With the start of Daylight Savings Time, you can now potentially ride 7 days a week. However, unless you’re training for a stage race, it’s not recommended. Every training plan includes days off or recovery days.
Recovery is as important as training. If you don’t recover properly, you can’t rebuild your muscles and you won’t get stronger and fitter. Here are five tips to help your body recover:
This is the most important tip. Yet, for many of us, the most challenging. Prepare your body for sleep. No late-night TV, laptops, alcohol, or caffeine. Take naps if needed. Your body needs time to repair and rebuild.
Eating right is always a challenge. However, after a hard ride, your body needs protein as well as carbohydrates. Since eating 30 grams of protein is not always practical, have a recovery drink. This will efficiently give you everything you need.
Remember the old days when you would stretch after a cycling class? Do you do it now after a hard ride? Probably not. This will help alleviate muscle soreness and prevent injury. You should also stretch a little before a ride.
Swimming, walking, and yoga are great ways to recover after a hard ride. The goal is to get more blood to your muscles. You can do a recovery ride, but be sure it is a light ride. Resist the urge to crank it up.
Many of us are focused on weekly goals, monthly goals, and yearly goals. It does help to get you out the door, but don’t make it an obsession. Participate in some other sports. You want to keep cycling fun.
Quote of the week: “Some people can’t sleep because they have insomnia. I can’t sleep because I have internet.” — Anonymous
Here is a video about recovery: