pouring epsom salt into running bath water

If you are on an important training and racing schedule, keeping your muscles loose at all times is important. You don’t want tight leg muscles or stiff legs. Recovery rides work great for this purpose, but sometimes you just can’t ride. You might be on a plane, driving, have a nagging injury that needs rested, etc.

So, consider these alternatives that may help keep your muscles loose so they’re ready for your next ride:

1. Pain relieving gels (such as Mineral ice)

I use this on recovery days to keep my muscles from getting stiff and sore. Then I can ride the next day like normal. (Without mineral ice, it seems to take me longer to warm up.)

Also, Topricin and other balms may work for you. And then there are choices like Rock Sauce, which will really heat things up.

2. Panty hose (actually, compression stockings)

Compression stockings (which are basically a fancy version of panty hose) are good for sitting at the office or during long plane rides. The tight fabric stimulates blood flow through your legs, giving them nutrients and fresh oxygen and flushing out waste products.

These days, there are countless compression socks and leggings to choose from.

3. The Stick (or Muscle Trac)

The Stick is the self-massage thing you roll on your legs. Or use a Muscle Trac. Or a foam roller, if you have floor space.

I carry a Moji Mini with me almost always.

4. Massage

The real thing, from a spa or professional (i.e. licensed massage therapist). It might not fit into your schedule or budget very often, but it’s nice! 🙂

Your muscles will feel very supple afterward.

5. Hot and/or cold baths

Alternate hot and cold baths, do an ice bath, or try a sea salt bath. Whatever theory you subscribe to, some sort of bath usually makes you feel better.

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  1. Great tips! Some comments.
    V8 Juice, especially the low sodium offering, is loaded with potassium and could help reduce potential cramping.
    I never require anti-inflammatory or other meds, but started taking 500mg ginger root capsules with my vitamins after learning about research indicating it’s benefit for muscle aches.
    Pantyhose work great and are lots cheaper and much more convenient than pneumatic compression boots for us non-pro’s. Legg’s Sheer Energy and Hanes Active Support work great. Put on 2, 3, or more pairs to incrementally increase the compression to the desired level. Note: Guys may want to cut a “convenience” opening on the outer pairs when layering as the compression on the crotch can become uncomfortable.

  2. Great tips Bryan, thanks for the comments!

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