Manual for Speed Manual #1: Stretching was made in partnership with Ben Chaddock, then of Team Exergy, at the team’s 2012 Sponsor/Team Camp in Boise, Idaho. The following stretching routine and explanation is in Ben’s own words, recorded at the time of the demonstration. Illustration by Ray Masaki.
My profession (Professional Road Racing) requires that I ride my bike nearly every day of the year except for three weeks in October which I call my “Off Season.” Because my training/racing schedule leaves no time to rest-up or complete a physiotherapy routine if, for example, I pull a muscle, long-standing muscular and range-of-motion imbalances must be dealt with proactively. There is a big assumption that once you ‘turn pro’ daily massage is the norm. However this is often not the case, which means most of us have to take daily recovery into our own hands.
If you don’t like to stretch, ice bath or self massage, you’d better find another job because Professional Road Racing requires a great deal of time and commitment in regards to managing your own health and well-being; of course getting lazy, complacent and injured as the season progresses is also an option. Good stretching habits go a long way.
- They provide an opportunity to check-in with your body – what is tight, what needs attention, etc.
- Stretching helps maintain fascia-sheath health and decreases the likelihood of pulled muscles. Regular care and attention also promotes muscular elasticity for greater recruitment, power and ultimately performance.
- Most importantly, a ‘recovery’ routine should include stretching and massage as it increases the blood flow to the damaged area, thereby increasing the speed at which the body can rebuild exercise-induced micro-muscle fiber tears and flush out toxins.