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  1. #1
    Atlanta Road Racer dgearhart's Avatar
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    Active Recovery vs. Rest Day

    I was curious how many people used active recovery vs. rest day. I know everyone needs at least a day or two of rest, but I find that I benefit more from a full rest day than doing a 60 or 90 min recovery spin. Is anyone else like that? My training consists of two days of hard group rides and one day of SST work with some hard intervals. I use WKO+ to monitor my TSB, but I find that taking a day off to recover provides a better recovery than a recovery ride which is counterintuitive based on current approaches to recovery. Anyone else feel the same? BTW, since I'm 37 yr old Cat 3, that may play a role...don't recover like I used to...
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  2. #2
    Senior Member?
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    are you sure your recovery rides are slow enough? In my experience they should be 30-60 min rather than 60-90, and they should be agonizingly slow.

  3. #3
    Ho-Jahm Hocam's Avatar
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    I'm the same way, even if I do 45 minutes in zone 1, based on power readings, I still don't seem to recover as fast.

    I'm 24, this is my first year racing/training like I'm racing.
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  4. #4
    ɹǝʇsɯıʇ
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    If I do 30-60 minutes in zone 1, I get off the bike feeling like I never went for a ride. I'm pretty sure that's the what it's supposed to feel like.

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    active recovery 2 days/wk combined with stretching and i feel WAY better than if i took the days off.

  6. #6
    meow bostongarden's Avatar
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    I go with how I feel. Most of the time, I prefer to spin easy for recovery. Sometimes -- almost the equivalent of totally off -- I'll do errands on my bike. And, sometimes, I'll power hard. For the latter, this is rarely part of the plan; if I feel it on a ride, I do it.

  7. #7
    Atlanta Road Racer dgearhart's Avatar
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    Yes, my recovery rides are 50% of FTP which is the higher end of zone 1. Maybe they need to be more like 30 - 40% of FTP since I don't feel as recovered as a day off the bike. Thanks for the input. I'll keep experimenting since recovery rides seem to work with the others on the board.
    Last edited by dgearhart; 05-13-09 at 09:29 AM.
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  8. #8
    carbon is too light procrit's Avatar
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    I personally like my rest days to be completely off the bike. It's good for me mentally and I think having at least 2 days a week of non-repetitive motion on the legs helps tendons/joints/etc to stay healthy.
    Cat 2+*--------------+Cat 1

  9. #9
    Transplant Robobo1's Avatar
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    50/50. One day a week is light spin, zone 1, careful eye on the powermeter. Other is a day off - a mental break. Both really help! Mental break is important.
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  10. #10
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    I take time off the bike. However, I try and ride at least 30 minutes the day before a race. I always joke that "you don't get better when you train, you get better when you rest", which is sort of true. Our old joke was that we were "double secret training", i.e. not riding at all.

    My plan for this year is to rest Thu, Fri each week. Easy on Sat, unless race, then race on Sunday. Then hard rides Mon (2 hour group ride), Tue (race), Wed (race). Max recovery for the next weekend's race, max work before said recovery.

    cdr

  11. #11
    Cat 3 Meter - Don't Care fauxto nick's Avatar
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    For me personally (and I do believe this is a personal thing) I have to say it depends. I notice if I have big rides or races coming up I need to do active recovery after hard training otherwise the soreness and fatigue will stay for 3 days rather than say 1. For example last Sat I did a hard training ride and did no active recovery because I was coming up on a rest week and I was sore till Tues when I got back on the bike.

    Today for example I don't have a race or hard ride coming up so I'm taking full recovery even though I did a hard ride yesterday (Tues). So I guess at this point if I have no rides coming up I'll take full rest if I have rides, training or a race coming up I'll do active recovery and keep my muscles fresh. A lot of the times I feel like the full days off the bike are more mental decompression rather than physical recovery if that makes any sense... but I am a noob.

  12. #12
    Senior Member WCroadie's Avatar
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    On friday mornings I usually walk fast(4-4.5mph) on the treadmill for 45 mins or so, I use this as a recovery day. I usually feel fresh on saturdays, flushing the crap out of my legs from thrusdays worlds training crit. I hear the light pounding of walking/running is good for the bones since cycling is a non-impact sport.

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    I don't ride on recovery days. I go way too hard if I do.

