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  1. #1
    I need more cowbell. Digital Gee's Avatar
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    Can we talk recovery rides again?

    I don't do enough long distance riding to know what I'm supposed to be doing in terms of a recovery ride when I have ridden a long way. So yesterday I ride 65 miles, and two hours after the ride every part of me hurts, so I'm thinking I'll just stay off the bike today.

    So this morning I get up, and it's like nothing ever happened. I'm not sore anywhere. Just a very slight tightness in my thigh muscles.

    So with the perfect weather we're having, I figure why not go out and ride. Time was an issue so I could only ride for an hour or so, so I did just ten miles and rode a little slowly. I told myself this was a recovery ride and I shouldn't hammer and for the most part I kept my promise.

    But had time not been a factor, I could easily have done two hours in the saddle, and at a faster clip. That sounds like it wouldn't have been a recovery ride, unless I misunderstand the concept. So I guess I'm wondering what are the general guidelines (if there are any) on recovery rides, and/or skipping a day altogether.

    I felt fine after today's ride, and still do. Tomorrow is the weekend, and I'd like to do about 25 miles, unless you suggest that I'm pushing fate.

    What's the consensus?
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  2. #2
    Time for a change. stapfam's Avatar
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    Day after a gruelling ride- then do as you have done today-Even if you do feel a bit sore and stiff. This is just to get the legs turning and get movement back into them.

    Then at the weekend- a 25 miler sounds a bit tame after 65 miles so in the 25 miles do a couple of miles at a higher speed than you normally would. If you would normally ride at 10mph- then just do a couple of MPH extra just for those few miles.

    Mind you- You may feel strong enough to get that 70 mile ride in so go for it.
    How long was I in the army? Five foot seven.


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  3. #3
    Senior Member Retro Grouch's Avatar
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    So what's your objective? Do you want to race, do you have some fitness goal, or do you just want to have fun?

    Assuming it's the latter, just do whatever seems fun day-by-day and the weeks will take care of themselves. Some people train so hard that they turn riding their bikes into a job. Now they can even turn resting into a job. Where does it end?

  4. #4
    Let's do a Century jppe's Avatar
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    The key to the day after is to watch the HR and make sure it stays below 70%-80% of max. You want to flush the lactic acid out of the muscles-not build up more. Riding about an hour for a recovery ride is about right.

    Two days after, do what you feel like riding. My guess is you'll feel stiffer two days after than the first day, though........

  5. #5
    The Grampster tlc20010's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jppe
    The key to the day after is to watch the HR and make sure it stays below 70%-80% of max. You want to flush the lactic acid out of the muscles-not build up more. Riding about an hour for a recovery ride is about right.

    Two days after, do what you feel like riding. My guess is you'll feel stiffer two days after than the first day, though........
    +1 on the heart rate. On a recovery ride I try to go at a rate to avoid breathing hard at all. But also +1 for Stapham's advice about getting the legs turning for a bit. Notice on the TdF that riders go out on their rest days and do a 'gentle' 100km or so just to keep the blood flowing (I can't believe the pros). So one rider's exhausting personal best is another rider's recovery ride. Do what feels good.

    For a rider of your stature and equipment, 25 today would be a minimum--why not go out 25, back 25 (and then do it again so you'll have your first century).
    The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.
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  6. #6
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    I think that the concept of recovery applies to biking close to the limit of performance for a given biker.
    I just did one week of daily biking. About 100 miles/day. Moderate speeds for me is 15-17 MPH average biking time. There were no feelings of fatigue. No need for recovery.
    If I would attempt jppe's type of biking I would listen to jppe closely. Not in this life.

  7. #7
    Senior Member CrossChain's Avatar
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    Part of recovery is to make sure you rehydrate (not root beer and junk) and replenish with a balance of protein and some proper carb. After getting off the bike yesterday...did you fairly quickly start swallowing the right things? [Gary, 'fess up.....this is the voice of your mom.]
    Last edited by CrossChain; 07-07-07 at 12:05 PM.

  8. #8
    I need more cowbell. Digital Gee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CrossChain
    Part of recovery is to make sure you rehydrate (not root beer and junk) and replenish with a balance of protein and some carb. After getting off the bike yesterday...did you fairly quickly start swallowing the right things? [Gary, 'fess up.....this is the voice of your mom.]
    I plead the fifth. Unless fish tacos at Rubios constitutes the right answer.
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  9. #9
    I need more cowbell. Digital Gee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Retro Grouch
    So what's your objective? Do you want to race, do you have some fitness goal, or do you just want to have fun?

    Assuming it's the latter, just do whatever seems fun day-by-day and the weeks will take care of themselves. Some people train so hard that they turn riding their bikes into a job. Now they can even turn resting into a job. Where does it end?
    I asked the question because I do not want to injure myself by over-doing something. I ride for fun and fitness, but I'm not an expert on muscles and such. I'm not training too hard; I believe in my OP I said something about the fact that I don't normally ride 65 miles in one ride and therefore wondered what was the best way to recover from that unusual circumstance. If you're referring to ME turning resting into a job, you've got the wrong guy.
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  10. #10
    Senior Member MNBikeguy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Digital Gee
    I asked the question because I do not want to injure myself by over-doing something. I ride for fun and fitness, but I'm not an expert on muscles and such. I'm not training too hard; I believe in my OP I said something about the fact that I don't normally ride 65 miles in one ride and therefore wondered what was the best way to recover from that unusual circumstance. If you're referring to ME turning resting into a job, you've got the wrong guy.
    What seems to work for me is to just spin low gear for about 5-10 miles, especially if I'm sore and I don't feel like getting on the bike. It's like a massage without the expense and greasy cream. You also don't have to tip lovely Gertruda.
    I think the fitness gurus will tell you something about lactic acid. That's too technical and makes my head hurt...
    "I thought of that while riding my bike."
    - Albert Einstein on the theory of relativity

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