Some athletes have a tendency to focus all your attention on workouts, under the motto of training harder and harder, and that's fine, but a mistake is often made that can lead to performance stagnation and even injuries.
This mistake, all too common, is not paying attention to a part of the preparation as important as the training itself: muscle recovery.
There are many cycling recovery techniques to later be able to increase our sports performance.
During the recovery stage, what the body does is rebuild muscle fibers. To fully understand how recovery works after a workout, we will delve into these two concepts: the post-workout and the metabolic window.
The post-training is a crucial part of our sports development And despite what you may believe, it's not just about the days after a competition or training, that goes, the post-training, very widespread in professional cycling, begins right after they finish.
To understand how well the post workout muscle recovery we have to familiarize ourselves with the concept of metabolic window after training. This window is the recovery period in which our body is more predisposed to the assimilation of nutrients.
During training the muscle fibers are broken and there is destruction of muscle protein. Our body will then seek to replace this destruction and it is in this period - which usually lasts about two hours - when the assimilation of nutrients is most effective. That is why during this assimilation phase we must give our body proteins, carbohydrates and mineral salts so that muscle reconstruction begins.
Recovery bars, or “recovery shakes” (recovery shakes) so fashionable lately, they will be of great help to us because they contain quickly assimilated nutrients.
A recovery technique easy to carry out, which will increase our relaxation and will greatly contribute to increasing performance.
Applying this technique is as easy as taking a relaxing hot water bath to vasodilate your veins and arteries, to immediately apply cold and thus cause vasoconstriction of the circulatory system. In this way we favor the elasticity of the muscle and also its regeneration.
The contrasts of water are also very good for recovery from injuries.
Other recovery technique that is fashionable is he "active recovery”. Active recovery is a recovery phase in which we will exercise in short, low-intensity days. The goal is to promote muscle activation with low-intensity exercises and work at our optimal cadence, which should be between 90-100 rpm. With this high cadence we avoid overloading the muscles, which will allow us a good muscle recovery.
Have you ever heard the expression take a step back to gain momentum? Well, the concept of decreasing weeks is a bit like that. Is about insert weeks in our training plan in which we do it at low intensity. In this way, the muscles will work in a relaxed way and eliminate lactic acid, to later demand them to the maximum and enhance their development for the competition.
Sometimes we think that everything is training to improve and this is a serious mistake. While training is the cornerstone of any sport, nutrition is another key factor.
Post-workout nutrition is essential, with a balanced dose of carbohydrates and proteins. To eat a diet consistent with training, you must not neglect any of these nutrients and have a good nutritional level.
Essential after each training. Proteins help create muscle fibers. If you're looking for a speedy recovery, you won't find it here, protein intake is a cross-country run, not a sprint.
They are very important in reducing oxidative stress, which helps reduce muscle soreness after demanding workouts. These are recommended for quick recoveries.
We already talked about the importance of these nutrients in a previous paragraph. They are critical to our recovery. Especially important in the metabolic window phase.
During the effort the body suffers from great dehydration. Is fundamental at the end of a competition or training To return to optimal hydration levels. Isotonic drinks or rehydrating powders will help us without a doubt.
And effective recovery method, cheap and simple. Compression stockings are a perfect ally for muscle recovery. Wearing them for an hour a day will improve circulation and blood flow, reduce fatigue and heavy legs, and promote muscle oxygenation.
Surely if you follow sports competitions you have heard professional athletes talk about their masseuse. And it is that sports massages are highly recommended for muscle recovery, eliminates toxins generated by training, keep muscles elastic avoiding shortening, undo typical contractures and thanks to all this prevent injuries.
Our recommendation is to have a massage at least once a month and if possible by a physiotherapist. If your budget or your availability are not enough for it, you can always resort to self-massage, yes, in the case of self-massage make sure you do it carefully and try to get some basic knowledge to avoid touching where or how you shouldn't and convert a benefit in a possible problem.
Never underestimate this method of recovery. It is much more effective than it seems and its execution is so simple that you can do it while watching your favorite television program.
It is simply about lying down and putting a pillow or cushion under our legs so that they are slightly raised and keep them that way for a while. This, which may seem silly to some, has a great impact on our recovery since it favors venous return and relieves the feeling of heavy legs. Some athletes even sleep with their legs bent to recover.
Of all the methods that we have seen, this is possibly the least frequent in amateur environments, but it is one of the most talked about and has some faster muscle recovery results; a machine professional presotherapy.
The famous pressotherapy machine It is neither more nor less than boots, shorts or pants, depending on what you are looking for, with air chambers that generate pressure to achieve a vasoconstrictor effect. It has a very powerful effect on muscle recovery and in a short space of time it improves blood circulation, improves oxygenation and tone and leaves your legs like "new".
And very effective and easy to execute recovery method, but it requires certain equipment -simple and cheap-. The necessary equipment ranges from a small tennis ball as a very basic item to massage rollers with grooves and irregular surfaces.
Basically what we do with these elements is a self-massage that we can combine at the same time with stretching. The objective is to exert pressure on the muscles to relax them and relieve muscle tension.
Myofascial release has many recuperative benefits such as tone reduction, improvement of venous return, elimination of contractures, etc.
This method is a favorite of many cyclists. both amateur and professional cyclists.
Although at first glance the name may sound like a complex method, nothing is further from the truth, in fact, it is very simple to apply. Because the cold has an anti-inflammatory effect, all we have to do is take a cold water bath -or contrast, with hot and cold water-. This cold water bath will close our capillaries, which is known as vasoconstriction, and then open them again: vasodilation. This method is very effective and provides a great feeling of recovery.
And sophisticated method, but that still can be applied even at home. That's right, there are currently electrostimulation devices within the reach of all budgets and easy to handle.
All electrostimulation devices have several specific recovery programs after training. All we have to do is connect the electrodes, choose the appropriate program and let the device work.
The objectives of this recovery method are very varied, but focus primarily on increasing blood flow to the muscle, in turn increasing the flow of nutrients and thus regenerating muscle fibers damaged by the effect of training.