least I was in good company!
My first week back I eased into doing a little light activity when I felt like it. I did go and do a club 10 mile TT, but I felt awful and finished dead last. I could barely even try...I think this was largely down to feeling rough up until a few days beforehand with a bit of fatigue still present for good measure.
After that I increased my activity slowly and felt fine after 3 weeks when swimming and cycling. It took a bit longer to stop feeling sluggish when running, but then this is my worst discipline in triathlon, where i'd done the least training before Estonia due to injury and it was by far the toughest part of the Ironman. I was starting to run better after 4 weeks.
By the time the Yorkshire Paracgcling event came around about 6 weeks post Tallinn I should have been firing on all cylinders - I got another cold so maybe my immune system was still a bit rubbish or maybe I was just unlucky.
I guess you need a bit time after these kind of events to let the body recovery and not rush to get back to full training/racing.
I'm pretty sure my recovery would have been much faster if I hadn't been unwell post-race, but the only way to know for sure is to do another Iron distance race in 2020!