Tips for Post-Ride Recovery

What you do after a hard bike ride or training can be just as important as the effort itself! Implementing a recovery routine can lead to physical and mental gains that will benefit you on the bike and in your next race.

Although recovery is important, your routine doesn’t have to be perfect to be effective. What works for one athlete, may not work for you. So, the elements of your recovery routine should be personally relevent and something you can perform consistently following each ride, training, and race.

Elements of a Recovery Routine

1. Cool down. At the end of a hard ride or training session, performing a cool down can help flush out the lactate in your muscles. A few minutes of easy spinning with a high cadence should do the trick!

2. Wash/ check bike. Although personal preference, washing your bike and doing a check for any issues can be a great habit to get into after arriving home. This way, your bike is always ready to go for the next ride!

Learn more about how to wash a bike

3. Hydrate. Post-ride is a time to replinish any fluid deficiet from your training effort. Water can be a good option, but also consider adding electrolytes/ salt to your water. Tea and fruit juice can also aid in hydration following a ride.

Learn more about hydration and electrolytes.

4. Clean up. A nice shower or bath and some dry clothes can go a long way in aiding your recovery. When you stay in your sweaty clothes too long, your body cools down, causing reduced blood circulation and thus, less recovery. If you’re not able to jump in the shower right away, changing into dry clothes is sufficient.

5. Eat. Take in a good recovery meal containing carbohydrates and protein within 20 minutes to an hour following your ride or training session. There are plenty of great options depending on the time of day and your mood. A smoothie bowl with fresh fruit and granola is an easy way to get nutrients.

Check out this recipe!

6. Massage/ foam rolling. After a ride or workout, muscle care improves blood flow to help flush out lactic acid and toxins while minimizing tension. If it’s possible, having a sports massage can help you to calm down mentally and flush out muscle tension. Foam rolling can also have a similar effect and is helpful to perform before too much stiffness sets in.

7. Yoga. Stretching and yoga poses are great for releasing deep tension that can build in your muscles during training efforts, while also relaxing your mind.

Learn more about yoga for cyclists

8. A walk in nature, coffee with a friend, reading a good book... Anything that recharges your battery and allows you to mentally relax will help you decompress and be ready for your next ride or training session.

Meet Tessa!

I am a professional cyclist who focuses on gravel racing. Having a post-ride recovery routine is so important for me. I also think it’s really important to listen to your own feelings and, for example, choose recovery foods that you really like. If you strongly beleive in your recovery routine, it will work great for you!

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