Traditional massage after the event was great, but all they really can do is try to flush out the lactic with a light massage. Massage really helped with the tension in the neck and back from Mtb’ing. This is where it really shined. It’s expensive at $60-$100/hr so not really an everyday luxury we could afford.
In recent years compression wear has inundated the endurance market. Not the impact like an ice bath or the other methods. Compression seems to make more sense when there’s impact like running. Compressions seemed to help support the muscle, but for straight recovery it didn’t really seem to make an impact. They are great for traveling to promote circulation. You look dorky as heck too.
Kinesio tape to help support isolated muscle groups. I had a pro therapist tape my neck and back up prior to the start of day one. It did seem to help support the neck muscles and reduce stress from the rigors of mtb riding. It’s widely used in running to help aid in areas of aches and pains.
We used a Compex on the quads. It does seem to work, but freaks people out seeing their muscles twitching. It’s gets a little tough to do the other legs parts as well. Compex can also help warm up the muscle before the event. The recovery is very isolated to the muscles that are being triggered. But if it’s just quads you want to flush out it can handle the job.
The gem of the house was the Normatec air boots. Full leg sized boots that fill with air and applies pressure starting with the feet while it works up the leg to the quad. It really seemed to push out the lactic. Think You could feel your pulse in your legs as it squeezed the lactic out. Think a BP monitor at the Dr’s office. Normatec is popular with the Tri crowd with some top pro’s like Craig Alexander and Chrissy Wellington, both Ironman World champions using them. Normatec is also expensive, but could easily pay for them selves especially for these kinds of events. The MVP system we tried runs $1650 retail. The MVP system was adequate for getting the job done. They have a more expensive one (Pro) with a little more squeezing power, a carrying case, and other bells and whistles. But the MVP did the job. It has a Turbo button that allows you to isolate a certain area. A nice feature. Everyone gives it the thumbs up and 5 chili’s.
What about you? What have you tried that works for you? Curious enough to try any of the above?