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    A Member kukusz's Avatar
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    Recovery Rides, What Have You Done for Me Lately?

    I know that the stated uses of a recovery ride are:

    1) Help eliminate waste product from previous days hard workout.
    2) Increase blood flow to legs and actually aid in rebuilding of muscles.
    3) Keep the legs limber and possibly help with residual soreness.

    Since recovery rides have 0 adaptation potential and rest is paramount to recovery, I'm wondering if recovery rides actually do anything? I can not find any physiological evidence on pub med or anything to support the above claims, however I might be using the wrong keywords.

    I'm sure recovery rides do something to actually benefit the rider, however when does it make sense to get a massage or use "the stick" instead of spin for an hour? I would love to see some evidence on the subject that is non-anecdotal.

  2. #2
    Lotion/Basket/Hose Doctor Who's Avatar
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    I do feel better if I go for a recovery ride, but my recovery rides are usually a trip around my neighborhood to a coffeeshop or restaurant, in regular clothes, at a pace that barely quickens the breath or causes sweat. I'll cruise around, take things slow, and if I'm feeling really saucy, I'll **** around practicing trackstands in a parking lot.

    I'll ride around for 40-50 minutes, cover about 7-8 miles, and I always feel good afterward and better the day after. I used to take the day off the bike after a hardcore ride, but now I feel better when I get back into hard training the day after I've done a recovery ride. Make sense?

    Sometimes though, it's nice to take a day OFF from the bike. Your body will let you know if it needs it. On those days, go for a decent walk, maybe 2.5-4 miles, get a paper and sit and read it on a bench and then walk home.

  3. #3
    more ape than man timmhaan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kukusz View Post
    I know that the stated uses of a recovery ride are:

    1) Help eliminate waste product from previous days hard workout.
    2) Increase blood flow to legs and actually aid in rebuilding of muscles.
    3) Keep the legs limber and possibly help with residual soreness.

    Since recovery rides have 0 adaptation potential and rest is paramount to recovery, I'm wondering if recovery rides actually do anything? I can not find any physiological evidence on pub med or anything to support the above claims, however I might be using the wrong keywords.

    I'm sure recovery rides do something to actually benefit the rider, however when does it make sense to get a massage or use "the stick" instead of spin for an hour? I would love to see some evidence on the subject that is non-anecdotal.
    i haven't seen anything non-anecdotal myself. might want to try the nutrition and training forum...a few docs frequent that forum.

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    A Member kukusz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Doctor Who View Post
    ...I always feel good afterward and better the day after. I used to take the day off the bike after a hardcore ride, but now I feel better when I get back into hard training the day after I've done a recovery ride.
    I agree I _think_ I feel better, I'm just wondering from a pure adaptation perspective whether a full day off would always be more beneficial the day after a hard ride/race. I have a feeling I'm not going to get the answer I want

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    Theodore Roosevelt's idol TheKillerPenguin's Avatar
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    In addition to allowing the 3 things you listed, recovery rides are a good time to work on pedaling form.
    Masochism is a training adaptation.

  6. #6
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    Sorry, no hard evidence from me either, just more anecdotes...

    I don't get in enough time on the bike just doing specific or hard training as I'd like so I take my recovery time to work on other things, pedaling form, practicing handling skills, practicing taking on and off jackets, arm warmers, etc... Recovery rides seem to be as much about mental recovery as physical recovery for me as well.

    That's not to say that I don't take a day off the bike every week and make sure I do something like take a walk, get a massage, etc.

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    Recovery rides also give an obsessive, jumpy, Type-A personality something to do instead of overtraining.
    I don't even use the offensive term "Fred." -- Sheldon "All Cyclists Are My Friends" Brown (1944-2008)

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    To re-phrase the issue somewhat: Is some activity better than complete inactivity during recovery periods?

    I don't have any 'scientific' evidence either, but this seems to fall into the realm of 'common and generally accepted knowledge'.

    Anecdotally, the two best examples I can think of are:

    First, a consider the fact that in the TDF teams do "recovery" rides on racing offdays. Pro race teams are typically on the cutting edge of science and technology with regard to training and racing. I find it hard to believe that pro racers are guided by baseless urban myth and legend with regard to recovery rides on off-days.

    Second, in the medical field for example we see hospital patients who are sitting up in chairs within 24 hours of heart bypass surgery, and who are taking short walks within 48 hours of same, which their doctors prescribe for them because it supposedly speeds the healing and recovery process.

    I think the real question becomes where to draw the line. How much activity enhances recovery, and at what point does too much activity slow the recovery process.

    Bob
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    Senior Member Coyote2's Avatar
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    Sometimes, anecdotal evidence is the best evidence. If a rest day works better for you, then follow that procedure. If a light spin works better, then do that for recovery.