    Riding around at 140-150 watts is boring. I'd rather hang out with my friends instead.
    Truth, like light, blinds. Falsehood, on the contrary, is a beautiful twilight that enhances every object.
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  14. #14
    3 seconds ColorChange's Avatar
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    I originally didn't find recovery days helpful and it was because I was going too hard. I now do not go above 150 watts (seriously hard to do) for about an hour and it does make me better, plus it burns a few calories which I still desperately need.

  15. #15
    Senior Member MONGO!'s Avatar
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    Recovery rides make me feel a lot better than days off.

    e.g.
    Did 100 miles Saturday, one hour recovery ride Sunday, raced Monday, 1 hr rec. ride Tuesday morning, raced Tuesday night.

    My legs didn't feel great but they felt a lot better than if I'd just rested between each hard effort.

  16. #16
    Transplant Robobo1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by WCroadie View Post
    On friday mornings I usually walk fast(4-4.5mph) on the treadmill for 45 mins or so, I use this as a recovery day. I usually feel fresh on saturdays, flushing the crap out of my legs from thrusdays worlds training crit. I hear the light pounding of walking/running is good for the bones since cycling is a non-impact sport.
    I'll often take a walk around the lake (3 miles) after a race or hard training session in the evening. I find it helps me.

    A teammate puts in about 30 min each night on his rollers, in the easiest gear, just spinning lightly. He says it helps him.
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  17. #17
    . botto's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ridethecliche View Post
    I don't ride on recovery days. I go way too hard if I do.

    Riding around at 140-150 watts is boring. I'd rather hang out with my friends instead.
    and here i thought you were a smart kid.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by botto View Post
    and here i thought you were a smart kid.
    Meh, too may rollers and the like here to keep it truly recovery. If there are no hills, there's wind. I hate middling around at 14-15 mph. It's boring...

    If I want to do a short easy spin for 20-30 mins, I'll do it on the trainer while watching a TV show.
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  19. #19
    . botto's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ridethecliche View Post
    Meh, too may rollers and the like here to keep it truly recovery. If there are no hills, there's wind. I hate middling around at 14-15 mph. It's boring...

    If I want to do a short easy spin for 20-30 mins, I'll do it on the trainer while watching a TV show.

  20. #20
    Village Idiot
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    Quote Originally Posted by botto View Post
    Go hard or go home.

    So if I'm not riding hard, I ride at home.

    Honestly, even my easy 12 mile loop has a couple of hills that I have to climb at or above threshold. That really doesn't do much for a 'recovery' ride. Doing laps around campus isn't entertaining.
    Truth, like light, blinds. Falsehood, on the contrary, is a beautiful twilight that enhances every object.
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  21. #21
    Elite Fred mollusk's Avatar
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    I prefer an easy day to a day off. Today would have been a recovery ride day but there is also a good chance of getting caught in a thunderstorm. I opted to stay home. If it was a day where the training plan was more intense I would be out there and probably getting wet.
    I'm the world's forgotten boy. The one who's searchin', searchin' to destroy.

  22. #22
    Senior Member phoshizzo's Avatar
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    I take 2 days off the bike per week. I'm a 38 yr old Cat 3 w/ a full time job that requires me to be on my feet most of the day, add to that I have 3 young boys. I figuring walking around for 8 hrs a day and hanging w/ the family is my "active" recovery.

    I think it really depends on what your job, family, and work situation is like. If you have a lot on your plate as it is, then a full day off the bike might benefit you more than a easy day on the bike.

  23. #23
    Elite Fred mollusk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ridethecliche View Post
    Doing laps around campus isn't entertaining.
    All male campus?
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  24. #24
    Village Idiot
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    Quote Originally Posted by mollusk View Post
    All male campus?
    Negative. All the girls are sunbathing on the campus hill.

    Recovery is sitting there with the guys with a couple of cold ones on a nice day after a ride, or during a rest day.

    Or both
    Truth, like light, blinds. Falsehood, on the contrary, is a beautiful twilight that enhances every object.
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  25. #25
    . botto's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ridethecliche View Post
    Negative. All the girls are sunbathing on the campus hill.

    Recovery is sitting there with the guys with a couple of cold ones on a nice day after a ride, or during a rest day.

    Or both

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