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Old 08-31-08, 11:34 AM   #1
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Need: Tips for Fast Recovery after a Long Ride

In two weeks I'll be riding in the local MS 150. I'm planning to ride 105 miles, 75 the first day, 30 the second. I've been riding in training rides, usually 2 or 3 times a week. The club I'm a member of has been riding metric centuries every Saturday for the last four weeks and fifty milers before that. I'm currently riding with the 18mph group. So distance and speed for the first day are not a problem. My concern is, getting up to ride the second day. Everytime I complete one of these Saturday rides, I'm really sore and tired the next day and don't really feel like riding. Last week I tried a MTB ride the day after, not a good plan. I was tired and nearly fell several times. I cut the ride after less than an hour and went home.
My Question: Does anyone have any recommendations how to quickly recover after a ride so I can ride the next day?
All comments, responses are appreciated.
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Old 08-31-08, 11:36 AM   #2
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Right after, stretch well for about 5-10 minutes, have a 10 minute ice bath, and have a protein shake with some oatmeal right after that.
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Old 08-31-08, 01:04 PM   #3
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First thing to do is re-Hydrate. You may feel OK but you will have had some Fluid loss and this should be replaced as quick as possible after the ride. OK- no scales- but may I suggest a couple of bottles of Water- with energy additive- or plenty of coffee or soda or anything. Just NO Alcohol.

Then food.Plenty of carbo-Hydrates- Pasta- rice- Bread- buns- Gateaux- Pie--







Sorry just drooled over the Keyboard.

And don't forget some protein to rebuild any muscle damage. That does work aswell.

But There should be some gentle exercise done after the ride- and in the evening to make sure that the muscles will be able work properly the next day.
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Old 08-31-08, 01:05 PM   #4
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Also, get plenty of sleep.
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Old 08-31-08, 01:11 PM   #5
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I've been riding in training rides, usually 2 or 3 times a week.
Ride more frequently than just two or three times a week. Right now you're jerking your body back and forth between building-up and knocking-down. Your between times are long enough your body thinks the need for building-up is past. Then you smack it again.

The whole reason your body is rebelling on the second day is that you haven't trained to ride more frequently.

All the other advice is good too. Follow that after every ride, but increase the number of rides. At the very least, reverse the proportion of ride days to rest days. Ideally move to five or six ride days.
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Old 08-31-08, 01:18 PM   #6
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There's no scientific basis for stretching. That was highlighted again in a recent US news article (7 Jul., P60). Matter of fact it says that a comprehensive review of previous research shows no impact on post-workout soreness for healthy adults.

The first thing I would do is get Ryan's Nutrition for Endurance Athletes, 2ND edition from Amazon--- I think I got the title right, mine is at another location. You could over night it, but basically, you need to keep ingesting fast burning carbs finishing up with 300 to 500 cal. (depends on body weight) fast burning carbs in the 15 to 30 minute post exercise window. Keep the fat low and the protein less than 20% of those calories, otherwise ingestion/glycogen replenishment is slowed.

Riding fast, you are in the glucose/glycogen burning mode. If you don't keep your glucose up and do the proper carb replenishment immediately post ride, it takes far longer to recover. Also, with insufficient carbs, your body will cannibalise protein from your muscles causing you to feel bad and lose performance

If not too late, work in intervals into your training regime.

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Old 08-31-08, 01:36 PM   #7
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Ride more frequently than just two or three times a week. Right now you're jerking your body back and forth between building-up and knocking-down. Your between times are long enough your body thinks the need for building-up is past. Then you smack it again.
Personally- I disagree with this- and I do realise that not every "Body" is the same. When I am in training- I do 3 or 4 rides aweek. Long one at the weekend- and after a 2 day rest- a shorter ride that has more effort put into it. Those rest days do have a recovery ride if Stiffness or muscle ache come in- but They have not been necessary this year at all.

But Last year- when I was training for a different ride- I did ride every day for about 3 months. After a month of it- I found that I was getting tired so that was when I started on the "Hard" rides every 2 days- and the in between was just a 20 miler taken at a far lower pace. But after the 3 months- I reverted back to the every other day ride and found the rest days improved my stamina- Climbing ability- and mental state. Speed was not a problem as I rarely use it.
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Old 08-31-08, 01:38 PM   #8
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Endurox- Taken less than one hour after your ride
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Old 08-31-08, 03:29 PM   #9
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This is great stuff, thank you.
I appreciate the advice, would you please, please give me examples of the types of food I should consume to meet the objetives of the posts.
As you can guess, I've really neglected the nutrition portion of riding. Then, about 5 weeks ago I bonked, and had cramps, landed up finishing a ride with a member of our club who is a nurse. She pointed out several errors I was committing on ride day that I've corrected and it's made a huge improvement. So I'm ready to make more dietary changes to improve my distance, speed and recovery.
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Old 08-31-08, 04:46 PM   #10
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Personally- I disagree with this- and I do realise that not every "Body" is the same. When I am in training- I do 3 or 4 rides aweek. Long one at the weekend- and after a 2 day rest- a shorter ride that has more effort put into it. Those rest days do have a recovery ride if Stiffness or muscle ache come in- but They have not been necessary this year at all.

