You just completed the Star City Gran Fondo – Time to celebrate!
Wait just a minutes …. While you should certainly celebrate your success, be sure to remember these tips for a solid post-ride recovery.
- Stretch– Spend 10 to 15 minutes after the ride to stretch your hamstrings, quadriceps, groin and calves. You should also do stretches that release tightness in your neck and shoulder muscles.
- Change Clothes– You’ve spent hours sweating in your cycling gear – eew! For sanitary and comfort reasons, change into clean, dry clothes. A quick sponge bath or sanitary wipes can help you get the “funk” off. And, please, be discrete and duck into the bathroom. After all, this isn’t a peep show.
- Re-hydrate & Re-fuel– Your body needs electrolytes, carbohydrates and proteins for muscle recovery after the big ride. What it doesn’t need are sugars and fats. So be smart and resist the urge to gulp down a couple of sodas and graze on thousands of calories. Instead, after the ride, drink some chocolate milk, a sports drink or water. Eat an energy bar, a handful of nuts or a slice of pizza. Oh, okay, maybe an ice cream…
- Massage– Utilize a foam roller or massage (if accessible). Deep tissue massages help relieve muscle soreness, promote muscle repair and growth, and reduces inflammation. If you perform a self-massage, be sure to focus on the quadriceps, hamstring and calf muscles.
- Pat Yourself on the Back– Hey, you just finished Star City Gran Fondo, enjoy GoFest and the other events this weekend. Go ahead and plan your next cycling event!
For dinner, don’t overdo it. Just because you spent multiple hours pedaling and sweating, doesn’t mean you should inhale an entire pizza or order the entire right-side of the menu. Eat a sensible meal that includes proteins and load up on antioxidant-rich veggies.
Also, keep your muscles moving and take a short walk. This will help to relieve musce tightness and increase blood flow.