It’s spring. The weather is warm(er) and, dry(er). I am on the bikes more and, working harder.
My thoughts are returning to recover techniques so that I can train harder and more frequently. Yesterday I did a hard 90 minute spinning class and then got on the Roberts for almost 2 hours on a route that included three 3 km climbs, 2 fast descents and rolling terrain. Given that a 90 minute spin class is equivalent to a longer road ride, I estimate I cycled for 4-4.5 hours. Today I felt tired. Why? I began examining how to avoid this feeling and to expedite recovery so that I can train more.
I know better. Much better.
Hydration, nutrition and rest are the key. For the bike ride, I forgot my water bottle. In a hurry, I left it at the back door and didn’t notice it missing until the beginning of the first climb. I know better. Much better. And, when I returned, I was cold (and tired) and didn’t eat or drink until after I showered and visited with guests. I know better. Much better.
I know to hydrate before and regularly throughout a ride. In fact, I add the Vega electrolyte hydration powder to my bottles and consume approximately 1 bottle / hour, more when it is hot.
And, I know to eat carbohydrates and protein within 30 minutes following a ride. In fact, I also have the Vega post-workout drink which is specifically formulated to replenish electrolytes, reduce inflammation, muscle pain and accelerate recovery.
I know better. Much better. But I neglected to hydrate before, during and after the ride or to eat quickly enough afterward.
There are other things I know to speed recovery – things I have experimented with over the years and know work, at least for me.
- Cool down at the end of the ride. Spin with a light load for 10-15 minutes to rid the body of lactic acid.
- Stretch for 10-15 minutes following the ride, particularly hamstring, quads, calves, shoulders and back muscles.
- I can’t afford a massage after every ride but self massaging the calves, knees, quads and hamstring muscles can make a big difference.
- Hydrate adequately before, during and after the ride. I use the Vega products but chocolate milk is an excellent alternative post workout drink.
- Cold baths, a favourite technique used by professional footballers (soccer), to reduce inflammation and help to relax.
- Eat within 30 minutes following the workout.
- And, make certain to get a good nights sleep – 8-10 hours is recommended.
Next time I will be better prepared.
If you have other tips, I would like to hear them.
Great tips! I am a huge fan of foam rollers, and the moji 360 to massage muscles! Enjoyed the read.
All the best,
Thanks for that. I forgot about foam rollers. We have them at the gym where I do use them regularly, particularly for my back. I have never tried a mojo 360 but it looks interesting. I’ll try to find one.
ahhhhh, you are in for a treat if you get a Moji….they are simply awesome. Imagine a foam roller, but then imagine it 10x better….you get the Moji 360 🙂 Worth every penny.
I’m a huge fan of the recovery ride – just an easy high cadence, slow ride. Let’s me enjoy the scenery and the ride once in a while. Great post, I do almost every one of them.
That’s a good point. I don’t do a recovery ride frequently enough. I also live atop a hill. No matter what direction I approach from, I have a 3 km climb. It is a workout each time.
I’m jealous man… That would be AWESOME! Though yeah, that would be tough to spin up for sure.
This hill has been my salvation. It has made me a better, stronger rider no doubt.