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Old 01-09-06, 12:31 AM   #1
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I don't like recovery days

I know you're supposed to take a day off now and then to recover, but I don't like them just the same. I'd rather be on the bike.

Would someone please remind me again why I should take time for recovery now and then? I had a somewhat challenging 26 miles today and my legs are sore. I've had a great first week of the year, riding every day and reaching 104 miles or so already. For me, that's a Very Good Week.

So why should I take tomorrow off? Is even a little ten miler that bad for me? I know there will be days when I just can't ride, because of the schedule, or business travel, or torrential rain or something, so why can't I ride all the other days?

Recovery, Shmuvery.
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Old 01-09-06, 01:45 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by Digital Gee
I know you're supposed to take a day off now and then to recover, but I don't like them just the same. I'd rather be on the bike.

Would someone please remind me again why I should take time for recovery now and then? I had a somewhat challenging 26 miles today and my legs are sore. I've had a great first week of the year, riding every day and reaching 104 miles or so already. For me, that's a Very Good Week.

So why should I take tomorrow off? Is even a little ten miler that bad for me? I know there will be days when I just can't ride, because of the schedule, or business travel, or torrential rain or something, so why can't I ride all the other days?

Recovery, Shmuvery.
Providing it is just a small ride without too much effort going on the legs, then there should not be any problems. What you should not do is put in in consecutive days riding with hard rides on each day. There is a problem in that muscles could be stressed to the extent that you could be off riding for a little longer than you want.
Then you have the occasions when you are on a 5 day trip- without the preparation to go with it. First day you push yourself, 2nd day push again because it is just a little bit of aching muscles and 3rd day pulled muscle or worse.
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Old 01-09-06, 06:41 AM   #3
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You don't always need a day off for a "recovery day."

Just an easy no-push ride will do fine. In fact, it may be better. It can help to "wash away" some of the detritus in your body from a hard ride.

Commuters ride 5 days in a row with no problems. Plus many ride on weekends.

http://bicycling.about.com/od/training/a/recovery.htm

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Recovery Ride

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The concept of recovery is a vague one. Most of us would rather spend time thinking about how to gain speed and strength in our rides. The truth is that recovery does just that.

One of the most common misconceptions is what recovery really is. Recovery is not about taking a day or two off after a particularly hard ride. In fact it is best to ride an easy pace the day after a particularly rough ride. Though it is best to only ride six days a week, even the champs need a complete day of rest. Try to plan accordingly.

The easy day is to help you heal from damage that gets done to your body. This actually helps you build on the strength or speed that you’ve gained in the hard training. In fact, taking two easier days can also be helpful depending on how hard you were riding.

This applies to speed work, races, big hills and interval work. These stress the body as they encourage you to grow in your riding. By separating these days with easier days you’ll actually see the gain you were hoping for, without any loss. Being tempted to ride hard again may be a problem some have. Try not to give in to it. A good way to ensure a slower ride is to ride with people who might normally be to slow. For me that slower person would be my wife, though it could be anyone. Just come back tomorrow and ride again!

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Old 01-09-06, 06:46 AM   #4
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When you do a hard ride and stress yourself, you create tiny tears in your muscle fibers. They take 24-48 hours to heal and repair. This is what makes you stronger and improve. You need an easy day for this to take place.
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Old 01-09-06, 07:05 AM   #5
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One of the many gifts bestowed on those of us who have reached this age is an awareness of "what's happening", body-wise and other-wise. It's that little feedback "voice" and it's individual and highly truthful. Folks of all ages have the "voice", but at 50+, we learned long ago to listen to it. . didn't we all. ['Course, there are the "old fools" out there for whom there is no succor, but that can't be helped.]

You don't need us to tell you when to get out of the saddle for a spell. Feel like ridin'? Go have a ride. Feel lousy next day? Ease up. Simple. . .safe. . .effective. . .cheap.

A really wise "voice" will also advise you on other cycling related themes, like burnout.
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Old 01-09-06, 07:34 AM   #6
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- i like at least one recovery day a week - so i can mow the grass and trim the hedges... you know, the little things that keep one's property looking nice, which in turn makes the neighbor(s) happy...

