by Christina Roy of Premier Acupuncture in Boulder
Cycling Recovery & Performance Enhancement = 2 Sides of Same Coin
In Boulder & all over Colorado right now road races, crits & time trials are in full swing. Including training times, a mind blowing amount of miles are being chewed up & elevation conquered.
While training to improve sprint speed, climbing power & overall endurance, the muscles are being broken down while tendons & ligaments are being stressed.
Neurologically & chemically we are always either in the Sympathetic or Parasympathetic mode. During strenuous training & racing the Sympathetic system is in full swing (Fight or Flight mode). A cascade of hormones are released (Epinephrine, Norepinephrine, Cortisol) increasing our power output, enhancing response time, diverting blood from our gut to our extremities, etc. At those moments we are literally hard-wired to perform at our very best. Nothing is free however, all this comes at a cost.
It is only after, IF we allow ourselves to enter the Parasympathetic mode (Rest & Recovery) that progress can acutely be made out of our training efforts. Only then is our body is able to refuel our Glycogen stores, repair & build new muscle tissue, repair tendons, & abolish byproducts & toxins. Then & only then are we ready to perform with true genuine “performance enhancement”.
Most tend to jump the gun in recovery. Just because we feel that we have the energy to hit the road again doesn’t necessarily mean our body is ready, especially our tendons & ligaments. Muscles have incredible blood supply naturally, which is a main reason that they repair quickly. Tendons & ligaments however have very limited blood supply. So with excessive training or chronic over use Tendonitis easily develops & is very stubborn to recede unaided.