Recovery Tips to Feel Your Best For Every Ride
igning up for the Turn It Up challenge is the first step — check! Committing to yourself and riding it out at SOUL is step two — check! But the third and most important step is also the most overlooked: Recovery. Taking time to recover is an essential part of your Turn It Up journey, it will make sure you’re physically and mentally on your game each and every ride.
“Everyone knows what it feels like to have a truly great ride — you know that one that just feels awesome, like you can do anything. That should happen every class, and it can be achieved by properly taking care of the body,” explains instructor Elle Cascino. Elle knows the importance of taking time to recover… she teaches upward of 21 classes per week. “If I don't take care of myself, my body, mind included, how I show up for my riders will be compromised and my top priority is always my riders.
“Recovery work is crucial to make sure you don't lock up from muscle soreness and inflammation. That physical feeling not only prevents us from working at full capacity, but also creates a mental wall and takes away from the enjoyment from our work on the bike,” explains instructor Brent Locey, who teaches about 17 classes a week.
“Recovery has given me longevity, body awareness, and inspiration. Sleep, rest, hydration, stretching, yoga, meditation... you can design your recovery to fit your needs," explains Lindsey Simcik who teaches about 13 classes a week. "The mental rest is just as important as the physical! Your recovery is essential in maintaining the added intensity the Turn It Up challenge asks of you."
“I've been trying to stress to riders, and even myself, that we all should consider recovery work as an equal, if not the most important part of our workouts because it is the part that prevents injuries and keeps us fresh so we can continue to push ourselves to more change,” Brent adds.
So in order to get it, push it and crush it, you need to also need to rest, fuel and recover. Here’s how busy SOUL instructors make recovery a part of their routine.
1. Create a FRR plan. “You have to make sure you get proper fuel, rest and recovery time to prevent injury. Once you have set your Turn It Up goal, you have to take all the right steps to maintain to reach that goal by the end of the 30 days.” – Ashley Godby
2. Get your stretch on. “Many recovery options can seem expensive, but the best place for riders to start with recovery work is bodyweight-only stretching at home or at the gym.” Start with this relaxing move. – Brent
3. Tune in. “The most important thing is to listen to your body. If it's tired, get some sleep. If it's hungry, go eat.” – Elle
4. Create a 24/7 cycle. “Recovery is just as important as prep, make sure you take in enough the day before, day of and after to ensure a proper week over week level of efficiency.” – Elle
5. Make a new friend. Muscles meet foam roller, foam roller meet muscles. “To take your recovery work to the next level and start releasing muscles on a deeper level it helps to bring in some tools. Foam rolling is a great pre- and post-class option but honestly it feels like another workout so sometimes it is the last thing I want to do. I'm a big fan of using a recovery stick or the Roll Recovery R8 for a deep tissue massage that can be a little easier to work with.” – Brent
6. Drink up. “Water, water, water, water! #hydrateordie” – Ashley
7. Remember why you’re taking time to recover. “The thing I say most to my athletes never changes...Take care of it now! Lack of proper recovery tactics can lead to the breakdown of muscles, joints, nerves, the immune system, etc. Everything is connected, so once one of those things gets irritated it often leads to a combination of aches and pains.” – Elle
8. Make your muscles feel like buttah. “Honestly the best way for me to recover is to have someone else workout the kinks in my body. Bi-weekly or monthly sports therapy massagers feel like a total reset for my body and allow me to really jump start my next phase of training. It can be expensive so I'd suggest starting with going once a month or as needed.” – Brett
9. Show your upper body some love. “Don't neglect the upper body! Our shoulders and upper backs are closed off entire time on the bike so make sure it gets attention too. Any type of therapy ball can be handy here — my favorite is a racquet ball, it's a little bit softer then the most commonly used lacrosse ball which means it can get deeper into the muscle without causing as much discomfort.” – Elle
10. Establish a holistic routine. “I do cryotherapy three times per week, a deep tissue massage every Wednesday night, Epsom salt baths three or four times per week, weekly yoga and Pilates classes for cross training, daily 20-minute naps and try to log eight hours of sleep per night.” – Ashley
11. Catch some air. “NormaTec recovery leggings use compressed air to massage your limbs, mobilize fluid and speed recovery. These are available at many recovery lounges (including Chicago Cryospa and Edge Athlete Lounge near me), but I bought myself a pair because I use them so often. The best part of these leggings is that while the machine is doing its thing, I can be multitasking with playlists, music research and answering emails.” – Brent
12. Rest up. "8+ hours of sleep. Don't ask, just do it." – Lindsey
13. Cook at home. "When I source whole, organic, and healthy ingredients, and then take the time to make a meal for myself I take more pride in my progress. I'm able to connect the dots quicker between my choices and how I feel. The speed at which you can order food, have it arrive, and finish the meal gives you no time to eat mindfully and feel the food become fuel. I know it sounds weird, but I challenge you to try cooking at home three days a week. Listen to your body. What is it asking for? Fish? Greens? Something warm? Something cold? The body is so darn smart, let it speak." – Lindsey