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Benefits of cycling

What’s Best For Post Ride Recovery? | Ask GCN Anything About Cycling

– Welcome to Ask GCN Anything. This week we are answering your questions. – Welcome, so our first
question is from Ronan Murphy. It says he’s “been reading
about post-ride rituals “with regard to getting
rid of lactic acid, “”i.e. getting your legs up
on the wall for five minutes, “wearing compression socks,
or passing out on the sofa. “I’m wondering what your
thoughts are on these, “as well as any of your own rituals “once you get off the bike at home.” – Well, I think post-ride rituals are all well and good Ronan,
but I wouldn’t necessarily go for those as my chosen ones. I’d try and get some food, have a shower, maybe clean my bike, just go
for the bigger tasks first. What about you, Emma? – Yeah, I have to say I
do like cleaning my bike when I’m still covered in road filth if it’s been a dirty ride. But scientifically speaking,
if you want to recover faster, the priority is rehydrate,
refuel, and rest. But I would add a shower
in there somewhere, probably before the refuelling. So I tend to get home,
rinse the bike down, have a shower myself whilst drinking those of either water or re-hydration mix, and then eat, and then rest. – Cool, so you got a
pretty set routine then. – Yeah, yeah, and getting
out of the cycling kit and getting showered is
fairly high priority. But yeah, so you asked
about compression socks and legs up against the wall. I think compression socks and raising legs can help with circulation. It doesn’t do much about
lactic acid actually, or lactate, which is the result
of a highly intense effort. That lactate will actually
clear from your body within an hour of you
producing it, naturally. So some gentle movement,
i.e. warm-down helps, But often you’ll have
got home from your ride, by the time you get back,
the lactate will have gone, and the soreness you feel the day after is actually nothing to do with lactate. Delayed onset muscle soreness is caused by micro traumas in the muscle,
which leads to inflammation. And lactate has really, they’ve shown, has got nothing to do with it. So there’s a coincidence that
the same kind of training or racing will produce
muscle soreness and lactate, then the two aren’t related. The best thing you can do to
try and relieve muscle soreness well, there isn’t much, but hot and cold temperature
changes, massage. But mostly re-hydrate, refuel, and rest. – And muscle soreness is the precursor, to you eventually getting faster, if you do all of the recovery correctly. – Exactly. – And nutrition is a great
way to enhance your recovery. – It is. Yep.
– We’ve got a video playing behind us, that’s gonna
play for you now which is, how to improve your post-ride
recovery through nutrition. – [Narrator] Recovery is arguably the most important part of training. You can train as hard as you want, but if you don’t recover
properly, then you won’t improve. In fact, you could actually get worse. – [Si] Yeah, of course,
recovery without training isn’t gonna get you very far either. But the key is to find a
balance between the two, so the faster you recover,
the harder you can train. And then, theoretically at least, the better the cyclist you become. – So next up we’ve got a
question from Brayden Whatcott, who says, “Hey GCN I am a
cross-country mountain bike racer. “My question is what sort
of workouts on your channel “would be the best for me to
do since GMBN don’t have any?” Don’t have any yet, if
you don’t want some, let the GMBN guys know, and
they’ll see what they can do. Emma’s already nominated me
for this answer, Brayden, so I’m afraid that it might be a little less scientific
than the one before. – No, but he knows what he’s talking about when it comes to mountain biking, and I have no clue, so listen to Tom. (laughs) – Cross-country is similar in
many respects to cyclocross. It’s actually increasingly similar now, because the courses are getting shorter, the races are slightly shorter than they were, say 5, 10 years ago. And it’s all about those
repeated, explosive efforts. And we’ve got some cyclocross videos, so I’m going to throw you
straight to Si’s video on four cyclocross training drills. – Coming up are four training sessions that will get you fitter and
faster on your cross bike. The first three are all
designed to be done off-road. Oh yeah. Winner. They are pretty intense though, so do make sure you’re nicely warmed up before you start any of the intervals. (rock music) Session three is another one
that’s gonna get us fitter and work on a key cyclocross
skill, clipping in. Actually, who are we kidding, that’s not just a cyclocross
skill, that is a life skill. Anyway, you want to find
a nice, simple section of trail or gravel road that’s
not in any way technical. You then need to come,
after a good warm-up, to a complete stop, take a deep breath, and get ready for interval one. – Now the next question
is from Darren Horrocks, and I think it’s to me, do you think … – Yeah, I think I should read
this one out actually, Emma. It says, “How did it feel joining GCN “after smashing Si and
Matt at the KOM challenge?” – Well, I’ll be honest, I didn’t really go to the KOM challenge to smash them. I went as a, I was a
professional athlete last year, and it was my job, and they
invited me to the race, and I really wanted to win it. So I didn’t really see
Si and Matt in the race, because I started in the front, and I was trying to stay
in front of the race. And I think they had a slightly
different reason to be there in that they were basically producing a really informative and
inspiring video on the race, and I was just sweating
my guts out at the front. I don’t I’d have made a pretty video. So yeah, it was very different last year, because I was training full
