This has been said before, nutrition is key to your performance, particularly for after your workout or challenge. It is important to eat enough at the right time. If you exercise regularly you should be eating at regular intervals throughout the day. After you have exercised it is important to replenish your muscles with nutrients, carbohydrates and protein. After a big spin you should eat within 40-60 minutes after finishing to gain maximum benefit from the food you eat.
After a tough event it is important to take a break from your regular intense training. That could mean taking a day off or reducing the intensity of your training days. By giving your body a rest you are reducing your risk of overtraining and fatigue. Overtraining and fatigue can occur when the body and or mind are over worked and become burnt out. It is definitely worth listening to your body and if it’s very tired go easier in the gym, do a shorter spin or just take it easy. Sleep will also help your body recover and reconstruct itself. You are better off taking a day off rather than burning yourself out and not being train for a few weeks.
You are probably sore from the hilly Wicklow 100 and 200 challenges and that’s normal. It was a tough day and a huge achievement to have completed it. During exercise your muscle fibres tear and by giving them enough food, rest and maintenance work (mobility and flexibility) you allow them to replenish and grow.
Stretching is a great way to aid recovery. It is important to stretch out the key area related to cycling.
Because of the linear motion and hunched position on the bike it is very important to stretch and foam roll your back and lower limbs. There are examples of foam rolling see previous blogs.
These are the key lower limb areas to keep stretched and mobile: hamstrings, quads, shins, calves and ankles. Your lower back is also a key area to keep healthy.
Foam rolling releases knots in the muscles and breaks down the lactic acid as well. It can be sore but it is very beneficial to muscular health.
Stretching increases flexibility and mobility in the muscles. Having strong and mobile muscles will significantly improve overall performance and reduce the risk of injuries.
Recovery and tapering your training sessions will not only allow your body to rest and rejuvenate but you’ll also be able to enjoy your training more. It will give your mind and body an opportunity to develop and progress towards your goals.