Between riders riding and racing every weekend, a frequent question is how to recover properly. If you have followed me for any period of time, you know that I am an advocate for one day of rest per week and to pull back the overall volume and intensity every six weeks to allow your body to rejuvenate both mentally and physically (at a blood chemistry level). What does that look like?
1. Rest Means Rest: this is not the day to go to a theme park,run errands that have you outside and in the heat and humidity, etc. Anything that is stressful on your body should be avoided. Note doing a sport specific event “easy” is not the idea of a rest day. Instead schedule a massage, read a book, go to a movie or go to lunch with an old friend.
2. Take a Nap: when your body gets into REM (rapid eye movement) level 3, it releases hGH (human growth hormone) which make you both lean and facilitates recovery. Make the room dark and cold, eat a quality snack and consume 5-8 ounces of cold water prior to lying down.
3. Contrast Therapy: the goal here is to expose the muscle tissue to the largest temperature deviation that you can tolerate; the bigger the temperature spread between hot and cold the better. If you complete in the shower, strive for 2 minutes hot – 30 seconds cold. If you utilize a bath, strive for 4 minutes hot, 1 minute cold). Repeat 2 to 4 times.
4. Loosen your muscles up: go for a therapeutic massage or take a yoga class the night prior to your rest day. Spend 20 minutes both in the morning and the evening foam rolling and working on trigger points.
Gotta' slow down sometimes to go fast!
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Coach Robb Beams
Complete Racing Solutions