1. Hit the rollers/turbo for 10 to 20 minutes in the easiest gear you have letting your legs gently spin round with the most minimal of effort. This helps your legs cool down and loosen off by flushing out lactic acid.
2. Once you've finished your cool down get a protein shake down you. Here’s how you can make one. (link) If the thought of making your own protein shake doesn't appeal to you then many cycling specific nutrition brands such as 'High 5' have Protein recovery powder which can easily be mixed into cold milk. From experience I know this stuff tastes great (link)
3. The human body is on average 50-65% water so it's a good idea to top up sufficiently on the water you have lost during exercise through sweat to avoid dehydration.
4. Next up... Massage! You don’t have to pay a masseuse to get a massage (although I’m sure it would help). Run a hot bath and using plenty of soap start at your heel and work upwards pressing into your legs with your knuckles or elbow. Remember to cover your calves, hamstrings, quads, and glutes. You should be able to find where the soreness is and gradually work it out. Massage serves to relax your muscles and improving blood circulation leading to the better removal of waste products. Well that’s the idea anyway…
Alternatively or additionally you can use a foam roller. (Video below by GCN on how to use it.)
5. Time for a high-carb hearty meal. You’re bound to have just burnt off a lot of energy using up calories half an hour post exercise it’s time to put back into the system what you’ve lost.
6. Power nap. Take a power nap for 20-30 minutes and it can leave you feeling pleasantly refreshed. Any longer however can make you feel groggy and disrupt your sleep patterns when you go to sleep in the evening.
7. Compression wear. ‘Skins’ offers compression wear to aid recovery. Unfortunately I don’t own a pair of compression tights but I have tried wearing my leg warmers overnight and that seemed to do a pretty good job at aiding recovery.
8. Put your feet up for the rest of the day and you should be well on your way to a full recovery ready for the next day’s riding.