Posted by: Dr. Tyrone A. Holmes | August 8, 2008

Improving Your Cycling Performance: Part 3


In my previous posts, I introduced the 3 primary elements of cycling performance (training, nutrition and recovery) and offered suggestions for improving your training and dietary habits.  In this post, I discuss recovery.

Recovery may be the most overlooked element of cycling performance. It may also be the most important.  Simply stated, you don’t improve as a cyclist because you train hard.  You improve because you rest hard.  OK, you have to do both, but the physiological adaptation process that leads to improved performance occurs during rest, not during training.  This happens because of our body’s desire to maintain an internal equilibrium (known as ‘homeostasis’).  For example, after a hard workout, you may feel extremely fatigued and sore because your body is not used to the physical stress it experienced during that workout.  Your body doesn’t want you to feel this way so it undergoes physiological adaptations that make it stronger.  The next time you do that workout, it feels much easier because of these adaptations.  The key is to allow yourself to recover from that initial hard workout.  This is the essence of training for performance.  You work hard, get adequate rest so your body can recover and get stronger, and then you can work even harder the next time.  Of course, this is easier said than done, but your primary goal as a cyclist is to facilitate a training program that pushes you to your limits, and then allows for adequate rest and recovery so your performance can improve.  Always remember, hard work without adequate recovery is a recipe for overtraining, which will have an extremely negative impact on your cycling performance.

NEXT POST – August 12, 2008:

Why Exercise Programs Fail and What to Do About It: Part 1



  1. Thanks for the great read. I am going to apply some of these techniques on my next ride.

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