So, you’ve just completed a big ride, let’s say over 100 miles. You’re over the moon but you’re exhausted. What do you do to recover from those miles and make sure you’re not hurting for the next couple of weeks?
The first thing I tend to do, once I’ve caught my breath, is to grab a recovery shake. Now I didn’t use to bother with these before, mainly because I didn’t like the flavours; my options were either strawberry or banana. No thanks. However, I found one from High5 that’s berry flavoured and it tastes a bit like a thin yoghurt. Quite nice actually.
I like to have one of these after my ride if it’s above 40 miles or so. Just to give my muscles a fighting chance to recover and use that extra protein. I found that it makes the world of difference, and instead of waking up the next day feeling stiff and unable to move properly, my muscles feel reasonable normal. Definitely worth having.
Enjoy A Nice Hot Bath
I don’t know about you, but a nice hot bath never goes amiss after a long ride. Particularly if the weather hasn’t been very nice. There was one ride where the weather was so bad I phoned home to ask my wife to start running a bath so that it was ready for me to jump straight in.
The hot water helps to relax your muscles and warm them through. Add some calming music and maybe a few candles? No? Just me? Ok then. However you like your bath, it’s a really good way to help your body recover from that long ride.
Stretching or performing dedicated cool-down exercises are things that are regularly overlooked. I admit that when I finish a ride, most of the time I’ll just put the bike away and that’s it. But stretching or maybe even just taking the last few miles of a ride easy to allow your body to gradually recover can help massively.
As I said before I have skipped this step many times, however, when I make the effort to spend the few minutes it takes to stretch out my muscles, it makes the world of difference.
I don’t know about you, but when I finish a long ride, even a short ride, I’m hungry. I used to be terrible a few years ago and I would just reach for a chocolate bar to give me a quick boost of energy. Granted that worked fine for the first 5 minutes, but that wasn’t giving my muscles the necessary nutrients they needed to recover. Especially after all of the hard work they’d been doing.
Nowadays, I try and eat food that’s going to help fuel my tired legs and fill me up for more than 5 minutes before I’m raiding the kitchen cupboards for something else to eat.
Lying on the Sofa Watching TV
I mean, by this point I’m knackered. I’ve made my recovery shake, had a bath, eaten some food and done my stretching. Time to just chill out on the sofa, watch a bit of Netflix, maybe with a cheeky pint of cider. I’d say beer but I’m a cider man. Although, this doesn’t happen very often.
What do you do to recover from a big ride?
Until next time.