Training: Maximizing Your Recovery
As you head into the heart of the racing season, you’re body will start to
accumulate fatigue which can influence your performance in negative ways...
By Ainslie MacEachran
Here are few tips for maximizing your recovery from day to day and week to
- GET ADEQUATE REST! This means sleeping
at night AND interspersing your training with appropriate rest days. Too many
days in a row of intensive training will break you down. Be sure to listen to
your body and take days off or easy intermittently.
Poor sleep quality will harm your bodies ability to restore itself. Make sure
to avoid caffeine and alcohol before bed, as well as stimulating activities
such as television or exercise. Establishing a ritual behavior before bed will
help to induce sleep too. Reading or a bath or shower will signal your body
its time to start relaxing into sleep mode.
- Nutritional support. I have found that
as I get older, if I put garbage in (fast food, fried foods, booze, etc) I get
garbage out in terms of performance. So try to dial in your diet. If nothing
else, try to have at least a basic awareness of what you should be putting
into your body and what you’re actually putting into your body.
Keep a three day food log (including one weekend day since people tend to
relax the nutrition on the weekend) once a month and then review it. You’ll
surprise yourself with what you’re actually eating. Periodically consulting a
nutritionist has a lot of benefit too
- Be proactive with stressors in your
life. Proactive behaviour is less stressful than Reactive behaviour. Suddenly
realizing you forgot a work commitment or having a task hanging over your can
distract you from quality training.
Plan ahead for training, eating, racing, work, travel and any schedule
you might have.
- Supplementation. You don’t need a huge
variety of exotic supplements. It is recommended that athletes take a good
multivitamin and quality post workout recovery solution.
Research shows that a recovery solution with a 4-1 carbs to protein ratio acts
to maximize recovery at the cellular level and aid with muscle building and
Remember your “magic” 30 minute and 2 hour time windows after training
- Take food on rides longer than an hour to 90 minutes. Keep your muscles
topped off with fuels. Hydration is also extremely important. Drink before
you’re thirsty, not when you become thirsty. It’s a timeless piece of advice.
Having a mouth like a desert and cramping thighs can be pretty
disctracting.Think 3 mouthfuls of water approximately every 15 minutes.
If your race is over 40 minutes, use an electrolyte solution in your bottle.
Ainslie MacEachran is a USA Cycling level 2 coach and an AAAI/ISMA certified
He is the owner and head coach of
www.geminitrainingsystems.com. If you’d like more info on how to recover
better during your race season he can be reached through the website.
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