What's new

Post ride recovery methods?


Speeding Up
Jul 31, 2007
I'm probably the only one to experience this, but I often find that after a day out on the bike my body is a little bit tired. It's rather non-specific but perhaps somewhere in the area between a hangover and a cold. The skin and body are hot from the heat of the sun, in combination with general tiredness and exhaustion. It seems pretty specific to cycling as I've not really had this from other sports and actvities such as hiking, football, squash etc...

I suppose really that it's only natural to feel a little worn down after burning off essentially what is more than two days' calories in 7 or 8 hours, being out in the sun/cold all day, and having an accelerated heart rate over an extended period.

My questions are:

a) Do you also suffer some kind of exhaustion after a ride?
b) Do you have any tried and tested means of recovery?
If I have a hard ride (long ride)... I usually have a restless night's sleep.
Probably due to dehydration. I tend not to drink enough while riding then try to make up for it after the ride. Too late usually.

My thighs often get very hot in bed the night of a long hard ride...
I try and get some carbs in as soon as I finish a ride to replenish the muscles so that my body won't start using the muscles as food.
Besides a bath, lots of water and trying to sleep not much else.
A light ride the next day will often speed up a recovery but it's easy to fall into the trap of, 'I'm too tired to do that, maybe tomorrow.'.

I buy drinks on the way while I'm riding maybe one every 50kms and I often get home to find that my water bottle is still more than half full with whatever I put in there that morning.... I definitely need to drink more...

I guess one of the main reasons to ride is to actually experience that exhaustion...why else would anybody sit on a saddle and ride nowhere in particular just to ride home again at the end of the day. It's the high we get.
Feed me!

a) Do you also suffer some kind of exhaustion after a ride?
b) Do you have any tried and tested means of recovery?

Hey Lee. Good to bring up this issue.

As for question A, yes, I get tired after the really tough rides, but I no longer feel devastated and overly sore the next day.

As for B, I always try to take protein (30g or more) -- in shake or bar form (I'm a veggie) within 30 minutes of the end of each ride. This is said to greatly aid muscle recovery/building.

Also, I try to slam down a bunch of calories (carbs) within 30-40 minutes after finishing a hard ride.

I'd be curious to hear what others have to say.

There are a few things that seem to help, but I think that nearly everyone feels this after putting in a hard day of cycling.

Recovery is definitely key:
1. eat within one hour of returning home, especially be sure to get some form of protein.
2. stretch as soon as possible after returning
3. weigh yourself before you go and weigh yourself after. Try to replace the weight you lost with liquids.
4. take an hour nap if possible and be sure to get a good nights sleep
5. go out for a nice light spinning ride the day after or the second day after and to get the legs moving. Nothing far and nothing tough. This is just to get the legs moving. This will help alleviate stiffness and soreness, and works the lactic acid out of the muscle. It's surprising how well this works for me. You may want to push yourself this day, but don't. Let the body repair itself.
6. ride frequently. This seems to lessen the day after impact of a big ride.

As per muscle soreness and feeling drained after a hard workout. When I was considering getting into running ultra-marathons, especially in the deserts of Southern California, I found the Badwater 135 website to have a lengthy list of information. One of the best items I pulled from reading the various articles was to soak in a bathtub filled with water and ice. I have used this method numerous times after completing marathons and experience very little muscle soreness the next day. Yes, I know there is none of the impact in riding as it is associated with running, but it does help. Of course, a great deep tissue massage never hurts, well it may.

As mentioned ingesting enough calories prior, during and after a hard session is critical for optimal recovery. Here's a couple of articles that may offer some insight:




anyone know where to get a deep tissue massage in Tokyo/Yokohama?
cheers :)
I definitely agree with Danny, that a spin the next day is a very good idea. Just a light one is enough.

Most important is to eat protein within 30 mins after the ride and also to fully hydrate during the ride itself... ( a trip to the hospital with dehydration last year has made me a bit maic about this). I also like to make sure the next day is a non work day so I can have a nap if possible. I really find this sets me up.


1. Hydrate before, during and after the ride.
2. Eat SOON after the ride. (like as soon as it finishes!)
3. Go for a light ride the day after.

I think this is all very good advice, and works for me.

Top Bottom