Helping Your Body Recover from Strenuous Cycling and Training

06
Jun
2015

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Truly effective training and cycling methods rely on more than simply piling on extra miles one week after the next. Structured training should always factor in enough time for adequate recovery too. If you don’t give your body the chance to bounce back after you’ve put it under some serious strain, then you could lose form and motivation, stop making progress, and risk injury or illness.

Regularly structured training exposes your body to significant amounts of stress stimuli that forces it to adapt to new circumstances. It is this process that can help you to become a stronger rider – but it can only happen if you allow your body to recovery properly. In simple terms it’s not just your training that makes you a better cyclist – but also your recovery that helps to move you forward. So how do you make sure you’re recovering right?

Drink and Eat Right

One of the most paramount aspects that you can do for your body after a bike-ride or training session is to nourish it. Within about twenty minutes of completing a bike ride that lasted for longer than ninety minutes, you should be chomping down on some protein and carbohydrates to kick start your recovery.

Within this time window, you’ll find that your body is particularly receptive to certain macro-nutrients, meaning that the carbs will begin to restock your glycogen stores, and the protein will start repairing trauma within your muscles. Some people choose to chug down a pre-made recovery drink, but others prefer their own creations.

Massage Therapy

If your bike was struggling to perform, you’d send it to an expert mechanic. When your body needs help recovering, massage experts are definitely the place to go. Legendary cyclists from around the world have sung the praises of massage therapy for years, and it’s easy to see why. The correct massage technique will have you laid out comfortably on a portable massage table, while an expert stimulates increased blood flow, reduces tightness, and correctly aligns your achy muscles.

At the same time, a good massage therapist – alongside helping you to recover from a tough session – should be able to flag down any areas of potential concern, and offer you exercise or stretch techniques that could properly address them.

Sleep

Everyone needs sleep – no matter how much we might like to convince ourselves otherwise. If you deprived a lab rat of sleep then it would start gaining fat, behaving strangely, and eventually die. Suffering from a lack of sleep simply because you’re nervous about an upcoming event isn’t a terrible thing―sleep deprivation is a cerebral activity and it doesn’t impair physical capacity.

However, allowing yourself to suffer from long-term poor sleep could lead to an increase in stress hormones and a diminished mental performance. Not only will exhaustion make you feel terrible―it will also have an impact on your body’s ability to recover and train. You may find that you stop bothering with training entirely, or struggle to push yourself as far as you once did or could.

Photo c/o scienceinsport.com

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