RECOVER TIPS

by Ntando Mahlangu

My Top Recovery Tips

Recovery is an essential aspect of performance, superior training and staying injury free. However, the time off between workouts isn’t the only thing to consider.

Recovery starts with the cool down after a tough workout. This is known as active recovery and the focus is to reduce breathing rate, heart rate and core body temperature to pre-workout levels. The easy ride after the workout is also important for removing unwanted metabolic byproducts from the muscles such as lactate and reducing muscle stiffness. After a hard effort, ride for 10 to 20 minutes at around 65 to 70 per cent of your maximum heart rate.

Proper nutrition during recovery is crucial. Protein is required to rebuild muscle tissue and to supply the building blocks for various tissues, enzymes, hormones and the oxygen carrying protein, hemoglobin. Carbohydrates, meanwhile, are muscles’ major source of energy. This makes them essential in refuelling the body’s glycogen stores. It’s important to consume a post workout snack or shake within 30 to 60 minutes and then a well-balanced meal about two hours after the workout.

Another form of active recovery, easier rides are important on days between hard workouts because they help bring blood and fresh nutrients to the muscles and remove waste products accumulated from the hard effort. Perform recovery rides at 65 to 70 per cent of your maximum heart rate.