Tuesday, June 21, 2011

The Importance of Recovery

The most important aspect to riding and racing success is hard training. The second most important aspect to riding and racing success is recovery; for you can’t ride hard, unless you are rested and ready to do so.  For me, a recovery ride 1-2 times a week is crucial.  In general, recovery rides promote blood flow which helps decrease inflammation, remove waste products, and loosen stiff, sore muscles.
                For a recovery ride to be productive it has to be an easy, mellow, short ride.  If you ride any harder than “recovery pace” you are putting a training stress on your body instead of recovering.
Fortunately and unfortunately, I live in the mountains of Colorado at 8,000.  The training is amazing; altitude, mountains, low traffic roads, etc.  Unfortunately, every road either goes up or down. A proper recovery ride at 8,000ft while climbing is not ideal.
A recovery ride at home is where my Kinetic by Kurt Road Machine comes in.  When I need an easy, mellow, high cadence, recovery ride at home, I’ll get on the trainer and “spin out” my legs.  In 30-45 minutes I feel loose and “clean” because my body has gotten rid of the extra junk left in my legs after the previous day’s workout or race.  I keep the pace mellow (<140 watts) and every 3-5 minutes alternate spinning my legs at high cadence (<120 rpm) with more of a moderate cadence (90-100 rpm). 
I make sure to drink a lot of water (2 bottles) as it can get pretty warm in the summer time on the trainer and I sweat a lot.  I follow this workout with stretching and more water.  The rest of the day, I put my feet up and by tomorrow I am ready to “Rock n Roll”.

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