time, and they weren’t, so. – When you say that you
started at the front, so you didn’t see them, do
you feel that basically, there’s a byproduct of
smashing Si and Matt? You know, you weren’t even
aware that they were there, because you smashed them that badly. – Yeah, I don’t think
I saw them in the race, although I did actually get
to the back at one point in the neutral, because
I had to stop for a pee. And then I had to go all
around the peloton again. But I didn’t see them, I
was in a bit of a hurry. But again, I was very much
race-face at that face, and you’ve gotta remember that, yeah, it was the focus of my autumn. And for them, it was very much, you know, they had to talk to you guys whilst riding up that big mountain. It’s very different. And they were on strange
bikes, strange bars. – They were on light bikes,
they had every advantage, and you still didn’t even
realise they were in the race – I was on my bike, that helps. – Because they were that far behind. – Anyway, yeah. – Another year, we’ll give
them some training time next time, and we’ll see how it goes. – Let’s just say they’re
excellent colleagues, so I’m very grateful
that they put up with me, despite me banging on about
the Taiwan KOM all the time. (Tom laughs) – Em does talk about it
all the time as well. Thanks for the question, Darren. Next up is Mark Evasion
who first of all asks, “Why has Ask GCN disappeared?” The answer, Mark, is it
didn’t entirely disappear. We’ve got an Ask GCN
Tech video on GCN Tech, and we’re back to Ask GCN here, so keep the questions coming in. He’s also said, “I’m
moving to warmer climes “after four months through a hard winter. “Should I ease back
into the warmer weather, “or just go for it?” What do you reckon, Emma? – Well, it does take a little bit of time to adapt to temperature changes, so recent studies have
shown it’s about 10 days to adapt to heat, where that’s going from a temperate climate to a hot climate, or going from very cold to just temperate. So give yourself some time,
don’t expect to feel great for the first ten days, and
give your body time to adapt. So the adaptations you’ll expect are, you’ll get an increased
blood volume when you train in high temperatures,
and increased sweat rate, and that’s obviously
to help you cool down. If you want to pre-train that, you can actually do very
effective heat adaptation in very little time by every day, having 10 to 20 to 30
minutes in either a sauna, or if you don’t have a
sauna or access to a sauna, sitting in a hot bath
in a steamy bathroom. It’s pretty unpleasant,
but it’s very effective. So I know that’s how we
trained with the national team. Before the Beijing Olympics, we had these horrible
heat training chambers. It was basically a tent with
a heater and a humidifier, and a load of turbo trainers,
and we all sat there, turboing away for about
an hour and a half. Well, yeah maybe it was only an hour, but it felt like forever
and it was so sweaty. So we’d measure how much water we’d drunk and measure our weight before and water, and that way you could
work out your sweat rate, and you could actually
see, it was over two weeks, you could see sweat rate increasing, which is an adaptation to the heat. I would have to, my
cycling shoes were ruined. They were so disgustingly
smelly after that, but it worked, so you could try that. Put your turbo trainer in your bathroom, run a hot bath. – Turn the heating up
– Sweat it out for ten days. Or even, you don’t have to
do it all day every day. Just 10 to 20 minutes a
day will do the trick. – I’m not sure Si mentions
that in this video, so it’s good information,
however Si behind us, has got a video on how to train for hot and humid conditions. – It’s that time of year when many of us in the northern hemisphere are contending with really hot temperatures
and possibly humidity as well. They make for some
tough riding conditions, and so here are some tips
on how to cope with it. (light, energetic techno music) Let’s start with clothing, shall we? It’s your first port of call
even before setting out. So you want to have a light-weight jersey, definitely with a full-length zip, and then pair it with shorts that have got really minimal bib strapping on there. So that means that in combination, you can get loads of air
circulating, even at lower speeds. – Okay Emma, this is one for you. It’s from Clinton McDermott who’s asking, “Has Emma ever done any bike packing? “If so, where?” – Well, luckily, otherwise
we would be boring under, I had my first attempt at
bike packing last year, in October straight after
the Taiwan KOM, actually. Stayed in Taiwan for
eight days and carried on, cycling around the
southern end of the island, with my race back with a giant saddle bag, with three people who I barely knew. It was fantastic. Taiwan is beautiful, people are friendly, roads are amazing, lots
of mountains, good food. I really enjoyed it. And I think just genuinely
is an experience. I’ll definitely be going
bike packing again. It was really good,
very minimalist luggage, not much to worry about,
sort of not really training, but out enjoying the fresh air, loved it. And meeting cultures, yeah. – How many kilometres were you doing a day on your bike packing trip? – Well, I got told off on day two for asking that question,
“How far are we gonna go?” I didn’t plan the route, and the person who had planned the route, when I said, “How far are
we going, I need to train.” He said, “Emma, we count
smiles, not miles.” And that told me, so I just shut
up and carried on pedalling, but that’s what I most
enjoyed about it, was that by the end of the week, I
wasn’t thinking about training, I was just thinking about
getting somewhere by bike, and it was really relaxing. And after years of
