Updated: Jul 25, 2020
Why and how best to recover after training ride or raceday? Few tips, how to get the most out of your time off the bike.
1. Cool down gently:
An easy “spin the legs” for 15’ helps the body to go back to pre-ride state of mind.
After a hard turbo session or after a race most people just stop jump off the bike and hop in the shower.
Best is after every session, turbo, training or race,… spin the legs to get the blood flowing and remove acids from the muscles (Good to sweat a little again)
to help speed up the recovery.
2. Put your feet up:
When you did a really hard block of training with efforts, or after a hard stage, it’s good to lay down and put your legs up, against a wall.
Helps to drain fluids in the legs and reduces swelling.
At the same time you can gently stretch the hamstrings.
Little extra, brings the blood back to the brain, so if you feel dizzy, this might help.
3. Hydrate and refuel!
It’s very common for riders not to drink enough on the bike. What makes it really important to extra hydrate afterwards.
When dehydrated, it’s harder for your body to pump the blood and oxygen around your body. This slows down the recovery and gives cramps.
After an easy ride, just water will do.
But after a hard day or race, use recovery (carbs) drinks. Or ad electrolytes (sodium)
To know exactly how much you need to drink, it can be handy to calculate your sweat rate.
4. Power up with protein & carbs:
Most people say, nutrition is easy and simple.
It can be, doesn’t have to be complicated, but it’s really important to do it right.
Nutrition is the difference maker in your recovery.
You need carbs to reboost the glycogen stores, protein on the other hand will help the muscles to restore.
For example, “SIS Rego Rapid Recory powder”, contains carbs and protein for ultimate recovery.
NOTE: make your shake with water, avoid too much fat (like milk) as it slows down the transition of carbohydrates through the stomac
With a shake you have the first nutrients you need to help your body recover.
Than take your time to have a full meal.
During races it’s good to have massage after every stage/raceday.
In training try to have one at least once a week.
It removes the lactic acid / waste out of your body and helps to make the blood flow true the muscles.
And it helps to relax.
6. Mobility "self"work:
Our sports therapist will tell you every single time, stretch every evening, make it a habit like brushing your teeth before bed.
It keeps the muscles supple, and allows them to work their full range of motion during exercises. This way can reduce the change of injury.
And prevents your muscles of soreness after training.
Efficiency hasn’t been proven fully yet, but compression clothing increases the blood flow and reduces swelling of the legs.
Good to wear after massage until you go to bed.
Can be useful to wear when flying/traveling.
8. Give your mind some peace:
Mental recovery might be even more important.
Give your mind some time to rest.
Screens away, social media can drive you crazy and never gives you rest.
Mainly when in race or hard trainingblock, try to keep your “screentime” to a minimum!
Your mind needs to slow down every now and then, particularly if you’re trying to train alongside other demands such as work and family. (sadly you can’t turn them off) J
9. Reset & rest:
Last but not least, the main thing, SLEEP!
During our deep sleep our body produces growth hormone, which helps the muscle repair and grow.
Minimum 8 hours of sleep, ideal is 10 hours.
If you don’t get enough sleep in, the production of the stress hormone cortisol increases and increases your RPE. So training after period of bad sleep, will feel like much harder than when at your best.
Lack of sleep makes you moody and takes the focus away, that’s how crashes happen.
Some days after a hard day of training a little power nap of 20 minutes can help to recover faster, and makes you more alert. (even young people)
So again, if you want to train hard, and recover fast, make sure you get enough sleep!