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The Day After Your First Ironman Triathlon

January 18, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 165

How do you think you'll feel the day after you finish an Ironman Triathlon?

It's pretty certain that you will hurt all over, but it's a good hurt that is soon lost in the excitement of your great accomplishment.

You may hurt for for a few days but the positive effects of your Ironman success will last for the rest of your life.

As a matter of fact, in a way, you will welcome your pain as a testament to the effort it required to reach your goal.

Chances are there were many times during the race when you really felt like giving up but your didn't. Perhaps shortly after you crossed the finish line the day before, you swore to yourself you would never, never put yourself through anything like that again.

You will be "amazed" how quickly you'll forget how much you hurt right at that moment. Almost overnight you will be wondering where the registration will be for the next years race.

As for getting out of bed the morning after, well, that's another story. Just walking will be difficult at first but it gets better. The way you will feel in the morning after Ironman is a unique feeling but you'll get over it.


When you first get up, you would be wise to have some sort of replacement drink. Your body was asked to perform to extremes during the race and must be refueled.

As much as the thought of drinking anything might disgust you, it's a very important step to aid in a speedy recovery.

Have a nice long shower. You may have to do some serious scrubbing to get those magic marker numbers to disappear from your arms and legs but there is nothing wrong with wearing those faded numbers around for a few days.

Usually your ID bracelet will still be on when you get back home. Some Ironman finishers have been known to put on their finisher t-shirts the morning after and leave them on for a week.


You will only ever get one first Ironman finisher t-shirt no matter how many of these amazing races you attempt.

Wear it for a week or so and then clean it well and store it away. This will be really important to you years down the road.

Just looking at mine now--over 28 years later brings back such a rush of amazing memories of that first time I crossed the finish of my first Ironman in Kona.

I could well have one of the few finisher t-shirts left from that race. Even though it seems to have shrunk. At least I hope that's why it fits a bit tight.

Take a minute to look at the finisher's medal that was put around your neck when you crossed the finish line. It is something very special that you may want to frame one day.

Don't forget, once you are officially recorded as a finisher, you can purchase the Ironman Trademark finisher clothes that are on sale for that year.

Make sure you bring along extra money so you can purchase yourself some Ironman finisher clothing. These are finisher clothes you can wear year round at home after you pack your finish line t-shirt away.


When you get out of the shower, its time to eat something. Your digestive system may be in a bit of a mess, but don't worry, this soon goes away and you will be eating everything is sight later in the day.

For breakfast however take it a bit easy. Your digestive system can be a bit of a mess the morning after ironman.

After you have something to eat, "get out that door and go for a walk!" As hard as that may sound, its for the best. Plus you have to find a newspaper anyway.

Don't leave it too long as the local papers tend to disappear quickly the morning after an Ironman Triathlon. The local morning paper will most likely have the entire race front and center and who knows, your picture might even be in it.


Some Ironmen prefer to go for a swim the day after the race, but I always found that took too much work to go to the beach and change and dry off etc. A simple easy jog always worked the best.

I used to love taking that morning after paper and finding a really great coffee shop and reading through the entire race story.

Often you will run into lots of other Ironmen who will be more than happy to share their race experience with you. Its just a really great day.


By early afternoon, (after entering for the next year, if I had decided to)I was ready to make the fast food run. Every Ironman town or city has a "fast-food" street.

I would walk up and down that street and have all those forbidden foods I had passed by during training. Fried chicken, pizza, french fries, maybe a hamburger, and my all time favorite--ice cream. Treat yourself. You earned it.

If you go on to do even more of these incredible races, you will develop your own Ironman ritual. You will find ways that you just love to spend that day after you have crossed the finish line. It soon becomes a part of your total Ironman experience.

Regardless how you spend the next day, enjoy it! You have joined a very special group. You have become part of the Ironman family and that will be yours to cherish forever.

My name is Ray and I've been an endurance athlete for over 30 years. I've competed in over 30 marathons, 2 - 50 mile races, 14 Ironman triathlons and countless shorter races.

I've created a website called "Ironstruck". My website provides training and racing tips for the beginner triathlete and novice Ironman. Visit my new site at and join our community.

I have also written 3 triathlon books. Two are for those who have an Ironman triathlon in their future. "IronStruck... The Ironman Triathlon Journey" and " IronStruck? 500 Ironman Triathlon Questions and Answers" have been very well received by the triathlon community.

My latest book " Triathlete In Transition" is for the very beginner triathlete and first time Ironman is also being well received.

If you enjoy my articles on Ezine, then VISIT My Ironstruck bookstore and have a look at the books that can guide you and inspire you as you begin your own triathlon journey. Good luck on becoming an Ironman!

Source: EzineArticles
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