Less time injured= more time riding

Ok, we’re not saying we can stop you getting injured but you can reduce your time off the bike with these simple steps.

Warm up before each ride

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Tight calves and hamstrings can lead to torn muscles, but a proper warm-up and cool- down will save you the soreness. Spending the first 10-15 minutes going easy, you’ll steadily increase blood flow, flexibility and range of motion.

And don’t forget to cool down — a progressive decrease in pace will remove the waste products that inhibit recovery. Off the bike, use a foam roller post-ride to help you massage out adhesions and increase blood flow and mobility, just go slow and be gentle on the sore spots.

Don’t skimp on rest days

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Muscular and cellular adaptation to training actually takes place during down-time, so don’t be fooled into thinking it won’t matter if you skip rest days. Overtraining can cause muscle damage that leads to a reduction in strength and endurance as well as disrupting your sleep and immune function.

Schedule in a couple of rest days a week and watch out for symptoms of overtraining, such as disturbed sleep, loss of concentration, excessive muscle soreness or a higher than normal resting heart rate.

Fuel properly for every ride

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An empty carbohydrate tank is one of the primary causes of hitting the wall during long rides, but running on empty doesn’t just wreck your performance, it’s also associated with injury damage to muscle-fibers.

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Choose slow-release carbs like oats, wholegrain bread and sweet potatoes at each meal to drip-feed your muscles energy, and aim to consume 30-60 grams of carbs an hour during rides lasting over an hour. Solid foods and sports drinks are equally as effective, so choose what feels most comfortable to consume.

  • Cris Doyle

    They always talk about nutrition during the ride as if it’s the biggest thing and never mention proper pre-ride fuelling. You could start a ride with maybe 1800 kcal of glycogen in your body but take in no more than 250 kcal per hour. Would I be too cynical in suggesting there’s less money to be made from spuds and pasta than from bars and gels?

  • redfire12

    No mention of protective gear?
    Pre bike checks?

    Sure it SHOULD be common sense, but still needs mentioning, in an injury prevention article?