She’s been a key player in the success of the CANYON//SRAM women’s race team over the past 4-years since first signing with them in 2016. With race wins, stage wins and top 10 finishes, Alexis Ryan is a powerhouse on the bike. But to achieve the results and to gain the titles, an athlete does a whole lot more than just ride bikes. It takes dedication, regime and rituals to help piece together all the elements of what it takes to be a professional cyclist.
Known for her strict approach to training and the post-ride, we caught up with Alexis Ryan to get some tips on how to effectively cool-down and recover from a training ride. Here’s her step-by-step post-ride ritual:
1. Come to a stop and save my ride on the Garmin.
You know what they say, if it’s not on Strava, it didn’t happen!
2. Wipe off the bike with Muc-Off cleaner and hang it up in the garage.
3. Walk inside, take off my cycling shoes and secure them on my Neatcleats carabiner clip!
4. I then like to make an SIS recovery drink. I’ll have a protein-only drink if I’ve come back from a recovery ride, or I’ll make up a protein & high carbohydrate drink for when I come back from intervals or a long endurance ride.
5. Then I head off to shower and put on warm clothes.
6. Back down in the kitchen, I’ll cook a hearty meal that is high in carbohydrates. Eggs and rice is a great post-ride meal with a healthy balance of fats, proteins, and carbohydrates. If the ride wasn’t too taxing then I’ll go lighter on the carbohydrates.
7. With my plate of food, I sit down on the couch with my NormaTec recovery boots and my laptop to analyze my ride. NormaTec’s are compression massage boots that boost recovery and performance. The session time and compression level are customizable, but I usually program my sessions at 45-minutes and level 7 (of 10). When I analyze my workouts, I look at power, heart rate, and how the two correlate. Generally, I put less emphasis on max power and more on the repeatability of high power over the course of an interval session.
8. Finally, I do a warm-down session which includes foam rolling my muscles and a stretching them out.
Alexis Ryan is currently nursing a broken collar bone, so be sure to give her a follow on Instagram and send her some fast healing vibes.
Photos provided by WMN Cycling / PC: Thomas Maheux