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Old 07-13-08, 10:48 PM   #1
Yen
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Recovery rides

Yesterday we joined a bike group for seniors. In all, we rode 32 miles. We attended their annual picnic at about 28 miles, then rode home. They are a great bunch of people and we really enjoyed the day. We plan to ride with them again as often as possible.

Lest anyone thinks older seniors can't climb and ride strong, think again. The leader of this particular ride is 85 years young. Another member, age 75, rides a mountain bike. He invited us to join him on Fridays for a 10-mile 5% climb on one of the mountain trails. He made it sound like we'd have no problem at all. My knees hurt just thinking of it.

I hadn't ridden for a week and I did a few hills. So today we set out on an "easy" recovery ride which turned into 23 miles. I tried to use 1 or 2 rings lower than usual to keep the ride "easy", and it was fairly easy as our rides go.

Trouble is, no matter how good my intentions, when I get to a hill I turn into racer girl. I'm not competitive against others, but my taste for speed kicks in and I find myself cranking up the hill or down, and there goes the "easy" recovery ride I planned. I'm not sore and I don't feel like I over-exerted, but I'm wondering if it really was a true recovery ride.

On what basis do you judge a ride to be "recovery"? HR zone, distance, time, perceived level of exertion, avoidance of hills, or ............???

How "easy" should a recovery ride be?
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Old 07-13-08, 11:04 PM   #2
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I don't try to quantify it. I just ride easy, in a gear that I can spin in without mashing. If I spend a lot of time on the ride freewheeling, that's fine, too.
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Old 07-14-08, 01:21 AM   #3
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Recovery rides for me are a bit slower than normal- in a lower gear to take the strain off the legs and don't get my HR above say 75% of my max. So after the ride I check the stats and I was slower- by about 1/2 mpg on average- max speed- well you don't work down hills so that doesn't matter but why couldn't I get the HR up that high yesterday?

I may start out with the intention of doing a gentle ride- but nothing hurts- I feel good and its only 20 miles- so recovery rides just turn turn into a decent ride for me.

Mind you- Everything is going to be a bit slower after this week compared to last year. Have a weeks holiday to do some gardening- and some Pond cleaning (Fish Pond). And hopefully the wifes Pool will be finished this week- Nearly there- just the Pump room doors to Make and another $500 of decking to lay.
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Old 07-14-08, 05:03 AM   #4
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Sounds like your recovery rides are like mine - a lot of riding at lower intensity with a few pushes on the hills. I'd call it a recovery ride - in fact I do call that a recovery ride.
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Old 07-14-08, 06:39 AM   #5
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Hmmm. All I seem to do is recovery rides. What I'm recovering from, I have no idea.
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Old 07-14-08, 09:22 PM   #6
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If I feel like I'm doing more than just easy spinning, then I don't call it a recovery ride.
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Old 07-14-08, 09:41 PM   #7
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Thanks everyone. Took another ride tonight, just 40 minutes and this time it truly was an easy ride. Perhaps I'm just trying to over-analyze things a bit.

Stapfam -- glad to read that about the pool!! Looking forward to the "after" pics.
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Old 07-14-08, 10:59 PM   #8
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Ah, the recovery ride...

For me recovery is staying in Zone 2, 3 at the most if there are hills involved. With the varied terrain afforded us a recovery ride on flat roads is possible, and I often take full advantage of it. So no matter my gear, my heart rate stays in Zone 2. If I see my HR increasing I slow down.

Truth be told I use my Monday 6 am Spinning class for my recovery ride. Regardless of what I have my participants doing, I'm not working very hard, and they can't tell the difference. I haven't done a road recovery ride in quite some time.
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Old 07-15-08, 08:33 AM   #9
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Recovery rides have two components to my way of thinking. One is physical, and I try to stay completely out of the red zone. The other is mental. I try to focus more on my surroundings, and make a deliberate effort to shift my thoughts away from anything remotely competitive or aggressive. On a good recovery ride I can talk at length about what I've seen, smelled, felt, or otherwise noticed on the ride. This is not always true on a "training" ride. I know it's a good recovery ride when I arrive at home and feel like I could go again, but am happy not to.
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Old 07-15-08, 08:57 AM   #10
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I started to race and train for races this year. I never knew the value of a recovery ride until recently. In order for me to do a recovery ride I need to delibertly ride easy and slower or I will start to push harder. Last night I did a recovery ride and strived to keep my heart rate in zone 3 or lower. Of course going up the steep and longer hills that was nearly impossible because "its a hill and it must me mastered". I really enjoyed looking at the blooming flowers and hearing the birds sing, something you don't notice at 20+ mph when your out of breath and focusing on riding more efficient while watching the HR monitor and cadence. At the end of the ride I marveled at how good I felt and how much faster I could have gone. Wow, what a sensation! Riding for pleasure, I forgot how nice that can be.
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Old 07-15-08, 09:13 AM   #11
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If you try turning off the monitoring gadgets, it makes the ride more enjoyable. That way you can focus on the ride and not cadence, speed, or percentage of whatever. As a rider grows older, it becomes more important to listen to your body.
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Old 07-15-08, 09:22 AM   #12
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The best description I've heard for a recovery ride was from one of the better-known cycling coaches in the US (don't remember who). He said your recovery rides should be "almost guilt-provokingly easy".

And FWIW, it does take a lot of self discipline to ride easy when you know you should, but still want to hammer.

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Old 07-15-08, 03:42 PM   #13
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When I do recovery ride, I practice making circles and spin as fast as I can for short periods. Then I rest and practice riding with no hands. I guess you could say, handling skills.
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Old 07-15-08, 08:04 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Red Rider View Post
Ah, the recovery ride...

For me recovery is staying in Zone 2, 3 at the most if there are hills involved. With the varied terrain afforded us a recovery ride on flat roads is possible, and I often take full advantage of it. So no matter my gear, my heart rate stays in Zone 2. If I see my HR increasing I slow down.

Truth be told I use my Monday 6 am Spinning class for my recovery ride. Regardless of what I have my participants doing, I'm not working very hard, and they can't tell the difference. I haven't done a road recovery ride in quite some time.
I found a zone chart and read a description of each one. According to them, I've been pushing too hard on every ride, yet I never feel fatigued. I feel "spent" after a long, challenging ride, but never fatigued. I'm going to start wearing my HRM on every ride and try to keep it in a lower zone and see if I feel any different or if my progress changes. This might be interesting.
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