Here’s Mtbr’s Mark Gouge and teammate, winning the 100+ combined age group.
6 days of hard riding at altitude can quickly challenge your recovery systems. Whatever your stage race: Breck Epic, BC Bike Race, Trans Alps, Cape Epic. La Ruta,…. Besides replenishing your energy systems with calories and hydration, the ability to get your legs recovered as quickly as possible is key. Most of us that incorporated these techniques felt stronger as the week progressed and finished on top of the podium.
Recently at the Breck Epic, we had 5 of us trying the different recovery methods. Because of Breck Epic’s clover leafed loops, we were able to spend the entire week in the same house. Most of the other mtb stage races require daily transfers which leaves less time to recovery. Trans Alps was tough because you had to find your suitcase, locate your hotel, check in, find food etc. Some venues incorporate camping or a combination. Breck Epic made it simple, same start finish town every day.
These 4-5 hr days really torque your body. We tried all the tricks of the trade. From the hillbilly spa with your legs submerged in the icy creek for 10 min. I believe in the Cryotherapy method. It’s painful at first, but effective. We found having some neoprene booties on the feet the ticket to help the pain of first getting in. But afterwards as your legs warm, the blood returns and pushes out the byproducts of endurance racing, it did seem to make a difference. We also tried massage, electro stem Compex, and the high tech Normatec air boots.