We have both trained for various events for years and successfully completed many endurance events from Half IronMan competitions, triathlon, marathons, endurance swim and bike events and all sorts.

We’ve learned the hard way about over training and injuries and feel that we’ve got enough of a handle on training and recovery to share a bit about what we’ve learned, through our own trial and error, about what works for us in terms of recovery.

Our Ride Across Britain training is structured as 3 hard weeks and then 1 week as ‘rest week.’ It’s a bit misleading as we aren’t ‘just resting’ but reigning in the amount and intensity of training and intensity.

A low intensity week lets our bodies recover and recharge, ready for the next tranche of training. You can’t just keep operating at maximum effort all the time!

Whilst rest is important, we both find rest week hard as we’re just used to pushing ourselves harder – so we often find we’re a bit restless or unsettled – but the benefits far outweigh the negatives and we come back to ‘normal’ training rested, more energised and stronger – and raring to go!

We can only speak from our own experience and so whilst we are experts at what works for us, you might find something different suits you.

The things that we do to ensure a good recovery are as follows:-

  • Plan at least 1 rest day each week, 2 on a recovery week. On those days we don’t do any exercise and we really try to do as little as possible!
  • Get enough sleep. 7-8 hours a night or a nap if required. Sleep is an essential part of recovery.
  • Eat the right foods at the right time. Protein shake straight after training, followed by a decent meal – and the right mix of macros in both. Protein to repair and carbs for our depleted carb stores! Sarah loves protein pancakes and Sam’s go to is overnight oats. But there are occasions when a bag of M&Ms or a Magnum is all we can think about, especially on rest week. Everything in moderation!
  • Stretching after every training session, we both feel the difference if we don’t. Our stretches are a mix of yoga moves and the typical stretches you’d do after a gym class – but we hold them for longer. We both do something a little different – it’s a very personal thing. We stretch for about 10-15 minutes after a long ride.
  • Sports massages, using a foam roller at home, a trip to the spa or the odd chiro visit – as and when, just to keep us in good working order.
  • Having a mix of hard and easy sessions each week – we’ve both been told over the years that 80% of training should be with a low heart rate/in an easy zone. The rest of it should be more intense and challenging.Train easy and race hard, as they say…
  • Being self aware. Knowing when to train or not to train is key – we both keep an eye on our resting heart rate and know our bodies. We would either not train or have a lighter session if we thought we might be coming down with something, were stressed or haven’t recovered properly.
  • Mix it up. We both have other activities we do as a balance to the intense training. Whether it’s yoga, swimming or a coastal path walk – balance is key.

Anyway, back to full training this week with big miles planned. We post regular updates about what we’re up to on our Instagram – @gogetyourcake if you’d like to follow us.

We’re fundraising for charity, you can find out more about who we’re supporting and sponsor us if you’d like to know more.