After a day of stiff legs, sores and eating my body weight in cookies following my century ride, it was time to free up my quads. My hamstrings and calves were ok, but my quads had set like granite, locked into a constant state of contraction and inflammation.
Clipping in, the first few strokes were easy until the ascent began and rather than attack it I slowly span up the hill, keeping pressure to a minimum. Meeting up with friends, the trails were sodden from the previous days rain. Combined with the low sun, my tyres cut into the soft trails, breaking through areas of ice, whilst I squinted at the narrow singletrack lined with gorse.
A couple of miles in and my legs began to loosen up, my sores having reduced from taking care the past 24 hours. Though I wouldn’t be setting any new PR’s or getting a thorough workout, but the recovery to my century ride a couple of days earlier was immediate.
Often referred to as Active Recovery; movement combined with stretching, elevation, real food and sleep combines to rapidly speed up adaptation and recovery. From stretching muscle fibres and aiding their realignment, to flushing out any remaining free radicals, movement really is part of an effective recovery. Though it may be the last thing that you want to do, it really is worth while investing some time in.
So get out there, have a big session? Get out and have a small walk, run, ride or what ever takes your fancy to help you get back out training sooner.