I just completed my first long distance cycling event, the Tour de Tonka in Minnetonka, Minnesota! This is a big cycling event in the area that attracts thousands of cyclists. It’s a nice event, too, because you can choose your distance from 16 to 100 miles. No matter what level you are at, you can participate and have a great time. I did 71 miles, which I definitely was feeling it afterwards. Here are some of my tips for recovery after cycling a long distance.
tips for Recovery After cycling
- Most important for recovery: Nutrition and rest!! These are the staples for proper recovery after any intense training or sports event.
- “Window of opportunity”: Within the first 30 minutes of completing a long training session or endurance event, try to take in 0.8 gm/kg of carbohydrate, as well as 0.2 gm/kg of protein. Adding some caffeine has been shown to help with glycogen store repletion as well. However, if you’re not able to tolerate that much intake at once, spreading it out over one to three hours, eating in 15 minute intervals, works too.
- Then, one to three hours later, eat a regular whole foods meal with a mix of protein, carbs, and some healthy fats.
- For hydration, it is helpful to weigh yourself before and immediately after a long or hard training session. For each one pound of weight lost during the exercise, you should drink an additional 16 to 20 ounces of fluids. Also, listening to your thirst signals and ensuring clear-colored urine are important.
- Sleep: Most adults require between 7 to 9 hours a night. However, athletes may require up to 10 hours a night. Napping, especially after a very long or tough training session, may be needed. Ensuring adequate, quality sleep is imperative for both physical and mental recovery.
- Massage, pneumatic compression devices, and electric stimulation may be beneficial for muscle recovery, especially for muscle soreness.
My Personal Post-Race Recovery
I myself loved the 88 Acres bars we had at the race! Plant-based, nut free, with moderate amount of sugar, and absolutely delicious! I’d definitely recommend 88 Acres bars. I ate these at the rest stops. I also ate Kind Bars, Nature Valley Granola Bars, lots of fresh fruit, as well as Kirkland Cashew Clusters at the rest stops – all delicious!
Afterwards, I treated myself to dinner at the local pub (Brindisi’s Pub next to the Chanhassen Dinner Theater) with hummus appetizer, veggie vegan cauliflower crust pizza, and wine (hey, I deserved a glass or two). The next day we had an “active rest day” and my husband, Ed, and I got post-ride massages at Elements Massage. I highly recommend massage for those day-after sore muscles!
Those are just a few of my tips for recovery after cycling. I had such a great time participating in the Tour de Tonka and look forward to more cycling events in the future!
Now I would love to hear your tips for recovery after a long bike ride. Also, if you have any other cycling race recommendations, please let me know!