:-)

- agree w/other posters' comments regarding body awareness and easy rides... it feels good to stretch out on an easy 6-10 mile recovery ride with no 'pushing,' and i've not had any injury or extreme soreness since picking up the pace (100 miles or more a week now for the last month or so)...
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Old 01-09-06, 08:27 AM   #7
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You'll hear mostly about muscle recovery, but that is only part of the recovery picture. It's the central nervous system (CNS) that make the muscles do what they do in the first place, and, in our age group especially, it's the CNS that really takes a beating.

If you ever wake up in the morning and find that you just don't have that "usual" pep, find throughout the day that you have that "heavy" feeling -- both physically and mentally -- then it's a good chance that the CNS needs a little recovery. Even if you would be physically able, muscle-wise, to ride 100 miles.

Getting in that overtraining mode is a very slow process. It's just a little bit, by little bit each day.

It's like a bank account where you have $100 in the bank. Each day you take out $10, but you're only putting $9 back. The first day you're back up to $99, but you're still a dollar short. And you'll be a dollar short again tomorrow, and the next day, until you've wiped out your account.

Listen to your body. An easy ride around town on an "off" day isn't going to do any harm with recovery. But you do need to recover. There's a lot that takes place within your body during that time to make you even stronger for the next time out -- and it's not just "muscle" recovery.
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Old 01-09-06, 08:45 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by oldcrank
If you ever wake up in the morning and find that you just don't have that "usual" pep, find throughout the day that you have that "heavy" feeling -- both physically and mentally -- then it's a good chance that the CNS needs a little recovery. Even if you would be physically able, muscle-wise, to ride 100 miles.

Wow-that describes exactly how I felt this morning. I knew I pushed too hard on my "recovery ride" yesterday but heck the weather was perfect and I felt surprisingly good after 100 miles the day before.

Sometimes the hardest thing to do is to just ride easy......Seems like the more I know the "dumber" I get!!!!
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Old 01-09-06, 09:17 AM   #9
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Here's a typical coaching commentary on recovery, courtesy of Carmichael Training Systems.

"To improve performance, your body needs systematic increases in exercise stress to overload your system and create adaptations to these increases. These adaptations can only occur if proper rest and recovery is allowed. This is why you see recovery days incorporated into periodized training programs.

Active recovery has been found to aid in the process of recovery with faster lactate disappearance immediately after exercise. It can also be coupled with some of your rest days to increase the blood supply to your muscles and accelerate recovery. You need to be careful not to over-do it when adding AR to your program. Light running or spinning for 30 to 40 minutes at 65-70% of your average heart rate should be sufficient for recovery purposes. Anything over this is not recommended. You need to make sure you’re not overreaching (short-term overtraining). Signs of overreaching include, training fatigue, reduced maximal performance capacity, and decreased competitive ability. If you begin to feel any of these symptoms following the addition of AR into you program, stop use immediately."



A lot of folks who are working their butts off, but while never seeing any improvement, are doing it to themselves by not properly utilizing their recovery days. If you don't use progressive overload in your training then recovery days may be of less value to you.

Me personally...I fought recovery days for a few years before finally giving them a chance to prove their worth. My cycling and fitness have not been the same since. I couldn't believe how much difference they made when properly used with a train hard, rest hard/active recovery training approach.
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Old 01-09-06, 09:57 AM   #10
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Agreed I don't like recovery days either. Today is a recovery day. Not so much sore muscles but weakness and other pains, so taking an extra good day off. Problem is tomorrow winds will be back in full force, but rather than pushing it, I have learned I do better if I allow full recovery time.

Guess that's the price I need to pay for a great ride on Friday.
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Old 01-09-06, 10:38 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Digital Gee
I know you're supposed to take a day off now and then to recover, but I don't like them just the same. I'd rather be on the bike.

Would someone please remind me again why I should take time for recovery now and then? I had a somewhat challenging 26 miles today and my legs are sore. I've had a great first week of the year, riding every day and reaching 104 miles or so already. For me, that's a Very Good Week.

So why should I take tomorrow off? Is even a little ten miler that bad for me? I know there will be days when I just can't ride, because of the schedule, or business travel, or torrential rain or something, so why can't I ride all the other days?

