Eat Prior to Working Out
Eat soon before you head out and you could be plagued with G.I. (gastro-intestinal) issues. But if your last snack or meal was hours ago, you could run out of energy. The goal is to time your meals & snacks to provide a stabilized blood sugar level throughout your riding session or cross training work out. Accomplish this by eating every 2 hours after you wake up in the morning
Allow 2 hours after eating a complete meal before exercising – this allows for complete absorption and proper purging avoiding cramping. If you are tight on time, consume 8-10 ounces of Energy Fuel to provide your brain and muscles the easily absorbable carbohydrates and electrolytes necessary for optimum performance.
Use a foam roller before your pre-ride or work out stretching. The direct pressure helps vasodilate (open up) the tissue bringing fresh blood to the muscles about to be used. When you foam roll prior to stretching, you will reduce the activation of the Stretch Reflex, reducing your risk of a pulled muscle.
Chronic aches and pains like Achilles tendinitis, planter fascia, etc. benefit from direct pressure before exercise because it increases blood flow & muscle elasticity. Riding & cross training is more productive when tender/sore spots are warm. Start by rolling with a tennis ball move to a lacrosse ball then manual massage then sport specific exercise.
There are three physiological benefits to an effective warm up. First, your warm up is an activity that allows the body to transition from inactivity to activity and to distribute the blood flow into the extremities. This distribution of blood warms up the muscles, tendons, cartilage and ligaments avoiding any cramping or tearing.
Immediately after a riding or cross training session, your muscles and liver are looking for simple sugar to replenish your storage levels for the next workout. Your window of opportunity is 20-30 minutes after you finish because of an enzyme (glycogen synthase) that is at its highest activity level immediately following exercise. By consuming real food that is easily digestible is the key to optimum replenishment and recovery.
Ice your pain
When to apply ice depends on the injury. If the pain is chronic, here's the best post workout sequence; foam roll, static stretch, ice. But for acute pain (less than 72 hours since incident), skip foam rolling & stretching and ice immediately. The quicker you ice, the faster you slow down inflammation. Do a 5 minute on-off cycle as much as possible during the first 72 hours after injury.
NOTE: Refrain from applying heat to the aggravated/injured for the first 72 hours – this will only increase the inflammation process.
Yours in health and sport,