Cycling Recovery Tips
Day in and day out training, work, home, and life stresses can increase the fatigue that a rider experiences throughout the day, and can minimize the effectiveness of the workouts performed. To realize the most of your training program, effective recovery techniques can lessen the stresses of daily life and can help to prepare you for the next day's workout.
Compression clothing can help office workers, travelers, and those who spend reasonable amounts of time standing throughout the day. Mid-day stretching and “sunshine breaks” can also assist with reducing stress in the workplace. A healthy diet and ample vitamin supplementation are important foundations for a sound training program.
1. Nutrition – replace glycogen with a sports drink within 30mins-2hrs post ride at the rate of 1.5g carbohydrate per kilogram of body weight per hour for up to 4 hours. I prefer a bottle of fluid, a coke or bottle of Cytomax.
2. Clean up – shower, or after a race / training ride where I can not immediately shower, I'll use a few baby wipes to clean up.
3. Baby powder – keeps things dry.
4. Nap – a short 20-30 min lunchtime / afternoon nap can be beneficial.
5. Stretching – improves mobility, flexibility, eliminates stiffness.
6. Massage and Compression socks – massage is worth it if you need work done. Also, “the Stick” and Foam roller work well.
7. Ice – if I am feeling particularly sore, I'll ice my joints and / or muscles immediately after a ride.
8. Hydrotherapy – a warm bath can work wonders for a sore body (however, not immediately following a workout).
9. NSAIDS – Advil / etc. can help with pain, but use sparingly and as directed by your doctor, stomach ulcers and other risks are involved.
10. Sleep – aim for 8 hours per night, no more than 9, no less than 7.5 ~
An additional note on nutrition and sleep. I tend to keep nutrition simple and stick to my normal diet. I will not restrict calories the day before a race and I tend to avoid heavy foods that may cause digestive problems. Since many events begin in the morning, it is important to turn in early to prevent unnecessary fatigue.
These are but a few of the numerous recovery techniques that truly add up over the course of the week and the season. The goal is to effectively recover to reach your next workout in the most rested and best prepared condition possible.