Recovery, Shmuvery.
Digital, I forgot your age. Assuming you are like me (64) here is what I know.
Training to win races will require following above advise.
Training to peddle across the country at 16 MPH requires endurance and proper nutrition. I found it critical to keep my cadence up over 80 per minute (better 90). I once in a while sprint over 20 MPH. I have a Cateye and a Polar HRM mounted on my bike. I juggle between HR 90 to 140 and cadence 80 to 110. Speed 15 MPH to over 20 MPH with help of wind. This all assumes flats.
Doing the above with lots of good food and drink requires no days off.
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Old 01-09-06, 12:16 PM   #12
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I ride quite often so am used to what My body is telling me on the bike- However on Sunday we did some true offroad. Not just the normal ride along trails and up hills offroad that we have been doing. True offroad with a few technical bits and the bike was thrown about a bit. This morning I feel fine- except for my chest muscles. They had a bit of use Sunday that they are not used to. At the time I did not realise how much I was using my upper body, but this also down to not going to the Gym for the occasional workout. I know it is just a bit of tiredness at present, but Upper body work is out for a couple of days, just to give it time to recover.
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Old 01-09-06, 12:53 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by stapfam
I ride quite often so am used to what My body is telling me on the bike- However on Sunday we did some true offroad. Not just the normal ride along trails and up hills offroad that we have been doing. True offroad with a few technical bits and the bike was thrown about a bit. This morning I feel fine- except for my chest muscles. They had a bit of use Sunday that they are not used to. At the time I did not realise how much I was using my upper body, but this also down to not going to the Gym for the occasional workout. I know it is just a bit of tiredness at present, but Upper body work is out for a couple of days, just to give it time to recover.
I was sitting here last night, glanced over at my handlebars and took notice to the width. I'm going to try out using the exact same width for hand/bar position on bench press, bent-over rowing, seated rows and lat pulldowns.

Trying to keep the same geometry with upper body weight training as the upper body position and geometry on the bike.

Actually, if you "rotate" the geometry from bike position to, say, benching position it would work out to be DECLINE bench press to bench the weight straight up from the chest area. This is particularly interesting because many of the recommendations in the cycling literature recommend INCLINE bench pressing when weight training. But if you truly rotated the body from bike to bench, in order to have the arms perpendicular to the floor, the upper body would have to decline on the bench. Hmmmm.

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Old 01-09-06, 01:36 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by oldcrank
If you ever wake up in the morning and find that you just don't have that "usual" pep, find throughout the day that you have that "heavy" feeling -- both physically and mentally -- then it's a good chance that the CNS needs a little recovery. Even if you would be physically able, muscle-wise, to ride 100 miles.
I managed to ride 7 of the first 8 days in January, including the last 6 straight. I woke up sluggish and generally lethargic today and have forced myself to take the day off. I've always had a tendency to over-ride and tell myself that I'll be OK if I just ride a slow short ride for a change. Somehow, though, my self-control seems to be lacking and I end up over-doing it.

So, today is a work around the house today with a nice lunch out and maybe an hour or so watching the 2005 Giro on dvd followed by an evening of cleaning my bike which I find very relaxing. It's going to be a good day.
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Old 01-09-06, 03:08 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by Trsnrtr
I managed to ride 7 of the first 8 days in January, including the last 6 straight. I woke up sluggish and generally lethargic today and have forced myself to take the day off. I've always had a tendency to over-ride and tell myself that I'll be OK if I just ride a slow short ride for a change. Somehow, though, my self-control seems to be lacking and I end up over-doing it.