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    S.D.M.F. BlessedHellride's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bobby Lex View Post
    First, a consider the fact that in the TDF teams do "recovery" rides on racing offdays. Pro race teams are typically on the cutting edge of science and technology with regard to training and racing. I find it hard to believe that pro racers are guided by baseless urban myth and legend with regard to recovery rides on off-days.
    My understanding is they do the "recovery rides" to actually keep the body from going into recovery mode.
    "you can never get too low when you're so damn high, on the blessed hellride"

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    Best way to get evidence is to try it yourself for 6 weeks. If you dont feel they are of benefit dont do them.
    Please remember that all statements unless quoted, are strictly my opinion of what happened. That there are as many opinions as there are spectators attending. I just choose to publish mine on this forum. And would NEVER intend to purposely hurt or discredit any other cyclist.... With that said... HTFU!

  12. #12
    In-House Counsel CaseLawZ28's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bobby Lex View Post
    First, a consider the fact that in the TDF teams do "recovery" rides on racing offdays. Pro race teams are typically on the cutting edge of science and technology with regard to training and racing. I find it hard to believe that pro racers are guided by baseless urban myth and legend with regard to recovery rides on off-days.
    Their recovery rides also aren't lazy spins for an hour that you would typically do for a recovery ride.
    --Jimm--

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    . botto's Avatar
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    it's my favorite way to avoid this:


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    Oh The Huge Manatee Lithuania's Avatar
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    is it possible to go to easy on a recovery ride? Ive been doing my recovery rides on the trainer in z1 but I dont think I feel any better after Ive done one. Maybe I am riding too hard still.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lithuania View Post
    is it possible to go to easy on a recovery ride? Ive been doing my recovery rides on the trainer in z1 but I dont think I feel any better after Ive done one. Maybe I am riding too hard still.
    On the PE scale of 1 to 10 it should be below 2 (for me).
    Please remember that all statements unless quoted, are strictly my opinion of what happened. That there are as many opinions as there are spectators attending. I just choose to publish mine on this forum. And would NEVER intend to purposely hurt or discredit any other cyclist.... With that said... HTFU!

  16. #16
    Burning Matches. ElJamoquio's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lithuania View Post
    is it possible to go to easy on a recovery ride?
    Yes. Last year I was passed by a grandmother on a MTB.
    Reacting is mind candy; it requires no thought. Thinking is tedious.

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    Among the reasons listed from my coach is that recovery rides "keep your metabolic system active." YMMV.

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    Quote Originally Posted by CaseLawZ28 View Post
    Their recovery rides also aren't lazy spins for an hour that you would typically do for a recovery ride.
    It's all relative. What I call a recovery ride, some of my less-fit buddies call a workout. OTOH, I'm sure there are more fit folks out there whose recovery rides would make me suffer.

    Bob
    Be the Bike

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    Oh The Huge Manatee Lithuania's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wfrogge View Post
    On the PE scale of 1 to 10 it should be below 2 (for me).
    I am a masher when I am normally riding but when I do recovery rides I tend to spin a lot more since there is very little resistance. PE is always real low like a 1 or 2 so i dont know, maybe the higher cadence isnt good for me on these rides and is actually wearing my legs out.

  20. #20
    Senior Member Duke of Kent's Avatar
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    I go out on the bike with my digital camera, with the goal of taking a picture every 10 minutes. Two hours, a dozen interesting pictures. Could be a barn owl in a tree, two fawns and their mother crossing a creek, whatever.

    And, while there might not be any training adaptation, that's not what I'm going for on a recover day. I'm flushing the crap out of my legs, burning calories, doing something besides wasting time on BF, and keeping my weight down.

    Edit: At no point do I allow myself to shift any lower than my 39x14. 11,12, and 13 might as well not exist on Mondays in March-September.
    "If a non personal post makes you feel as if you've been attacked, maybe the problem IS you."

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    . botto's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lithuania View Post
    is it possible to go to easy on a recovery ride? Ive been doing my recovery rides on the trainer in z1 but I dont think I feel any better after Ive done one. Maybe I am riding too hard still.
    recovery ride on a trainer?

  22. #22
    A Member kukusz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wfrogge View Post
    Best way to get evidence is to try it yourself for 6 weeks. If you dont feel they are of benefit dont do them.
    I have been using the concept of recovery rides in some form or another since I started "training". I just want to point out that personal anecdotal evidence is highly influenced by psychological factors and that is why I posted the question. The actual or placebo effects of Optygen have generated similar discussions, I just want to see if the scientific research community has anything to offer.

