A Primer on Recovering as an Athlete

This year I’m way faster on the bike that I was last year. I’m not talking a few seconds, I’m talking minutes faster with lower effort on the same hills. Here’s the funnier part, I’m training with less focus this year than I was last year. I’m mainly just riding my bike for fun.

I really attribute my extra speed to recovery. I’m riding less days and being more intentional about the days I take off the bike. I’m also way more intentional about after ride nutrition. So here are a few tips followed by lots of extra reading on the topic of recovery and rest days.

### Tips
– check your resting heart rate every morning at the same time. If it’s 10 beats a minute higher than average for a few days, take extra time off.
– Sleep is so important. If you’re not sleeping right your shortchanging any workout before you’ve even gone out the door.
– Every 3 weeks take the 4th light. Known as periodized training.
– A rest ride/run should be so slow you feel silly. If you’re just starting to run, a walk is probably all you should be doing if even that.
– It’s harder to get most athletes to rest well than train hard. Don’t be that athlete.
– If you’re feeling slow/dead a few days in a row, take a few days off. It takes a week to really start to loose any fitness and it will come back quick.
– Don’t push through injuries. I once pulled a tendon in my finger rock climbing. Then I was an idiot and pushed myself. I couldn’t climb for 6 months. I should have just taken 2 weeks off instead of complaining and being an idiot.

Those are some basic tips. There are more links below, mainly from Joe Friel. If you’re an athlete and not following his blog, subscribe now, and comb through the archives.

### Resources

– [Why Recovery Days][whydays]
– [Cycling360 Podcast on Recovery with Sage Roundtree][pod]
– [How to Recover][howrec]
– [Recovery and Overtraining][recover]

#### Books
– [The Athletes Guide to Recovery][athguidebook]
– [Cyclists Training Bible][trainbib]
– [Triathlete’s Training Bible][tribib] (will have stuff on running)

If there is one thing I could teach athletes starting out, take the right amount of rest no matter the ribbing you may endure.

[tribib]: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1934030198/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=1934030198&linkCode=as2&tag=strugwithfait-20
[trainbib]: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B008HTYM50/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=B008HTYM50&linkCode=as2&tag=strugwithfait-20 “Cyclists Training Bible”
[recover]: http://www.joefrielsblog.com/2012/06/recovery-and-overtraining.html
[howrec]: http://www.joefrielsblog.com/2010/09/how-to-recover.html
[pod]: http://www.cycling360media.com/recovery/
[athguidebook]: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1934030678/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=1934030678&linkCode=as2&tag=strugwithfait-20
[whydays]: http://www.joefrielsblog.com/2012/05/why-recovery-days.html “Why Recovery Days”

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