So, today is a work around the house today with a nice lunch out and maybe an hour or so watching the 2005 Giro on dvd followed by an evening of cleaning my bike which I find very relaxing. It's going to be a good day.
Hmmmm......!
I will try to keep your advise in mind when we go for 27 days cross country.
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Old 01-09-06, 06:13 PM   #16
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Hmmmm......!
I will try to keep your advise in mind when we go for 27 days cross country.
Does that mean you are taking along a portable DVD player and a copy of the 3 disc set '05 Giro d'Italia?
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Old 01-09-06, 10:42 PM   #17
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Does that mean you are taking along a portable DVD player and a copy of the 3 disc set '05 Giro d'Italia?
Sorry, no can do, it will have to be daydreams and vivid imaginations. (I hope not hallucinations)
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Old 01-10-06, 08:16 AM   #18
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Wow-that describes exactly how I felt this morning.
In your case that isn't Central Nervous System exhaustion, it's just a hangover.....
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Old 01-10-06, 08:18 AM   #19
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Geeman, recovery means recovery - not simply being off of a bike. As others pointed out you can recover better when you do an EASY ride. The trouble is that most beginners don't understand that easy means EASY and end up going hammer and tongs on the "recovery" ride instead of going really easy and holding yourself back the entire ride.
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Old 01-10-06, 11:33 AM   #20
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Geeman, recovery means recovery - not simply being off of a bike. As others pointed out you can recover better when you do an EASY ride. The trouble is that most beginners don't understand that easy means EASY and end up going hammer and tongs on the "recovery" ride instead of going really easy and holding yourself back the entire ride.
Yep, that describes me to a tee! I'll get out there for an easy ride, but pretty soon, once I'm warmed up it's all bets are off. In fact, the day before yesterday I set out for a ten mile easy ride, but once on the road, decided what the heck and rode twenty six, and some of that was quite hilly.

I stayed off the bike yesterday, mumbling and grumbling the whole time, and got in some recovery, but perhaps I need a little discipline about being ON the bike and taking it EASY at the same time. Also, I'm learning I have an interesting reaction to starting to log my miles on BikeJournal.com -- I always feel a little "behind" because there's always someone who just passed me. This makes me want to choose distance over anything else every time -- in other words, I'd rather get more miles in than spend a half hour working on hills, for example.

Anyway, it all goes back to that four letter word, "discpline," right?
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Old 01-10-06, 01:46 PM   #21
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Sorry, no can do, it will have to be daydreams and vivid imaginations. (I hope not hallucinations)
Come on Will. You have a Tandem so strap the DVD player on your back and you Have a willing Stoker. Switch it off uphills until speed gets to above 15mph and you'll sail through the Tour
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Old 01-10-06, 02:34 PM   #22
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Also, I'm learning I have an interesting reaction to starting to log my miles on BikeJournal.com -- I always feel a little "behind" because there's always someone who just passed me.
Well, as you are 2.8 miles ahead of me, I think you should take SEVERAL recovery days without riding!
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Old 01-10-06, 03:12 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by Digital Gee
I know you're supposed to take a day off now and then to recover, but I don't like them just the same. I'd rather be on the bike.

Would someone please remind me again why I should take time for recovery now and then? I had a somewhat challenging 26 miles today and my legs are sore. I've had a great first week of the year, riding every day and reaching 104 miles or so already. For me, that's a Very Good Week.

So why should I take tomorrow off? Is even a little ten miler that bad for me? I know there will be days when I just can't ride, because of the schedule, or business travel, or torrential rain or something, so why can't I ride all the other days?
DG, my recent experience backs you up. I did two pretty hard rides this weekend, and felt stiff and a bit sore yesterday morning. Hmm. A recovery day. But then I realized that errands and caring for a sick spouse might well keep me off the bike completely today, so I took an hour and did one of my favorite short rides, to Descanso Gardens and back home. It's an unusual ride for me in that the first half is mostly uphill, and the return, obviously, a relaxed downhill.

On the way back a fit young man caught up with me (no hard thing to do) and we rode along together and chatted. He agreed that a short, relaxed ride gets the lactic acid out of your leg muscles. Today I feel great. Hmm. Maybe if my wife takes a nap later, I'll jump on the bike for another "quickie."
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Old 01-10-06, 05:22 PM   #24
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Well, as you are 2.8 miles ahead of me, I think you should take SEVERAL recovery days without riding!
Check again, DnvrFox! I just added 20.2 miles today...(evil grin). The race is afoot!
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Old 01-10-06, 05:59 PM   #25
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Check again, DnvrFox! I just added 20.2 miles today...(evil grin). The race is afoot!
Darn!

And we are supposed to have very high winds tomorrow.

I probably will have to put about 100 miles on the trainer tomorrow!

EDIT:

Looks like we will be in Carlsbad April 9-14. We (wife and myself) will have bikes. Maybe John E, DG and some others could ride Torrey Pines or something like that? DG - have you done the OLD Torrey Pines grade inside the park yet?

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