Efficient Use Of Recovery Time
Written by BJ Bashim
Cycling is all about efficiency. It is easy to find stuff we can buy for our bikes that are supposed to make them faster, but the benefits of an efficient training schedule far outweigh any gains that a new set of wheels or carbon bars can provide. A well thought out training plan involves the 2 main components required to improve performance: Overload and Recovery. Your coach can give you specific workouts and there are several tools such as power meters and software to provide you with the most efficient means of getting the right amount of overload, but it is really up to you to make sure you make the most efficient use of the time provided for recovery. It is important to remember that just because you are not on the bike or in the gym, that doesn’t mean you are getting the rest you need to recover from the overload of your last training session.
So what can you do to make the most efficient use of the recovery time built into you training plan. The first step is to look at all the activities that your day-to-day life might affect your ability to recover. For most of us, this includes going to work and taking care of our houses and families. Then think about what you can do to make the most efficient use of the time you have each day. Could you change your work schedule so that you are not sitting in rush hour traffic each day? Could you work from home? What activities around the house can you change to make more efficient use of your time? Are there elements that add to the level of stress in your life? What can you do to reduce the level of stress?
Cyclists love to have the latest equipment, but once your bike is setup to be a safe, and a reasonable weight, a lot of thought should go into the next component you buy with the idea that it will make “it” faster. Remember that without the rider, the bike just leans against the wall not going anywhere. You should think about if your money could be better spent in someway to make “you” faster. In cycling, it is possible to buy speed, but most cyclists do not realize that the bike shop is not the only place they should be shopping. I like to say that a lawn tractor would have a much greater affect on my racing career than a 15 lb bike ever could.
Remember that there are two parts to the training formula and that recovery is just as important as overload. Try to find ways to make your recovery time as efficient as possible so you are rested and ready for your next workout.