You’ve put in the miles on your big weekend rides but time in the saddle is only part of the equation for sportive success.
What you do once home plays a massive part in determining how your body recovers, adapts and how much benefit you get from your ride and how well you’re able to train in the following sessions.
Follow this step-by-step post ride plan:
- Re-Fuel After a long ride have a recovery drink made up and ready to go in the fridge.
- Shower Get yourself clean, warm and comfortable.
- Compress The evidence for the post-exercise benefits of compression tights is getting stronger and, as you can wear them under your trousers, there’s no hardship in slipping a pair on.
- Elevate With a pillow behind your head, place your legs up against a wall and aim to stay there for 5 minutes for every hour ridden. Keep your knees straight but not locked and you’ll get a gentle stretch for your hamstrings too.
- Stretch Post-exercise stretching for injury prevention and performance gains is still a matter of hot debate. However, in a recovery context, the positive evidence is much stronger. Working on typically tight areas such as hip flexors, glutes and lower back can make all the difference as to how you feel the day after a long ride.
- Massage We can’t all afford a massage after every long ride but some time spent on a foam roller is a good DIY substitute.
- Ride Getting out for an easy ride the day after a tough workout can really help. Ride for 30-60 minutes on a flat course, keep your bike in the smaller chainring and spin easy. Imagine you’ve got “crystal cranks” that’ll snap if you put too much pressure through them. Throw in some low gear (39X18) sprints of 5-8 seconds duration to really help flush things out and prevent heavy legs.
On your rest week make sure you factor in as many of these points to recovery as possible, making sure you are ready for the next month's British Cycling Sportive Training Plans.