We all know recovery is vital for any athlete. It is easy to push yourself hard for one day but to do that over an extended period of time, such as at a grand tour or any stage race, is a completely different situation.
The difference between pro athletes and many amateur athletes is how much focus is put on recovery. Being strict and having a recovery routine that is built into your training can make a significant difference to performance.
So what is a good recovery protocol?
- Recover during the race – work out what to eat and drink during exercise
- Warm down, 20 minutes, you know the drill and begin rehydrating (Take an indoor trainer with you)
- Once your warm down is done take in your recovery drink
- Shower (a saddle sore isn’t going to bode well for your next ride)
- Ice bath (10 mins) to help decrease the inflammation quickly
- Put on compression kit and/or use compression boots
- 45 minutes post exercise – eat real food. Good carbs and some protein
- Keep that rehydration going for the rest of the day (but don’t over do it, watch the colour of your urine keep it light straw coloured)
- Massage to flush the muscles and reduce the risk of Delayed Onset of Muscle Soreness (DOMS)
- If massage isn’t available a really warm bath with 2 cups of Epsom Salts will also go a long way to easing DOMS
- Put your feet up and rest. It’s the one time you can be a couch potato
- Sleep. Sleep is probably one of the most important things to do to recover. Whilst we sleep our body repairs itself, the more sleep the more time our body has time to repair
For more information on an individual recovery protocol for you specifically please contact me through our website.