by Frank Overton: June 15, 2015

Now that racing has begun or is about to begin its time to go fast. You’ve lifted weights this winter, suffered through the horrible winter to put in your base miles, watched Tour de France re-runs in the basement on your trainer, and you’ve done countless intervals in Zone 5. What’s next? How about a rest day!

Cheetah Demonstrating Proper Recovery Techniques

Cheetahs are Fast because they know how to recover!

Huh? No really, seriously, what’s next? Well, cycling fans I’ll let you in on a little secret. It’s what professional cyclists around the globe are doing. Taking it easy. Yup, recovery days. With the spring classics around the corner, and the NRC calendar heating up here in the States, pros on both sides of the pond are parking their bikes and hitting the couch. It takes discipline, it takes willpower, and it takes confidence in your training plan to park it on the couch for a day or two. But taking some well earned recovery days is a perfect way to come into your form for these all important races.

Wait a minute! You haven’t read about TJ’s epic day and week on the couch just days prior to his podium at the Dauphine.  Its not glamorous to tweet about resting and its also not a good idea to make your secret weapon public information. But rest assured everybody benefits from a rest day. I betcha’ right now TJ, Talansky, Contador and Froomie are all horizontal on the couch fresh off a massage daydreaming of Le Tour de France.

In all sincerity, a few well timed recovery days can make or break your A race campaign. But in my opinion there is so much more to a recovery day than not riding your bike.

Try these recovery tricks during your next recovery day:

– Plan ahead and schedule in a massage, a steam at the gym, or another relaxing activity
– Rent a DVD or video and park it on the couch for a couple of hours with your feet up
– Sleep in or try to get in an afternoon nap. Ideally, do both
– Focus on another area of your training like your nutrition: cook yourself a great meal or better yet have someone cook it for you
– Take care of all those things in life you put on hold in order to train
– Catch up on your web surfing and social media
– Take time to nurture and develop the relationships that are important to you whether it be your spouse, child, or friend. Bike racing is too hard without support!
– If you are still “crazy about the bike” try giving your second home some T.L.C. Wash it, Clean it, lube it, or take it to your friendly bike shop. Whatever you can do to ensure that your machine is good to go on race day

Things not to do on your recovery day (we’ve all been guilty of these):

Work late to catch up from those days you left on time to go out a train
Take the city limit street sprint
Tag along with your buddies on “that climb”
Shall we go on? You probably got the picture
Ahhh, the life. These fascats know how to recover!

Copyright 2016 , FasCat Coaching

Frank is the founder, owner and head coach of FasCat Coaching, a boutique brand coaching company in Boulder, CO.  Overton and his coaches have been prescribing rest days and rest weeks since 2003.  To talk with a FasCat Coach about setting up your training plan with just the right amount of rest days, call 720.406.7444 or fill out a New Athlete Questionnaire to set up a coaching consultation.

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