But Last year- when I was training for a different ride- I did ride every day for about 3 months. After a month of it- I found that I was getting tired so that was when I started on the "Hard" rides every 2 days- and the in between was just a 20 miler taken at a far lower pace. But after the 3 months- I reverted back to the every other day ride and found the rest days improved my stamina- Climbing ability- and mental state. Speed was not a problem as I rarely use it.

I'm with you on this, Stapfam, and today's hilly metric century proved the point. I've ridden fewer miles and fewer days than in years past. My usual riding buddies, both decent athletes in their early 30s said they'd never seen me in such good form as today. They simply could not hang with me (not that I'm all that fast). I attribute it to finally giving my aging body the recovery time it needs. The best part is that this is the first year in the past three or four with no injuries.
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Old 08-31-08, 04:54 PM   #11
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This is great stuff, thank you.
I appreciate the advice, would you please, please give me examples of the types of food I should consume to meet the objetives of the posts.
You are going to get the max bang for the calories with higher glycemic index foods for the ride and the big snack within the 15 to 30 minute window. Ryan points out that endurance athletes have to have a relationship with foods one would prefer to otherwise avoid like the high sugar and less nutritious food like gels.

For me, a gel every 30 to 45 minutes on the ride works well with my wife's choc. chip oatmeal cookies once in a while for the hunger thing. For the post ride initial meal/snack I drink about 15 oz of a natural fruit drink (no corn syrup, about 200 cal) plus bread with copious amounts of a French apricot jam which has "apricots"as the first ingredient on the label. It has no junk like corn syrup, especially high fructose corn syrup as most of that winds up as fat vice blood glucose. I'll add some fresh fruits like grapes which are high sugar + other fruit.

Then within an hour or more, a supper of mostly pasta would be very good with some fresh veggies with a small amount of meat. There are a lot of options. Ryan's book is very thorough on food for pre + post exercise, while riding and for general health as well.

I prefer to keep calories out of my water. I add 1/4 teaspoon of table salt per liter to replace electrolytes. That works as well as commercial sports drinks.

You need to drink before you get thirsty as thirst is the first sign of dehydration which means thicker blood. You don't want that as you'll likely never recover on the ride.

Bonking is when you get to the point where your brain doesn't get enough glucose and starts shutting down the body to insure it gets what it can. That's when your body starts canabalizing muscle protein to convert to glucose if I remember correctly.

Ryan states that the best way to avoid a protein deficit is to consume sufficient carbs. She writes regularly for Velo News by the way. Her articles are on their web site.

Al

Last edited by alcanoe; 08-31-08 at 05:10 PM.
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Old 08-31-08, 05:07 PM   #12
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I attribute it to finally giving my aging body the recovery time it needs. The best part is that this is the first year in the past three or four with no injuries.
I believe you are right on. It takes a lot longer to recover when older. That's the biggest change I've noticed in my fitness at 69. It's happened in the last couple of years. It's therefore now easier to over-train. I've changed my weekly exercise program to an 8-day week and I do much better.

The modern sports world, at least the pros, have replaced much of the grinding, long-duration training with interval training. I find that periods above 80% and even 90% of my max heart rate (measured) have high payoff and I recover quickly from them. You apparently also get the benefit of raising your lactate threshold which means that you do faster rides at lower heart rates.

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Old 08-31-08, 05:07 PM   #13
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I don't know your age, but I think 18 mph might be too fast.
Most of my rides are 75 to 100 miles, at about 13 to 14 mph.
Thursday 77 mi, Friday 82 mi. Temps from 80* to 96*
I can do that 5 days a week.
But never fast.
Try to go slow the first day. The second should be ok.
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Old 08-31-08, 05:38 PM   #14
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I agree with 10 Wheels. The MS150 is a ride, not a race. Slow down, spend some time at the rest stops, stop to help less competent riders--have fun. Wear a costume. Your 75/30 plan should be no problem. Once a year I ride 7 consecutive days of about 85-105-75-100-45-85-60, but average closer to 15 mph (tailwinds!) with plenty of stops. I'm 61.
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Old 08-31-08, 05:53 PM   #15
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I don't think you will have a problem. Don't hammer like crazy the first and longer day. Rehydrate after the ride. Eat a good meal. Get a reasonable amount of sleep, but don't miss out on a fun evening by turning in early. My normal routine on BRAG where we ride 60 miles a day is all of the above plus drinking beer and hanging out with my friends until about midnight. Our bodies are a lot more resilient than some of us seem to think. Relax and enjoy the ride.
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Old 08-31-08, 06:35 PM   #16
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At the MS150 I've been helping at the last three years, there was alcohol served at the Saturday night meal. Avoid this at all costs. I'd take the Endurox and eat the foods recommended above. Try to warm up slowly on Sunday morning by riding a pace you might think is too slow for the first 10 miles or so.
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Old 08-31-08, 07:08 PM   #17
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I actually find that a 20 to 30 mile ride done the day after a century helps my recovery. However that ride must be a gentle pace. I can ride a moderately hilly century, then right after consume two tall glasses (16 oz each) of skim milk, get cleaned up and then have a good dinner with lots of protien. A good nights rest and then do 20 to 30 miles at 15 MPH just to stretch out. During a century ride I will carry one Lg bottle of water with 1 Nuun tablet, 1 Lg bottle of water with 2 scoops of Gatoraide and a hydration pack full of straight water. I will stop and eat 1 Kashi trail mix bar and 1 Guu every 15 miles after the first 30 miles through mile 70, refill (remix) my water supplies at mile 50. With this combo doing a century at 17 to 18 MPH is quite enjoyable.
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Old 08-31-08, 07:42 PM   #18
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I think you're turning yourselves into hothouse flowers.
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Old 08-31-08, 07:48 PM   #19
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I think you're turning yourselves into hothouse flowers.
How's that?

