Five Top Post-Ride Recovery Tips
It’s important that you take your recovery as seriously as your training when preparing for a 100-mile sportive. Ensuring you recover properly from your longest and toughest sessions will mean you are raring to go for the next phase of training and that you can continue to build towards the big day injury–free.
Follow these suggestions to aid your post-ride recovery...
Get back on the bike!
This may sound counter-intuitive if you’ve just finished a gruelling ride, but many top coaches consider a well-timed and well-judged ride is a vital part of what they call active recovery. So, as tempting as a day on the sofa sounds, it will be of greater benefit to you to get back on the bike as soon as possible after a hard ride. This will keep your metabolism firing, help your blood to keep circulating and reduce inflammation and muscle fatigue.
As well as a recovery ride, consuming the right combination of protein and carbohydrate soon after your long ride will support the restorative process. This can take the form of a formula shake or meal that’s easy to digest. It is also worth eating foods high in anti-oxidants such as fruit, berries and even some types of wine. Good news.
It may not be practical – or affordable – to book yourself in for a sports massage after every long ride, so learning to massage yourself with some handy tools is worthwhile.
It is far more cost effective to purchase a foam roller and either a spiky ball or hockey ball which can be used to get into those major muscle groups. Check out our guide on how to use them.
Now, if all that recovery riding and rolling around on massage aids sounds like a lot of work, there are more relaxing ways to refresh your body after a hard ride. How does a warm bath sound? You can turn it into a powerful recovery tool with the use of some salts such as Dr Salts 100% Dead Sea bath salts. The combination of minerals can help the detoxification process and soothe the aches and pains in your limbs.
There are some simple post-ride stretches you can do to target the muscles that have taken most of the punishment on your ride, including glutes and quads, but also to counter-act those rounded shoulders form all that time in the saddle. Find out how to perform the four best moves to do after your miles are in the bank.