Recovery Tips

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.

Recovery Tips

There are other things I know to speed recovery – things I have experimented with over the years and know work, at least for me.

  1. Cool down at the end of the ride.  Spin with a light load for 10-15 minutes to rid the body of lactic acid.
  2. Stretch for 10-15 minutes following the ride, particularly hamstring, quads, calves, shoulders and back muscles.
  3. I can’t afford a massage after every ride but self massaging the calves, knees, quads and hamstring muscles can make a big difference.
  4. Hydrate adequately before, during and after the ride.  I use the Vega products but chocolate milk is an excellent alternative post workout drink.
  5. Cold baths, a favourite technique used by professional footballers (soccer), to reduce inflammation and help to relax.
  6. Eat within 30 minutes following the workout.
  7. 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.

7 thoughts on “Recovery Tips

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

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