How to Recover After Hitting The Deck

July 15, 2016

How to Recover After Hitting The Deck

“It’s important to clean out the wound(s) as best as possible to avoid any infections.”

by Alison Powers, ALP Cycles Coaching

(AP and Olivia Dillion pictured above, show off their road rash post LT 100). The broken skin can be patched up and covered, but the next day, the bruised bumpy and battered body will feel like it’s been hit by a truck. Here are some recovery tips by ALP Coach Alison Powers (who has hit the deck many more times than once).

Crashing hurts. Not only does falling down on the pavement hurt, it can cause its, abrasions, road rash, bruising, and swelling. Crashing can also cause inflammation in the body that we can not see.

The first thing that needs to be done after a crash is to wash the road rash and any abrasions to the skin. It’s important to clean out the wound(s) as best as possible to avoid any infections. Once cleaned out, I suggest using Tegaderm on all road rash. There are differing opinions on how to best heal road rash – leave the wound open to let it dry and scab, or put Tegaderm on it to keep it moist. My vote is Tegaderm.

After the visible road rash, cuts, scrapes, etc. are cleaned and covered, the next thing to move on to is the bruising and inflammation. Anything that hurts or is already showing signs of swelling should be iced. Apply ice to painful areas for 10min. Plan to ice for 10min of every hour (10min on, 50 min off). Ibuprofen is great for inflammation and pain management. I like ibuprofen because it helps me sleep (sleep helps healing) after a crash and it helps with inflammation, making it so I don’t feel as bad the next day.

The days following a crash can be tough. Your body can hurt, new bruising, aches and pain show up, and road rash oozes, scabs, and hurts. The best thing you can do is get out and move around. Either go for an easy walk or get back on your bike and spin the legs easily. This ‘active recovery’ will help promote blood flow (which brings nutrients to the injured area), start to break up and move the inflammation, and gets stiff joints moving and feeling good. Keep icing areas that are swollen and sore and change Tegaderm daily.

Most of all, in the days following a hard crash, it’s important to remember that your body is healing. The harder the crash, the more trauma your body has to deal with and heal. So, take it easy. Easy rides, good hydration, and good nutrition. The better you can take care of your body and provide it with good nutrients, the faster it will heal itself and the faster you will be back on your bike and riding strongly.




Alison Powers

Alison Powers only recently retired from cycling, finishing her final season on the UnitedHealthcare Women’s Team. Her career has spanned a wide array of wins, including the 2013 USA Cycling Professional Criterium National Championship where she won in memorable fashion by soloing after an early breakaway that obliterated the pro women’s peloton. Other standout results during the 33-year-old’s 2013 season include the win at Redlands Bicycle Classic, second at the Tour of Elk Grove, third at the US National Road Championship and the US National Time Trial Championship, and stage wins at Cascade Classic, Tulsa Tough, Tour of the Gila and Redlands Bicycle Classic. Hailing from Fraser, Colorado, Powers has been racing bikes professionally for eight years and is a true athlete with her career beginning as a teenager in mountain bike racing. In her mid 20s, she added in alpine ski racing before switching over to the road. In addition to being the current Criterium National Champion, Powers has two other national championships (Time Trial, Team Pursuit) and 2 NRC titles (2009, 2013).

About ALP Cycles Coaching

ALP Cycles Coaching is located in the mountains of Colorado, and is a cycling coaching company with over 25 years of professional sports experience. ALP Cycles Coaching is unique in that we have 4 coaches, Alison Powers, Jennifer Triplett, and Patricia Schwager who each brings her own coaching strengths and personal experiences. We work together to create a training plan that works for each and every person. Visit them online at

Related Stories You Might Like

  • How to Deal with an Injury

    If you feel something isn’t right don’t just push through it.  by Patricia Schwager, ALP Cycles Coaching My July blogpost is about how to deal with an injury. I chose this topic because I’m just getting back from an...

Also in Training & Coaching

UCI Sport Director Training Program
UCI Sport Director Training Program

November 22, 2016

This blog is about my experience at the UCI DS training program. I spent the last 3 weeks in Switzerland. The main reason for the trip to my home country was because I attended the 8 days DS training program. The class took place in Aigle, at the World Cycling Center (HQ of the UCI). Every autumn, the UCI is offering a class and exam to receive the UCI DS certification. Right now, the UCI DS certification is mandatory for all Sport Directors working for WorldTour teams and Pro Continental teams. As we got told, this rule will soon also apply for Sport Directors that are working for UCI women's teams. I was lucky enough to receive one of the few scholarships for this 8 day class. Thank you to the UCI for offering such scholarships and thank you to Team TIBCO-Silicon Valley Bank for the help to get me a scholarship. Fun fact about the DS training program: it was almost like a reunion! I knew lots of the people in my class, people that I have met somewhere during my long pro racing career.

Read More

Train Smarter, Not Harder
Train Smarter, Not Harder

November 07, 2016

"How many of you have overtrained?"  asked Dr. San Millan to a room full of 25 coaches and athletes.

Every single person raised their hand.

Everyone, at some point in their athletic lives, will overtrain. In the summer time it's easy to throw in extra mileage even though you've done 15 hours of riding that week and it's only Friday - what's the harm? And while it's ok to pile on the extra miles every once in a while, making a habit of it means you'll eventually find out why rest days are super important. And that lesson could cost you a week, a month, a season or a full year. 

Read More

High Performance Camp Recap
High Performance Camp Recap

October 31, 2016

As coaches, we continually look for ways to make our ALP athletes better, faster, stronger, and more knowledgable. We want them to be the best athletes they can possibly be. 

Personally, when I think back to my racing and training career, I wish I had known many of the things I now know as a coach. So, that lead me to think of ways we can teach our athletes this 'high performance'  knowledge so they can raise their game to the next level. With some brain storming we came up with a new training/learning/teaching camp. The ALP Cycles High Performance Camp.

Read More

Find us on Google+