Water, a banana, a turkey meatloaf sandwich, water, a good dinner with a good amount of protein (but don't overeat), and water.
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Old 08-31-08, 08:10 PM   #20
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The best advice anyone can give you about a long ride or series of rides is selecting a proper pace. Touring riders arenít interested in setting a 15-16-18 MPH pace every day they are only interested in making the days ride with enough energy to start off again the next day. Like others have said this is a ride not a race.
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Old 08-31-08, 08:21 PM   #21
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How's that?

Water, a banana, a turkey meatloaf sandwich, water, a good dinner with a good amount of protein (but don't overeat), and water.
Not at all. That sounds very reasonable. I was referring to some of the more technically perfect prescriptions being offered.
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Old 08-31-08, 08:36 PM   #22
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In two weeks I'll be riding in the local MS 150. I'm planning to ride 105 miles, 75 the first day, 30 the second. I've been riding in training rides, usually 2 or 3 times a week. The club I'm a member of has been riding metric centuries every Saturday for the last four weeks and fifty milers before that. I'm currently riding with the 18mph group. So distance and speed for the first day are not a problem. My concern is, getting up to ride the second day. Everytime I complete one of these Saturday rides, I'm really sore and tired the next day and don't really feel like riding. Last week I tried a MTB ride the day after, not a good plan. I was tired and nearly fell several times. I cut the ride after less than an hour and went home.
My Question: Does anyone have any recommendations how to quickly recover after a ride so I can ride the next day?
All comments, responses are appreciated.
Observation...IMHO, you are riding too fast for your ability. You offer no clue as to the level of effort or heart rate but I suspect that 18 mph is difficult for you most of the time but you can do it. Sore legs are indicative of too much effort for your ability to recover.

To get a better recovery the next day, warm up slower and keep the HR below 125 for maybe 1/2 hour. After that, try to keep the HR around 130 or a medium effort. If you need a greater than medium effort or higher HR, use it sparingly and know you are eating into the next day and how you will feel at night.

Eat light during the ride so that your stomach does not have to digest a lot of food and take a recovery drink right after but do not eat for one hour after finishing. All the blood is in your legs and you want to give your body some time to clear out waste products before you dive into a meal and trigger the rerouting of blood from your legs to the stomach. This is generally contrary to what is done right after events where the promoters offer a lot of food and you may be hungry. If you eat, go easy. After the recovery drink has done its job then you may have at it and eat.

Get a massage that night. That is the best thing you can do to facilitate recovery other than managing the effort and eating and drinking properly. Another technique is to hang your legs i.e. prop them up on the wall. However, if you used too great of an effort for your ability all day for 100 miles no amount of massage or hanging your legs is going to make a lot of difference. Good luck.

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Old 08-31-08, 09:09 PM   #23
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Indeed. I'll be there too. Be ready to climb. Take it easy. Really.

Skip the beer, even though it will hurt. Get a good nights sleep. Drink more water ten you think you need. If you are at a motel that has a hot tub use it. Don't forget to have fun.
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Old 08-31-08, 10:51 PM   #24
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Hermes and Curtis have it.

This summer I switched from Cytomax to Accelerade, and noticed a big difference. Trouble is, when it's warm it has a whang that makes it darned near undrinkable. So I started using Sportlegs on my long rides and training legs, and noticed more endurance, less fatigue, generally better-feeling at the end of the ride. I have not taken Sportlegs during a race -- just for demanding rides at my avg. speed (18.9 mph).

In general I prefer real food.

Oh, and whomever suggested a massage -- +100. Try it, you'll like it.

Looking forward to the ride report and pictures.
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Old 09-01-08, 05:59 AM   #25
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FYI, I believe that this is the book referenced in this thread. By Monique Ryan, MS, RD, LDN:

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