Ride, Recover and Ride Again @Cyclingplus

If you’re on a multi-day ride follow these Rapid recovery tips from Stephen Garvey so you can ride day after day 16th September 2015 for Cycling Plus Magazine

When glycogen stores start to deplete and the lactic acid starts to build, the first area this will be noticed is the lower limbs. A good rub down will expel the side effects. A massage needs to focus on the powerhouse muscles such as the rectus femoris, hip flexors such as the psoas and the gluteals. Particular attention paid to the semisplenius capitis (upper and back part of the neck) and erector spinae (three columns of muscle extending down the vertebral column) can ease those aching anti-gravity muscles.

A muscle is bound by two fixed points of contact. Post-ride stretching reduces the sensitivity of perceived muscle tightness in the range a muscle functions. Phil Burt, lead physio to Team Sky and GB Cycling Team advises four postride stretches within an hour of finishing your ride. They are the Bulgarian Squat, the Indian
Knot, Modified Hurdler Stretch and foam rolling the iliotibial band – ITB (Google ’em). A single quality 30-second stretch and 60 seconds of foam rolling is effective in alleviating aches

Switching between hot and cold water on your legs can be a simple but effective way of stimulating musclenourishing blood flow – but reconsider braving the ice bath. New research suggests we should leave the ice in the freezer and enjoy a soak in a hot bath for 15-20mins instead. Ice baths have been shown to reduce the
gains from training as it reduces the inflammatory process and muscle soreness, and it has been proven that these chemical processes are fundamental in performance gains.

Once you have finished a ride, your active recovery starts straight away. At the end of a long ride you should
aim for a 10-minute cooldown cycle on flat terrain or even on a turbo trainer working in heart rate zone 1
(for information on heart rate zones see British Cycling – http://tinyurl.com/ps26x4g). Later in the evening you may even want to try an easy cycle or go for a walk or run to encourage the body to remove metabolic waste products from your muscles.

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