It’s been 10 or so days since I took part in the 12hr Champs (still haven’t updated their results 😦 ) and I’m pretty sure I’ve recovered. In the week after I did no training and tried to really force recovery as old saying goes you need to recover as hard as you ride.
My recovery has consisted of 20mins of very light intensity turbo for active recovery to get the blood flowing and keep the lymphatic system active, lots of stretching to make sure the muscles don’t get tight as they recover, self massage to try and break down any knots in the muscles and again get the blood flowing, hot showers to widen up the veins, a dip in ‘the tank’ and then finally compression tights for most the day and night. I also prop the legs up on a window sill when there’s a chance and since I’m typing in front of a computer most the day that’s quite often. Lots of things that I hope have helped and are quite easy to do once you get into a habit of doing them. Having said that even if they haven’t helped too much physically mentally it’s good to feel as though I’ve at least tried to help.
I still find it amazing mind that competitors who took part in the full 24hr were competing and training hard just a week after the race! Power to them though and I also appreciated that their engines are simply huge compared to mine having only been back at it for a few months and so no doubt they’ll recover at a much greater rate. For me though after a ultra long race I believe that I haven’t just over-reached, I’ve reached the realms of over-trained and so my muscles are totally shot so over the coming days and weeks I like to imagine the muscles are broken to begin with and then slowly bond themselves back together and so anything intense will break these fragile bonds and I’ll be starting recovery from scratch again. Not really what happens I know but it at least stops me from pushing too hard.
I probably ‘er’ed on the side of too long for recovery rather than too short as in the past I have over-trained a couple of times destroying prospects for races later in the year and for the sake of a few days now rather than a few weeks later I’m more happy to do it.
But yes, currently I do think I’ve recovered as I’m getting a few indicators telling me so. I’m sleeping properly, resting heart rate is pretty low (but is still hard for me to gauge as the second I start to analyse it the fecker shoots up!), once out on the bike I can get my heart rate up pretty easily and I don’t feel the need to push huge gears. All good signs for me. I’m still taking it pretty easy this week though, letting my legs and lungs get used to intensity I want from them before I ramp it up a bit at the weekend.
Hope it all goes to plan.