Earlier this week I received a question on Facebook asking me about recovery strategy during the crash training block. Thought you’d like to see the discussion, and I’ve added a few lines:
Q. You discuss doing self-massage at the end of the ride. What specifically does that entail and how much time should be devoted to it? I know I need to do that for better recovery from longer rides (and runs as well, I imagine).
A. For the self-massage, I try to do a recovery/flush type massage - gently stroking the muscles from extremities towards the heart. My technique is just based on personal experience from getting massage from someone else. I do try to put pressure on knots I feel, but I'm not as willing to work those out as a massage therapist is.
I typically do this self-leg massage immediately post-shower, if possible, and I use an anti-inflammatory massage oil. I’ve used various crèmes and lotions over the years, but now I typically use arnica massage oil. I currently use a Weleda product, but I'm experimenting with making my own blend.
I try to do this massage after long and/or hard bike rides and runs. I suspect I devote no more than 15 minutes to the task.
Many self-coached athletes do a great job of scheduling workouts and training, but they don’t give enough thought to recovery. Recovery is the only way your body can absorb workout benefits.