Birkie Recapped

Posted by Katie Feldman on Mar 10th 2022

Birkie Recapped

Hi SkiPost Community,

I hope everyone who participated had a great Birkie week! Something I’ve always loved about the Birkie is how there really is an event for everyone, and, of course, you can’t beat the huge crowds on Main Street! It was great to return to the full-scale event after last year’s modified version, and it was so fun to see so many familiar faces out there. If you missed it this year, Saturday morning was COLD! In a race this long, many racers get very hot and often prefer to start a little cold. However, with temperatures still in the low single digits at race start, almost everyone was wearing at least a single warm base layer under their suit. It was cold enough that many athletes experienced issues with their water bottles freezing, so the great aid stations along the way saved the day.

A lot of SkiPost content this season has discussed various aspects of Birke preparation. From training ideas to fueling tips, there are a lot of good ideas out there. Now that the Birkie has come and gone, let’s talk about recovery! Whether the Birkie was your primary event of the season or just one of a few marathons you’re planning to do this spring, recovery is super important. I experienced some major cramping during the Birkie, so my last few days have been entirely focused on bringing my body back to life 

1.Change out of wet clothes. This adage is instilled in all of us from a young age, but it can be hard to remember to pack dry clothes in your gear bag when you’re starting and finishing in two different places. Whether the Birkie takes you two hours or ten hours to finish, 50km is a long way, and you’ve probably done a lot of sweating. Even though the finish this year was much warmer than the start, it’s still really easy to get chilled and have a hard time getting warm.

2.Refuel. Most large marathon events have nutrition sponsors handing out snacks and hydration in the finish area. Make sure you get one before you leave! A marathon-long effort leaves the body really depleted; if your stomach is feeling alright, getting some solid nutrition in your system will really kickstart your recovery. This year, Jojé Bar was handing out their energy bars, and they were toasting them before so they were warm and delicious!

3.Rest. Birkie morning is an early start and many athletes also have early mornings surrounding the race with travel. Even if you haven’t been cutting sleep short, a marathon effort is seriously taxing on the body. You definitely don’t need to jump back into training for a couple of days. Especially if you’ve traveled to and from a big event, it’s going to take a few days for the post-races aches to settle down and the motivation to return. Treat yourself to some well-deserved R&R, and indulge in something you really enjoy to celebrate your accomplishment!

4. Movement. While you may need a day or two on the couch, it’s important to bring motion back into your body as a recovery tool. If your muscles are really achy or tender to the touch and maybe not quite ready for rolling, consider a spin, some light yoga, or a swim. You’ll get some blood flow to those sore muscles, and a day or two of these non-impact activities will likely leave you ready to get out for a jog or a ski soon. If you’re too sore to roll, don’t force it and let your body do a few days of healing on its own.

I’ve spent a lot of time here the past few days

5. Continue to take good care of yourself, eat good food, drink lots of water, and sleep! As you get back into the swing of training, these steps will help you recover from your effort and get ready for the next.

Getting out for an easy spin earlier this week