Blog Post by Grant
The majority of people I know seem to have busy lives. If an active, fatiguing sport forms part of this, taking time to recover is critical to remaining healthy and becoming stronger.
The time when we recover is the opportunity created for our bodies to rebuild and adapt, and for the motivation to create the more demanding training, to return.
In the past, I have fallen foul of not fully committing to recovery periods, thus not creating a feeling of being rested and not being ready to take on another piece of more challenging cycling. MTB riding during recovery week certainly didn’t work for me…..great fun but not really in keeping with the rest / recuperate theme!!
There are so many things that potentially lead to neglecting the crucial recovery time. Maybe work days stretch a little, catching up on jobs around the house, or if the sun is shining an extra bike ride gets slotted in.
I will admit that all of the above have sneaked into periods when ideally they wouldn’t have. At worst, I have felt very fatigued in the early stages of a bike trip to Europe. At other times, the legs have simply felt a bit jaded when cycling in the local hills.
To learn from these experiences, and do my best to avoid ineffective recovery, I have been trying to be that bit better with the items that assist the process, and are reasonably easy to achieve. This has included improving hydration, not leaving chores/tasks until the week I plan to be on the bike less, and sticking to the easy spins and stretching that are written into the training plan.
Something I have also focussed on in recent times is thinking more about nutrition during the recovery periods. This may be as simple as adding some of the recovery sport nutrition to what I eat during the rest days. This is so easy to factor in straight after an easy spin and stretch that it just becomes part of the routine. A favourite is the Torq Cookies & Cream Recovery, which we use regularly. Another Torq product worth mentioning is their Recovery+ Hot Cocoa drink, aimed at high load training periods. We’ve used this on our mountain cycling trips and definitely found it beneficial. We also like the protein rich Bounce balls, they do some very tasty flavours, the new choc-orange one is delicious. The new Torq Recovery Bar should be out soon, so we’ll definitely be stocking up on those. Another product we’ve yet to try is the Protein Square from Chef-on-a Bike, but it’s definitely on our nutrition hit-list.
One thing that has really helped my flexibility is a book called “Yoga for Cyclists” by Lexie Williamson, combined with a sports massage every couple of weeks, at MC Sports Therapy http://www.mcsportstherapy.yolasite.com in Stoke-on-Trent.
Getting better at recovery is still something I’m working on. I’m certainly experiencing improvements, but getting enough sleep seems to be the trickiest problem to solve! Not enough hours in the day……I’m probably not alone with that sentiment!