Six Physio blog

Ride, Recover and Ride Again @Cyclingplus

Sep 17th, 2015 / Nicki Chick

If you’re on a multi-day ride follow these Rapid recovery tips from Stephen Garvey so you can ride day after day
16th September 2015 for Cycling Plus Magazine

When glycogen stores
start to deplete and the
lactic acid starts to build, the
first area this will be noticed
is the lower limbs. A good rub
down will expel the side effects.
A massage needs to focus on the
powerhouse muscles such as the
rectus femoris, hip flexors such
as the psoas and the gluteals.
Particular attention paid to the
semisplenius capitis (upper and
back part of the neck) and erector
spinae (three columns of muscle
extending down the vertebral
column) can ease those aching
anti-gravity muscles.

A muscle is bound by two
fixed points of contact.
Post-ride stretching reduces
the sensitivity of perceived
muscle tightness in the range
a muscle functions. Phil Burt,
lead physio to Team Sky and GB
Cycling Team advises four postride
stretches within an hour
of finishing your ride. They are
the Bulgarian Squat, the Indian
Knot, Modified Hurdler Stretch
and foam rolling the iliotibial
band – ITB (Google ’em). A single
quality 30-second stretch and
60 seconds of foam rolling is
effective in alleviating aches

Switching between hot
and cold water on your
legs can be a simple but effective
way of stimulating musclenourishing
blood flow – but
reconsider braving the ice bath.
New research suggests we should
leave the ice in the freezer and
enjoy a soak in a hot bath for
15-20mins instead. Ice baths
have been shown to reduce the
gains from training as it reduces
the inflammatory process and
muscle soreness, and it has been
proven that these chemical
processes are fundamental in
performance gains.

Once you have finished
a ride, your active recovery
starts straight away. At the
end of a long ride you should
aim for a 10-minute cooldown
cycle on flat terrain
or even on a turbo trainer
working in heart rate zone 1
(for information on heart rate
zones see British Cycling –
Later in the evening you may
even want to try an easy cycle
or go for a walk or run to
encourage the body to remove
metabolic waste products
from your muscles.

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