Cycling Recovery Tips

by Gary Tingley -

Recovery is undoubtedly one of the most important aspects of a well rounded training program for the competitive cyclist. Day and day out training, work, home, and life stresses can increase the fatigue that a rider experiences throughout the day, and can minimize the effectiveness of the workouts performed. To realize the most of your training program, effective recovery techniques can lessen the stresses of daily life and can help to prepare you for the next day's workout.

Compression clothing can help office workers, travelers, and those who spend considerable amounts of time standing throughout the day. Mid-day stretching and "sunshine breaks" can also assist with reducing stress in the workplace. A healthy diet and ample vitamin supplementation are important foundations for a sound training program.

1. Nutrition – replace glycogen with a sports drink within 30mins-2hrs post ride at the rate of 1.5g carbohydrate per kilogram of body weight per hour for up to 4 hours. I prefer a bottle of Fluid, a Coke or bottle of Cytomax.

2. Clean up – shower, or after a race/training ride where I cannot immediately shower, I’ll use a few baby wipes to clean up.
3. Baby powder – keeps things dry.
4. Nap – a short 20-30min lunchtime/afternoon nap can be beneficial.
5. Stretching – improves mobility, flexibility, eliminates stiffness.
6. Massage and Compression socks – massage is worth it if you need work done. Also, “the Stick” and Foam roller work well.
7. Ice – if I am feeling particularly sore, I’ll ice my joints and/or muscles immediately after a ride.
8. Hydrotherapy – a warm bath can work wonders for a sore body (however, not immediately following a workout).
9. NSAIDS – Advil/etc. can help with pain, but use sparingly and as directed by your doctor, stomach ulcers and other risks are involved.
10. Sleep – aim for 8 hours per night, no more than 9, no less than 7.5 ~

Gary Tingley is a USA Cycling Certified Level 2 / CPBT Power-based Training Coach, 6x Calif state Time Trial Champion (ITT/TTT), 2x USAC Masters Road Nationals medalist, and USCF road Cat. 2 cyclist.