Recovering From IMUK

As I mentioned in my race report from Ironman UK, it took until the Tuesday after the event to finally let my race sink in. Sunday evening we went straight for dinner in Manchester with my folks and my girlfriend. Monday morning I had to go and collect my bike from T2 and then I attended the awards ceremony at the Reebok Stadium. My parents hung around for the afternoon and then I slept like a baby Monday night.

IMUK Awards dinner - before!

IMUK Awards dinner

Time to look at the Time:
First of all, I recommend attending the awards ceremony the following day. The Kona Rolldown is a great spectacle when you see people claiming their dream spot in Kona, just a few weeks away in October. Pretty decent bacon butties too, as a mass of hobbling athletes move up the queues like the March Of The Penguins.
So it wasn’t really until I had some time to myself on Tuesday afternoon when I finally sat down and looked at my times and the breakdown of splits and also check out some photos. It was great to look back in detail at the race and be able to look at the breakdown of my day.

My 11:31:50 falls at 119% of the winner of my Age Group (Male 30-34) New Zealands Graeme Buscke with 09:40:55. Results here

Ironman UK is defiantly one of the more challenging courses on the Ironman European circuit. Jeremy Turner’s Strava data from the same event shows the details of the bike and run course:

Ironman Sweden took place in Kalmar shortly after IMUK and the course was notably faster and this is reflected in the times. Much flatter bike & run course. My Age Group winner going round in 08:52:44. I finished 49th in my Age Group at IMUK and to have achieved that position in Kalmar I would have had to do a 10:32:06! Also the overall winner was 30 mins faster in Kalmar compared to Daniel Hawskworth’s IMUK victory time of 8hr 45min.

IM Kalmar Age Group Results here

I am keen to do another Long Distance Tritahlon in 2014 so I am having a scout around for a nice European event to make a trip out of and use IMUK as a starting point for more Iron distance events.


I got stuck in the bath on Tuesday. I had to roll out. It wasn’t particularly graceful. My hips and calves had seized up almost immediately after the journey home from the race. The only thing on my body that didn’t hurt was my face.

By Thursday I had reached the point where I could manage a walk to the cinema. It took my nearly 40 minutes to walk a mile and I found myself becoming short of breath after too much exertion. Once I began to recover, I did so quite quickly and by the following weekend of the race I was off on holiday and walking and swimming and lying there quite happily.
It was important to take both my mind and body away from Tritahlon. It was good to have a drink and eat loads. I had abstained from alcohol 7 weeks prior to IMUK so that first pint of Guinness went down a treat.

So although I have absolutely no formula or particular advice as to how I recovered, I just listened to my body. I kept everything really light and tried to walk as much as I could.

It was 2 and 1/2 weeks until I did any meaningful exercise. I went back down to uSwim Open Water on the Wednesday. And had a first run back of 4 miles. I then had a coffee bike ride in the sun for 40 miles, really nice and easy.

I have returned with a focus on my running at the minute, trying to get some stamina back in the legs while they are feeling good. I need to develop that running engine and then begin to add some speed later down the line.

I’ve left the Turbo to one side for the time being. I don’t want to hate the trainer before I go into winter where I’ll I’ll be spending most of my time on it. So I am only riding outdoors and when I have the time to enjoy it. I’m also back on the Specialized Road Bike, leaving the aggressive TT bike to one side for the minute. Similarly with swimming. I have always enjoy the open water swimming so I am currently avoiding the pool and the stopwatch for a few weeks.

Now my 1st Ironman is out of the way, my ethos is slowly shifting from Completing to Competing.


About James Wilson

Trying to get to Kona over a 3 year period. Starting from scratch, to targeting the Big Island in 2016

Posted on August 30, 2013, in Cycling, news, Personal, Racing, Recovery, running, swimming, Training, Useful and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. niamhlewis2013

    Congratulations on being an Ironman! I love to hear other peoples tales of their race and what they did to recover etc. Which race next then??

    • Thanks Niamh, much appreciated. I’m looking toward another Iron distance race next year and some local events over the winter inc some mountain biking for a change

  2. niamhlewis2013

    That sounds like a good plan, makes a change to the normal training 🙂

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