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Just moments ago as I sat here recovering from the past few days of cycling while trying to rack my brain on an interesting topic to write about . Then a little light turned on, I’ll just write about what I’ve been doing, well not exactly the sitting and thinking bit (that would be a real short blog) but recovery.

Shattered after a long ride!?

We’ve all come back after a good solid ride or stretch of training and had to accept that the body’s crying out for a day off. A day to just recover and refresh.

I’ve tried everything through the years to help the legs and body get back to feeling fresh and ready for the next challenge. Some have been a waste of time but others have surprised me and I’ve stuck with them.

I thought I’d share a few of the recovery processes that have worked wonders for me and that I’d recommend to you good readers.

I’ll start with the obvious one first – a good diet and putting your feet up after a good solid stretch. A good recovery drink such as a protein based shake downed within 20 minutes of getting in the door, followed by a good long stretch works wonders. There are loads of recovery products on the market. It’s usually a trial and error process to see what one works for each person and what one you can stomach. Don’t just look for a full on protein based product either, you need the carbs too and on top of that the carbs help with the absorption of the protein in to the body.

Then it’s time for you to put your feet up, as one of my previous director sportives told me years ago – if you can sit down instead of standing, do, but if you can lie down instead of sitting you’re an idiot if you don’t. It’s simple stuff but worth saying.

A good sports massage is essential now and again. It can cost a bit if you have it regular but you’ll sure to notice the benefits. Usually masseurs advise to take a day off to let things settle. Flushing out all the toxins and knots from the legs feels a treat, maybe not at the time as you wince on the table but defiantly after.

Bowing Massage, a lot of people probably haven’t heard of this. It’s relatively new compared to other types of massage. I first started with this a few years ago and keep returning to it. Usually after a spill on the bike or before I head off for a long stint of racing.

It differs from a normal massage as it tackles not just the muscles but the tendons and ligaments. I wont go into it too much (as I’m no expert on it) but it’s basically resetting the body. It’s not a harsh or painful massage like a deep tissue massage can be. From quizzing my masseuse at the gym I go to (hi Andy at Pride Health and Fitness in Kendal), he said they basically move muscles, tendons and ligaments back into place, resetting the body. It’s a strange feeling afterwards, a sort of high where you feel a few inches taller and more flexible. I find it works wonders if you have problems with joins. I use it as I have a shoulder that was operated on 2 years ago.

Finally a good beer. It’s got carbs and well it sure helps me nod off for a good solid sleep. Just don’t drink too many, or too often, you’ll soon lose that cyclist build and end up with a beer gut. Not a good look in Lycra. The occasional tipple now and again won’t harm you. Switching off is a must and relaxing with a few mates over a beer is defiantly a good way to recover.

What’s your favorite or most successful ways of recovering. Let us know.

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