training, that was actually quite good for me I think. – So measure your bike packing in smiles? – In smiles, yeah. – Wild. Can really say I’ve
never been bike packing, but since I know that your
question wasn’t directed at me. – You should try it, it’s great. – Yeah, I hope to try it one day (laughs). Next up, we’ve got Vikpanos Tzio, I hope I’ve said your name correctly, who asks, “Favourite training place?” Again, okay, I’ll take it. To be honest, I’ve been lucky
enough, especially with GCN, to go to a lot of really
cool places to ride my bike. And some particularly warm places, so we’ve ridden in Abu
Dhabi, which was amazing, so vastly different to anything that I’d cycled here in Europe. We’ve cycled in America, Mallorca, which is a cycler’s paradise, Alta Badia in the Dolomites,
so our location partner, some stunning roads,
climbs, and descents there. But I think now, for me, probably
my favourite place to train is almost, is home, and it’s
just ’cause those are the roads I used to ride as a kid, and
just brings back memories, and I just really like riding there. So that’s the Peak District in Derbyshire, where there’s some very steep hills. – Beautiful place, yeah. – How about you, Emma? – I have loads of places I love training. I think really two stand out, so I’ve lived in Switzerland
for quite a few years now, and my little back roads there, my secret climbs, I really love those. (laughs) And I also spent a good
time training in Perth, where I’ve got family, and I love Perth, because the group ride scene is fantastic, and I really love knowing that, like there’s a hard group ride I can join, so you don’t need to worry
about doing intervals that day, because you just have to
get out of bed on time, find your cycling kit, roll
out at six in the morning. And it’s hard training
without the mental effort, so I really love training
in Perth as well. – That’s cool, yeah. And I think your point on
group rides is spot on, because if you can find a good group ride, it does, saves you all the
thinking that goes with training. – Yeah, and it’s fun. Training with other people is often, I find it much more fun
than training alone, because my company’s really tedious, so other people always improve it, and then there’s someone to
stop for coffee with afterwards. – Well, I’m sure that’s not true, but we want to know your
favourite place to train as well, so do tell us down in the comments, and let us know if there’s somewhere that we should go and check out as GCN. – Yeah, do. – Okay, I think we are heading towards one of our final questions. This one is from Ivailo Dobrev. “Hello guys, first up,
keep up the great shows! Thanks. “For beginning cyclists
like me, they are a Bible.” Thanks again. “And second, I have a
question I cannot find info “about on the world wide web. “How often should we change when drafting? “Would it be measured
by distance or time?” – That’s a big question. It’s a bit like asking how
long is a piece of string, in that taking turns on the front, it very much depends on the
ride, how many people are there. I would always say measure it on time, because that’s what, your timer and effort level is the relevant question. And it depends what you’re doing. If it’s just two of you
doing a two-up time trial, then shorter efforts are normally good, if you want to go as fast as possible. If it’s about getting on
with the rest of the group, then I’d say if you’re
on a big group ride, then stay on the front for
5 or 10 or even 20 minutes, because on group rides,
what tends to happen is you have two lines of riders, if that’s allowed in
the country you live in, and you chat to the person next to you, and after your 10 minutes,
you peel off the front and go to the back and keep chatting. If you’re changing constantly,
it ruins the conversation. – Yeah, and I think, Ivailo, you’ve said that you’re just starting out, but I think once you’ve been cycling even for a couple months
or a few months, something, you’ll have quite a good gauge on when you personally are beginning to suffer a bit on the front or when your friends are
beginning to slow up a bit. So if you set a marker of time first up, so you know, like Emma
said with a couple of you, that’s probably shorter terms, so one, two, maybe three minutes. But if you notice that
say, at two minutes, someone else is starting
to slow down a bit, just give them a bit of a tap, let them know that you’re coming through, and make sure you keep the pace. Because the moment you
start to lose momentum, that’s when things actually
start to get really difficult. – Exactly, you can go on feel, and I think what I found with riding with different groups and
different training rides, is that almost every group
has a different rule. So you can make your own rule,
go riding with your friends and make it 13 minutes and
three seconds if you want. You know, up to you, but you
can base it very much on feel. – Yeah, I think start with
time then work on feel. Well, Emma, that was our
last question for today, but we do need your questions, so let us know down in the
comments, or if you’d like to submit them on any form
of social media really, the hashtag you can use is #torqueback. The spelling’s a little bit funny, and it’s on the screen at the moment. – You could even send us a
letter, but that’s not as common. – That’d be quite cool,
though, an Ask GCN by post. – Anyway, yes, if you like this, you might like to check out
some of our other videos. For example, there’s one I made about how to improve your confidence
on descents with Matt, something I care about very deeply, having had a problem with it myself. – That’s a very important
video and a very good video. You should definitely check it out. If you want to find out
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