Some races you pull up in better condition than others. My body was the most spent it has ever been after the Hard Core 100 mile. My recovery week after an ultra marathon is a 3 step process:
For the first 2 days my priority was to get as much sleep as possible.
Early to bed. I think I passed out rather than sleeping. Only waking to get the kids to school the next morning. Then it was straight back to bed. Sleeping until I had to pick them back up.
It may sound excessive, but I had night shift to do that night. So I had to make sure I was capable of working. 15 hours of sleep achieve exactly that. Then sleep all the next day. Up for a few hours in the afternoon and evening before going back to bed.
Running would only get in the way of sleeping. Plus my mind definitely needed a break. A complete reset. No structure. No pressure.
I know where my thoughts can go. Combining legs that really aren’t working properly with post DNF wouldn’t work well with trying to run this week. As a result I gave myself the full week off running. The rest aspect is predominantly about giving the mind a break.
No concern for food. I ate whatever I felt like and lots of it. An over sized burger didn’t stand a chance on my birthday.
Hunger and pleasure was my guide. The repair process churns up a lot of calories. I’d prefer to come out of recovery week a bit up on weight. Better than delaying muscle and tendon repair.
A complete week off won’t suit everybody. It definitely isn’t my usual after a race. In this case the race was my main focus and my body was smashed to higher level. I required a bigger swing towards the rest and recover side of the pendulum.