Cycling – the more you put in, the more you’ll get out. Time spent on the bike preparing for your next ride, race or Gran Fondo will be payed back in spades come event day. And just as important as warming up and time spent in the saddle, warming down and those precious post-ride recovery hours are vital stepping stones to making you a stronger, fitter and faster rider.
Below we list our top 5 post-ride recovery tips –
1. Cool Down Slowly
Recovery begins the moment you stop moving. Whether it’s a race, training ride or Gran Fondo event, spend a minimum of five to ten minutes cooling your body down – whether it’s spinning or time on a stationary trainer. Once off the bike keep moving – stretch, shake, bend and allow your body to ease settle back to off bike mode.
2. Keep Hydrating
Regardless of how much fluid intake you’ve had on the bike, now’s the time for more. Whether it’s simply an one or two more bidons of water, or an electrolyte or sport drink, it’s time to top up lost fluids and prevent the onset of dehydration.
3. It’s Protein O’Clock
Protein feeds the body and fuels recovery – whether it’s a simple bar, shake, chocolate milk or small meal, starting the refuelling process is important soon after you stop exercise.
4. Reset With Rest
For a cyclist the couch can be just as important as cadence! Rest is vital for recovery and kick-starting the muscle repair process. It also heals the body, helps prepare muscles for your next ride and assists in the prevention of illness. The equation is simple – eat, sleep, ride, repeat.
5. Consider a Massage
Massage goes hand in hand with the sport almost as much as coffee and beer do. The skills of a masseur will help relax the legs, assist in circulation and often help remove muscle knots that may formed during exercise.
The Cycling Classic For South Australia, the Clare Classic, will be held in the stunning Clare Valley on April 8. Earlybird registration is available until November 24 – visit www.clareclassic.com.au for more.