Recovery for Cyclists: Why Rest Days are Essential
Updated: May 18
There is no doubt that exercise can be addictive, but recovery for cyclists is an essential part of the sport that cannot be overlooked or skipped.
Whether you’re training for a relay race or using it to improve your health, cycling becomes a part of their everyday routine for many cyclists. They begin to crave the rush of endorphins that are released during exercise. However, taking time to rest the body and the muscles used is just as, if not more important, than the training days themselves. Giving your body time to heal and recover is crucial since you’ll become stronger in the long run because of it.
Continue reading to learn the importance of not overtraining below.
Why Recovery for Cyclists is Essential
Regular and consistent training puts loads of stress on your body and breaks down your muscles. If you do not give your body enough time to heal throughout the week, you are only harming yourself. A good balance of training and resting is necessary to become stronger than before. When you allow your body the time it needs to repair itself, you’ll find that you can ride longer, harder, faster, and more powerfully.
Without enough recovery days, you’re likely to experience burnout, a loss of energy, and lack of motivation. Schedule yourself rest days, and actually take them! It is just as important as time on the saddle.
How Many Rest Days are Needed
The number of required recovery days will look different for each cyclist — you’ll need to learn specifically what your body needs. However, generally speaking, athletes should set aside at least one day each week to rest. Of course, that doesn’t mean that that day needs to be spent in bed or on the couch. All it means is that you give your body time to heal and get ready for the following workout days.
Ways Cyclists Can Recover
Here are a few things you can do to help your body recover after a week full of cycling:
Give Your Body the Right Fuel — In addition to giving your body enough carbs to replace glycogen stores from training, you’ll want to make sure you get enough protein and the necessary vitamins and minerals to fuel your body. Moreover, every ride should end with plenty of water and a drink to aid in recovery.
Get Enough Sleep — Sleep is an essential component of your health, regardless of whether you cycle or not. But it is especially important when you’re regularly exercising. Sleeping is when your body undergoes protein syntheses — the process that makes your muscles stronger. Aim for eight hours every night, though getting a little more during this time won’t hurt.
Stretch It Out — To help prevent injury, take some time to stretch and roll out your muscles on your rest days. Focus on muscles that are shortened by your riding posture, such as your hamstrings.
Gear Up for the Saints to Sinners Bike Relay Race
Recovery for cyclists is essential, especially when training for the Saints to Sinners Bike Relay Race.
Enjoy the ride from the beautiful mountains of Salt Lake City down to the infernal heat of Las Vegas. For 13 years, this exciting and challenging relay race has helped those fighting ALS, and we want to include you! Grab your loved ones, co-workers, clients, neighbors, and more, and sign up for this summer’s race today! Contact us to learn more.