With the great weather we’ve been having in Golden, Colorado, it’s hard to keep yourself off the bike! Do you find yourself overtraining? Riding too many long miles? Or simply, skimping on your regular self care? How do you know if you’re pushing the limits too far? Are you recovering enough?
Now that the temperature is getting warmer, the days are growing longer, and the weather is improving, Colorado cyclists are beckoned to ride their bikes. While some may have trained through the winter months, many have not. And the alluring call of gorgeous spring days lures many unprepared cyclist to ride too hard, too fast which can lead to injuries. Whether you are planning to ride a century, multi-day rides, race or aspire to longer or more frequent rides in 2018, monitoring your early season training sets the stage for a successful year ahead.
Recently, we wrote about Optimizing Your Spring Training and suggested training right, getting a bike fit, dialing in your bike parts and cycling accessories, and also, performing regular bike inspections. Yet, there are two other relevant factors that play a role in optimizing your spring training. That is – recovery and sleep. Whether recovering from a hard training effort or as part of your training cycle, there are quite a few actions you can take to facilitate quicker adaptations beginning with your ride style.
At the completion of your ride, be mindful to cool down appropriately. Spin your legs out and get your heart rate down. Immediately following your ride, Carrie McCusker, an endurance coach, recommends to “restore fluid and electrolyte balance, to replenish muscle and liver glycogen stores, and to stimulate protein synthesis. You can accomplish this by consuming carbohydrates, protein and fluids within thirty to sixty minutes of finishing your workout. Based on research data, athletes are encouraged to utilize this “glycogen window” to restore the muscles. It is particularly important for glycogen-depleting workouts, those that are longer than two hours or those with high intensity efforts, or if the day involves two or three workouts.”
At Peak Cycles Bicycle Shop, a favorite nutritional product available for recovery post ride is PhysioPhyx. Here’s what we like about this product. PhysioPhyx LPR takes recovery nutrition to a new level of support and performance by delivering a powerful, evidence-based blend of Carbohydrates + Protein + Leucine. This potent combination of nutrients has been precisely formulated to help ensure you rapidly and effectively restore muscle energy (glycogen), minimize muscle soreness, stimulate muscle repair and speed training adaptations after moderate, intense and exhaustive exercise or competition. In fact, recent studies have shown the nutrient trio of Carbs + Protein + Leucine taken after exercise creates an absolute ideal environment for your body to quickly go into recovery overdrive.
Included in the recovery process is quality sleep. According to the post, This Is Your Body On Sleep, reduced sleep negatively impacts your HGH production, and your body’s ability to restore its muscle glycogen supply. Ensure you are going quality of sleep by using the Sleep Cycle App. This cool app analyzing users’ sleep patterns and displays data showing how well (or poorly) you slept during the night. You might also add rolling or massage, stretching, compression, and low intensity activity to aid in getting a better night’s sleep. Many cyclist sleep in compression garments because they claim that it lowers perceived muscle soreness the day after a big day on the bike and they can reduce the swelling of legs after prolonged sitting.
Finally, put your mind at ease. As mentioned, sometimes cyclist train harder in the spring thinking they are behind on training. The combination of perceived effort versus actual effort can be inaccurate. This false bio feedback can cause a cyclist to push too hard. With that said, we suggest taking the subjective aspect out of your cycling performance evaluation. We have cycling accessories to help you get precise bio feedback to remove the guess work out of your training – specifically power meters and /or heart rate monitors. Our post, The Best Training Aids to Launch into Spring Cycling, dives into the benefits of training with power.
So, take your time. Ease into spring. Enjoy quality training now that paves the way for a long, healthy, and enjoyable cycling season.