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  • Writer's pictureJason Ryser

How Cyclists Recover After a Race

Updated: May 18, 2022

It's no surprise that cycling requires lots of energy, and taking time to let cyclists recover after a race is essential.

The avid cyclists understand that recovery is just as vital as training, and if you don't allow your body the opportunity to repair and restore itself, you could be left with more than just achy legs. Overtraining only leads to injury and fatigue, and knowing how and what to do to take care of your body after a race is essential.

Continue reading to learn how you can recover after your next training session or race.

The Importance of Taking Time to Recover After a Race

As previously mentioned, time spent recovering is as important as time spent training. Recovery makes room for the body to heal itself, prepare for the next training session or race, improves performance, and decreases the risk of potential injury. All of this combined allows the opportunity and space for attaining new goals and personal bests.

How Cyclists Recover After a Race

Here are some best practices for recovering after a training session or race:

Before You Stop, Cool Down — You've completed your race — congratulations! But before you stop, make sure to continue spinning to let your body cool down for five to ten minutes. The work doesn't end at the finish line. Your leg's blood vessels have been stretched to the max during your race, and suddenly stopping can leave your blood sitting there like puddles of water. Immediately stopping after your race can make you feel lightheaded and does not allow fresh blood in and the ability to get metabolic waste out.

Walk Around After You're Off Your Bike — If you were to stop moving after your race or training session, you could run the risk of every muscle in your body tightening up, causing you to get stiff and sore. After cooling down on your bike, slowly get off and keep moving. Walking around for five more minutes allows more time for your muscles to contract.

Rehydrate — Dehydration can delay the entire recovery process, so drink up! Water, electrolyte-rich drinks, or chocolate milk are great options.

Repower with ProteinProtein is necessary for muscle repair and recovery, so make sure to eat plenty of it. After your race, enjoy a high-protein snack and later eat a protein-rich meal. Protein shakes are fine, but beef, chicken, fish, or nuts are ideal.

Indulge in a Massage — Getting a massage following a race has many benefits, such as improving circulation, pushing out fluids carrying waste products, breaking up knots, and allows fresh blood to flow through your muscles freely.

Rest — Make sure to allow your body to rest and heal. Recovery is most effective during sleep, so allow yourself to get at least seven hours of sleep for the next few nights.

Recovering After Saints to Sinners

After an exciting race from the beautiful Salt Lake mountains to the inferno that is Las Vegas, it is vital that cyclists recover. Besides, next year's Saints to Sinners race isn't that far away, and training starts now! So don't forget to include recovering in your preparation. Follow Saints to Sinners for more training, preparation, and recovery tips.

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