Overtraining? How Nutrition and Sleep Play a Role in Recovery 

July 14, 2016

PhysioPhyx LPR available at BikeParts.comWith 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? 

First off, it’s important to note that during the summer months it is easy to get swept away in the joys of riding. The temps are great – the trails are great- riding a new mountain bike or road bike is great! All in all, riding in general is just plain amazing.  But, with all the bike riding accompanies fatigue and over doing it.  In fact, there are three stages of overtraining.  Each stage is defined by certain levels of fatigue and recovery time.  But in a nutshell, there are common symptoms cyclists can experience when they overtrain.

  • get a washed-out feeling
  • feel tired
  • get grumpy and experience sudden mood swings
  • become irrational
  • feel a lack of energy for other activities
  • suffer from depression
  • have a decreased appetite
  • get headaches
  • get an increased incidence of injuries
  • have trouble sleeping
  • feel a loss of enthusiasm for the sport
  • experience a sudden drop in performance

Yikes! That doesn’t sound fun – especially when the mountain bike trails and fun adventure road rides are beckoning.  What can you do about it? Consider the tools at your disposal to aid in recovery.

Nutrition Options: A favorite nutritional product available 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.  Who doesn’t like “overdrive”?!  Speaking of overdrive – you may enjoy reading more on the subject of nutrition and recovery in these post: 

Sleep: 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. 

Ultimately, the best way to identify if you are over training is by listening to your body. If you can’t keep yourself from riding, then maybe try the distraction technique! Distract yourself from the trails and road rides with some bike bling!  Swap a training ride for a visit to Peak Cycles Bicycle Shop.  Check out the new bike parts we have in stock. Try on some of the new Specialized  Merino wool jerseys  that offer evaporative  cooling. Explore new tire or wheel options.  The possibilities are limitless.  And, once you have that spark back in your legs, you’ll enjoy your riding even more!

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Summer Bike Commuting – Making it Work For You

June 9, 2016
New Specialized Merino wool jerseys SL & RBX - Keeps you warm if you are cool - Keeps you cool if it’s warm outside - Evaporative cooling

New Specialized Merino wool jerseys SL & RBX
– Keeps you warm if you are cool
– Keeps you cool if it’s warm outside – evaporative cooling

Studies suggest bike commuting is one of the best ways to stay healthy.  

Fortunately, the number of bicyclists is growing rapidly from coast to coast. The National Household Travel Survey showed that the number of trips made by bicycle in the U.S. more than doubled from 1.7 billion in 2001 to 4 billion in 2009.  That’s great news!  

But as the Summer months beckon with warmer temperatures, is there a way to getting around safely, happily, and efficiently on two wheels?  The heat discourages many from hopping on the bike to ride to work or to run errands.  Yet, bike commuting improves fitness, health, saves money, and also benefits the environment by keeping one less car on the road.  If you aren’t a bike commuter now, maybe this Summer you will be.  And, if you already bike commute, perhaps you plan to commute by bike more frequently.

To get the most out of your bike commute it’s best to plan a good route. Knowing a clear path to your destination avoids the frustration of getting lost while also prevents overheating and sweating unnecessarily.  Learn how to pick a route you like. Google maps for cycling is a good option. If you are new to bike commuting, you will want to give yourself more time than you need.  This allows for a pressure free experience. 

Invest in commute specific cycling apparel.  Consider wearing clothing that is comfortable for your ride, as well as, your planned daily activity. Good options for men include the new Specialized Merino wool jerseys. They keep you warm if you are cool and cool if you are warm outside with evaporative cooling.  We  have a woman’s option too!  Casual women’s shirts  with short and long sleeved in Marino wool are great to wear for cool morning rides into the office or running errands on the bike.  

Aside from clothing options, a few necessary cycling accessories to have on hand include a good helmet; a repair or maintenance tool kit; a lock; and a way to carry things. This could be as simple as a messenger bag or as elaborate as a set of touring panniers.  These are the basic necessities needed to secure your road or mountain bike while you’re away at work or running errands.  Depending on your final destination, you may consider packing a “clean up kit” to freshen up after your ride.  Your clean up kit can be as simple as having some baby wipes, deodorant, a comb, face wash and sunscreen.  

A critical factor in bike commuting is having fun.  Fun includes enjoying the adventure, as well as, feeling confident in riding the bike paths and the roads.   If you are new to bike commuting and unfamiliar with the rules of riding on the road, register for our Bike Safety Class on June 16th. This is a great opportunity to get caught up on bike safety and the current rules of the road in Colorado.  Learn what the laws are for cyclists; how you legally and appropriately ride on public roads; what the rules are for turning, stopping, passing; your rights and obligations; become educated on bike safety, commuting and much, much more!  And…it gets even better! On the night of the event, Peak Cycles will be offering a 15% discount for all items, including bikes.  Keep in mind, discount excludes already discounted bikes and items. 

Embrace bike commuting this summer!  Make it an epic summer and set personal goals for the miles you want to ride this season.