Practical Recovery for Cyclists with Chores and Obligations

Everyone has varying degrees of obligations outside of training and racing. The less you have, the easier it is to incorporate things like resting and recovering on the couch. I think I have a pretty standard amount of obligations for a married guy with a kid who doesn't have house cleaning or yard service.

I all of our yard work, do the smaller handyman projects around the house, as well as ongoing family chores like watching our son, helping with laundry, tidying, taking out trash, etc. We also try and have an active social life, so often enough we'll have dinner or social activities planned for the evenings. Here are some of the ways I try and maximize recovery while still accomplishing everything I need to do.

BE IN A GOOD MOOD

What does your mood have to do with recovery? Well, I think a lot. In order to maximize the time I can dedicate to racing, as well as my general happiness, having a good mood/attitude at home is crucial. This means never complaining, and especially never complaining about being tired from training or hurting from an accident. If I go out for a 4 hour training ride or am gone for 6 hours for a race, and then complain about it, no one on the home front will be sympathetic (weird, right?). Also, If you try to be in a good mood you will feel better and more relaxed. That's good for recovery. 

DO PHYSICAL CHORES AT A "RECOVERY PACE"

I actually enjoy doing chores like cutting the grass after a hard workout - slowly. It helps to actively recover my leg muscles and avoid them getting stiff. But I avoid doing anything strenuous, and make sure to use mechanical help where possible (wheelbarrow, etc.). 

STAY HYDRATED

Especially when working outside, I make sure to have a bidon of cold water close by, and make sure to stop every 30mins or so for a break and to drink a little water.

TAKE ANY OPPORTUNITY TO SIT

This is especially true for parties. Most people will be standing, but try and find a spot in the middle of things and have a seat. Or, stand close to somewhere you can sit and during the conversation just ask "Do you mind if we sit?" And if you're not able to find a good space to sit, try and find something to lean against.

EATING

There are two issues I run into in terms of food: either not the right kind, or not at the right time. If I need to eat a lot after some hard training and the portions are tiny or everyone keeps chatting with drinks and dinner doesn't ever seem like it'll start, that kind of stinks. If I think this may be the case, I'll have a snack beforehand. Also, if I know that I need to be eating a lot of protein I may have a protein heavy snack or a protein shake beforehand.

When I'm dieting in the offseason and an off-diet calorically heavy meal is placed in front of me - well, I try not to worry about it. One meal off a diet isn't going to derail the entire thing. And it's definitely more important to be a pleasant guest (I'm not getting paid to race - then that'd be a little different). It's also easy to simply leave some things on your plate.