For those of us doing an early season Ironman or other race this year, we’re now starting, or well into the build phases of our training.  If you’re like me, and have responsibilities during the day, that means 2 or 3 workouts on quality days.  That’s a lot of training stress!  If you’re like many others, you’re doing a Sat/Sun block and then hitting the work week again.

As overtraining can ruin the build for several months of your season, or cause a sub-optimal performance on your A race, it is essential that you are recovering properly.  Here are a few methods which I’ve found via research and practice to be most effective.  I would bore you with studies and scientific results, but I’ve found that they muddy the waters and that most studies weren’t intended to be applied to working athletes.  Plus, if you want to know, just Google it.  I’ll let Google consume your time.  This article is quick and easy.
Recovery Days
Training and timing is essential to building, peaking, and preventing overtraining syndrome or injury.  Recovery schedules depend on what phase you’re in.  I’ll paraphrase it as much as possible:
Base Phase (12-24 weeks)- Long and Steady with strength mingled.  During the base phase, you’re building your aerobic endurance.  Zone 1 or Zone 2 efforts increase blood flow, the number of mitochondria in your muscle systems, and the amount of oxidative enzymes in your blood.  You may wonder why you’re being given so many long and easy workouts during this phase.  Don’t worry.  Enjoy them!  Once you start building and peaking, you’ll miss them.
Build Phase (4-8 weeks)-  Higher Intensities and Bricks – The build phase is where your effort really ramps up.  There is a mix weighted toward the use of high [...]