I was meeting with personal training clients who were asking about how they should eat after a workout to ensure they get the max gains for their work. Then the idea clicked: shouldn’t everybody on Ride The Rockies get these tips? I mean, six days of extreme working out requires that each day we are all at our strongest. These are not rocket science tidbits, but they will serve you well after each day.
Tip one: drink water and rehydrate. The hard and fast rule is that your pee looks like lemonade (light) not Mountain Dew (dark). Also remember to replace electrolytes specifically sodium and potassium by eating something salty, drinking a Gatorade type drink or eating a banana.
Tip two: eat protein and carbs within 30 minutes of finishing. It can be something as quick as a granola bar or a protein drink (or both) but try for about 150-300 calories. Recent studies show that an intake of both helps the muscles repair fast and decreases muscle soreness. Last year I packed my shaker bottle andvprotein first before I worried about my shorts, socks or shower stuff. I rather have had my protein than a tent.
Tip three: get rest. Give yourself time to sleep 7-8 hrs. While it can be restless sleeping in a tent, the day’s work should knock you right out. Sleep allows your body to heal and your hormones to regulate.
Tip four: stretch/ message. Allow your muscles to relax. I wish I would have taken more advantage of the message services last year. Nothing sounds better than a massage after riding all day (except a shower)! If you are too lazy to get a message then stretch right by your rent and things will be okay.
Tip five: ice bath/river time. If only we had a traveling recovery truck in the Ride The Rockies entourage, that would be awesome. But we don’t, so the local rivers will be just as perfect. Enjoy the beauty of each town by relaxing in the freezing rivers. The best way to reduce muscle inflammation and soreness is by standing in the river for 10-15 mins. Plus the relaxing sound of the water flowing by is a personal favorite of mine.
These are things you can do right now and in the future. It is during your rest and recovery phase that physical gains are made so start now and get ready for Ride The Rockies. See you in two weeks for the best week ever!