You sign up for the challenge of a lifetime and all your focus is on making that finish line. And once that euphoric moment reaches you it's easy to forget all your training and go off and celebrate. But if you don't help your muscles to recover you could suffer days of painful, aching muscles and injury can also follow.
So pause the celebrations for a few minutes and follow these quick and easy recovery tips, and you'll feel ready to do it all over again in no time.
- Don't allow your energy levels to deplete too much on your ride, keep stocked up with snacks
- Eat promptly after finishing riding. This is when you'll see the greatest nutritional uptake to help the muscles restore and repair. Within 30 minutes is ideal, but make sure you've eaten something within 60 minutes. Some people prefer to use recovery drinks with added protein, which aid muscle repair.
- Have a massage
- Try to ensure the 48 hours following the ride do not have too many high energy activities
- Stretch - but these should be stretches that you've done before, don't start stretching muscles for the first time after a long ride
- Try and go for a short, smooth, low intensity ride 24-48 hours after completing the ride
- Some people are known to feel surprisingly good the day after an event and find things stiffen up the following day. Don't stop your recovery work just because you feel fine the day after the event.