  23. #23
    Slow'n'Aero DrWJODonnell's Avatar
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    Interestingly, the Choi and bogdanis studies are negative with regards to active recovery, but my personal belief is that these are in regards to very specific situations, and are more likely outweighed good effects due to the type of training that most cyclists do.

    Does this help at all?

    Bogdanis, G.C., Nevill, M.E., Lakomy, H.K., Graham, C.M., Louis, G. Effects of active recovery on power output during repeated maximal sprint cycling. Eur J Appl Physiol Occup Physiol 74 (5) 461-469 1996

    Wigernaes, I., Hostmark, A.T., Kierulf, P., Stromme, S.B. Active recovery reduces the decrease in circulating white blood cells after exercise. International Journal of Sports Medicine 21 (8) 608-612 2000

    Monedero, J., Donne, B. Effect of recovery interventions on lactate removal and subsequent performance. International Journal of Sports Medicine 21 (8) 593-597 2000

    Wigerneas, I., Stromme, S.B., Hostmark, A.T. Active recovery counteracts the post-exercise rise in plasma-free fatty acids. International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism 10 (4) 404-414 2000

    Watts, P.B., Daggett, M., Gallagher, P., Wilkins, B. Metabolic response during sport rock climbing and the effects of active versus passive recovery. International Journal of Sports Medicine 21 (3) 185-190 2000

    Signorile, J.F., Ingalls, C., Tremblay, L.M. The effects of active and passive recovery on short-term, high intensity power output. Canadian Journal of Applied Physiology 18 (1) 31-42 1993

    Peters_Futre, E.M., Noakes, T.D., Raine, R.I., Terblanche, S.E. Muscle glycogen repletion during active postexercise recovery. The American Journal of Physiology 253 (3 Pt 1) E305-11 1987

    Jemni, M., Sands, W.A., Friemel, F., Delamarche, P. Effect of active and passive recovery on blood lactate and performance during simulated competition in high level gymnasts. Canadian Journal of Applied Physiology 28 (2) 240-256 2003

    Takahashi, T., Miyamoto, Y. Influence of light physical activity on cardiac responses during recovery from exercise in humans. Eur J Appl Physiol Occup Physiol 77 (4) 305-311 1998

    Taoutaou, Z., Granier, P., Mercier, B., Mercier, J., Ahmaidi, S., Prefaut, C. Lactate kinetics during passive and partially active recovery in endurance and sprint athletes. Eur J Appl Physiol Occup Physiol 73 (5) 465-470 1996

    Choi, D., Cole, K.J., Goodpaster, B.H., Fink, W.J., Costill, D.L., Effect of passive and active recovery on the resynthesis of muscle glycogen. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise 26 (8) 992-996 1994

    Takahashi, T., Niizeki, K., Miyamoto, Y., Respiratory responses to passive and active recovery from exercise. Japanese Journal of Physiology 47 (1) 59-65 1997

    Carter, R., Wilson, T.E., Watenpaugh, D.E., Smith, M.L., Crandall, C.G. Effects of mode of exercise recovery on thermoregulatory and cardiovascular responses. Journal of Applied Physiology: Respiratory, Environmental and Exercise Physiology 93 (6) 1918-1924 2002

    Yoshida, T., Watari, H., Tagawa, K. Effects of active and passive recoveries on splitting of the inorganic phosphate peak determined by 31P-nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy. Nmr in Biomedicine 9 (1) 13-19 1996

    Gupta, S., Goswami, A., Sadhukhan, A.K., Mathur, D.N., Comparative study of lactate removal in short term massage of extremities, active recovery and a passive recovery period after supramaximal exercise sessions. International Journal of Sports Medicine 17 (2) 106-110 1996

    Wigernaes, I., Hostmark, A.T., Stromme, S.B., Kierulf, P., Birkeland, K. Active recovery and post-exercise white blood cell count, free fatty acids, and hormones in endurance athletes. European Journal of Applied Physiology and Occupational Physiology 84 (4) 358-366 2001

    Thiriet, P., Gozal, D., Wouassi, D., Oumarou, T., Gelas, H., Lacour, J.R. The effect of various recovery modalities on subsequent performance, in consecutive supramaximal exercise. The Journal of Sport Medicine and Physical Fitness 33 (2) 118-129 1993

  24. #24
    A Member kukusz's Avatar
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    ^^^

    lol, I knew I was just using the wrong keywords in my pub med search. Thanks.

  25. #25
    Oh The Huge Manatee Lithuania's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by botto View Post
    recovery ride on a trainer?
    most of the time i dont have a choice in the matter since I dont get home until after dark to ride. Secondly, I find it much easier to regulate my effort on the trainer since I dont have to worry about terrain changes. My area is just too hilly to really take it easy.

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