Effective recovery is probably one of the most neglected areas of anyone's training programme. It's easy to get wrapped up in training, clocking up miles and muscle conditioning workouts, but it'll all be for nothing without proper recovery.
After any ride or training session where your muscles have been exerted, it's important to allow your body (and mind) the time to rest. It's during this period that your muscles are able to repair and strengthen, so it's no wonder why it's important for your pedalling progression.
We've teamed up with Vifit Sport to take a look at ways in which to boost your recovery so you can get the most out of your training. If you want the chance to kick start your recovery, read on to find out how you can win yourself a Vifit Sport Recovery bundle but first, here are five ways to get you off to a flying start with recovery...
Boost your protein intake
Protein is essential for building muscle and it plays a vital role in both recovery and weight loss - which you can read more about here.
It's best to consume protein straight after a workout as this is when your body is in deficit and will begin to break down body tissue. Protein provides the building blocks for your muscles to grow and process the exertion you just put them through.
Vifit Sport offers a wide range of protein supplements which help speed up the recovery process. Each serving of a Vifit Sport product, whether it’s a bar, shake or drink contains 20g of milk-based protein, as well as vitamin D, potassium and magnesium. The range includes a whole host of flavours, all naturally sourced and with no artificial colourings or preservatives.
It's important to ease yourself into and out of a workout. Taking your body from the extreme of rest to workout and back again can lead to injury.
After a workout, especially a high-intensity one, your muscles are in a catabolic state (where they start to break down for energy) but are also flooded with all the waste products of your effort, including lactic acid and carbon dioxide.
In order to help move these waste products along, you need to stimulate blood flow and to do this, a gentle spin usually does the trick.
Massages after a workout or ride are becoming increasingly popular as you're literally forcing the waste product away from your muscles.
If you don't have access to a masseuse or partner to help our your weary limbs, then a foam roller can work just as well.
Stretching seems like a no-brainer, but you'd be surprised at how many cyclists neglect this important part of a workout.
After exercising, your muscles naturally tighten up. It's important to stretch after a workout to maintain flexibility and maintain your riding position on the bike.
Mmm sleeping. Being tucked up cosy in bed for a solid 8 hours is the dream, but we know life can get in the way and disrupt this ideology.
Sleeping isn't only the time to recharge your body and mind, but it's when your muscles do all the magical work of implementing your training, repairing and rebuilding.
It goes without saying that effective recovery is important for the repair and growth of your muscles. It's like Vifit Sport’s ethos, “Ride, Recover, Repeat".