It's been 2 weeks ago today I raced. Everyone is different but most say it is at least a 3 week recovery process after an Ironman. You may feel fine a week or ten days out, but there is a lot of cellular damage that takes time to repair.
I have been doing some light training and have run twice, 6 miles and 8 miles. The runs really test your recovery as that is where the pounding happens. For the most part fr0m a muscular stand point I am recovered. My heart rate was elevated about 8-10 beats last Saturday when I ran, which indicates there is still some repairing going on in there. My run on Tuesday (8 miles) I don't' know as I forgot my watch and heart rate monitor (HRM) at home, but didn't feel like my HR was very elevated. Planning a run today, preferably outside if weather holds, but will do 5 on the dreadmill, I mean treadmill at the gym if I have to.
Official training for 2009 season starts on Dec. 1, which a ramp up week the week before (70% if first week. Need a ramp up week so it isn't such a shock to your system that first week. Too much potential for injury by ramping up the volume too quickly. More details on my 2009 training plan later as I have it done. A little less running and a lot more biking.