Every week since I've arrived in Italy in the middle of February, BePink (that's my teammates and me!) has raced 1 or 2 Women's UCI World Tour or UCI events each weekend. We've travelled to Belgium, Holland, and different parts of Italy to compete so far. The racing is tough, and the transfers are long. Everything about it is epic. That's a good thing!
The day after returning home from a race is the time to recover and refuel as much as possible because the next big competition is just around the corner. Here's how the first day back usually works:
- I try to sleep in is along as I can. It's not about being lazy, it's about letting my body recuperate as much as possible. Sleep is one of the best ways to allow it to do so all on its own.
- I always start the day by making my bed. It's a good routine to have and it keeps my small living area neat and tidy. I feel like it sets the foundation for a good environment to thrive in.
- I unpack my luggage from the weekend. Usually, I leave this until the morning because we often arrive home quite late and I aim to get into bed as quickly as possible. Packing for a race means being prepared for a lot of different scenerios, so there are a lot of things to take out of the bag, wash, and put away.
- By then a good coffee is well earned. Ironically, at one of the last races in Italy, the hotel coffee was not that great... Having my favourite coffee back here at home is a good comforting reminder that I'm in my element again. It's a nice "welcome back!".
- I do some light exercises. Sometimes it's simple stretching, while other times I add in some core strength work or do yoga. I nearly always include "foam rolling" with my Travel Roller. One of my favourite ways to tie all of the benefits that those exercises give together, is by doing Essentrics. I signed up for an online video subscription so I can follow the routines from my computer no matter where I am in the world. It's kind of like having my own private instructor. I love it!
- An easy ride is always in store on a recovery day. I keep my power low and make sure not to go out for too long. Never more than 90 minutes. I don't tend to make a lot of stops because I like to keep my legs spinning. Sometimes I use these easy rides to check out roads I haven't explored yet. It can be a good way to find new areas that suit the rides I need to do on my training days.
- Back at home, I make sure to catch up as much as possible with e-mails so that I can connect with the people whom I have to be in touch with. On hard training days and during racing I prefer not to do this so I can focus on my task at hand: perform on the bike. This can be draining sometimes and doesn't always leave me with a lot of brain-watts at the end of the day.
The following day typically means back to intense, specific training. It also means starting to seriously think about the details of the next racing coming up and preparing, bit by bit, to go at it again and give my 100% in the race!