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Old 03-14-09, 10:04 PM   #1
Robert Foster
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Recovery ride?

A few months ago I decided I was about ready to increase my weekly mileage a bit and so I started trying to ride 5 days a week rather than 3 or sometimes 4. Didn’t work because by the third day my legs were shot. So I went back to every other day. However my best day was almost always Monday after taking off Saturday and Sunday.

Talked to one of our club racers and he said I should have enough miles to ride more than every other day so he asked if I wanted to join him early evening for a ride. I told him I didn’t think I could because we did 50 miles Friday and the last 10 miles were pretty hard. But the time I got home my legs were sore. He just smiled and told me to show up about 5pm. He told me he was going to teach me how to do a recovery ride. So off we went and took of to a road I had been on many times. He set a pace between 15 and 16 MPH into a head wind. He pulled for a while and then let me take my turn. As long as I stayed under 16.5 MPH he would let me pull but if I hit 17 he would pull in front and slow me down to about 15. When I got home my legs felt better than they had all day today. Didn’t make sense to me but somehow it worked. But I do like a tail wind a lot more than a head wind. I did have some Pie for Pi day.
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Old 03-15-09, 01:12 AM   #2
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I'd stay riding with that club racer. He seems to know your body better than you do.

Just don't ask me to go and ride with you though- 15mph on a recovery ride is faster than my normal ride speed.
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Old 03-15-09, 06:49 AM   #3
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It would be interesting to try this plan for a few weeks and see how it goes. It would probably put me in the hospital.
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Old 03-15-09, 06:55 AM   #4
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Make that guy your best friend.
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Old 03-15-09, 03:49 PM   #5
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I'd stay riding with that club racer. He seems to know your body better than you do.

Just don't ask me to go and ride with you though- 15mph on a recovery ride is faster than my normal ride speed.
I plan on riding at least one day a week with him or one of the other club racers. And it was on a rather flat road so 15 was only about 90 RPM. When I got home the Cycle computer indicated my average was 14.5. The tail wind coming home was Sweeeeeet.

He does seem to know something about training. He told me about not trying to skip breakfast before a club ride. Explained about fuel and hydration even when trying to lose weight. All those things have proven to be true.

I just don't understand how working my legs even at a more relaxed pace could make the feel better. But I am not looking a gift horse in the mouth.
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Old 03-15-09, 04:32 PM   #6
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Recovery rides work, it's no mystery. I ride a fixed gear on recovery rides to self-enforce the speed limit to "around" 15 mph. I say "around" because its really about perceived exertion, and not speed, so variable into as opposed to with a wind.

It's much better for your overall conditioning and fitness level to ride slow, than to not ride at all.

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Old 03-15-09, 05:10 PM   #7
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Riding hard stresses your leg muscles and results in some swelling and leaves leftover mean chemicals that makes your legs sore. Riding EASY the following day, like at 60 or 70% of your max heart rate, increases blood flow to your muscles, and helps the muscles get rid of that mean stuff like latic acid, etc

As we get older, rest and recovery is an increasingly important part of any training program
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Old 03-15-09, 05:13 PM   #8
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Recovery rides work, it's no mystery. I ride a fixed gear on recovery rides to self-enforce the speed limit to "around" 15 mph. I say "around" because its really about perceived exertion, and not speed, so variable into as opposed to with a wind.

It's much better for your overall conditioning and fitness level to ride slow, than to not ride at all.

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I am learning that. It just seems strange that it works that way. You would think giving the legs a break would be easier on them. But I felt better than I had all day after the ride. I see the point about going into the wind.
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Old 03-15-09, 06:20 PM   #9
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So, if I start riding everyday with the intention of building distance and speed...

According to what I'm reading here, about every third day I should do a shorter, more leisurely paced ride?

That is good info.

If I've read this wrong. Someone please tell me and correct me.
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Old 03-15-09, 06:41 PM   #10
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If I've read this wrong. Someone please tell me and correct me.
As with so many things it may not be that simple. Quoting from the book Cycling Past 50 by Joe Friel: "The most important pieces of the training puzzle for the serious 50+ rider are rest and recovery...[For one] rider, a long ride on a hilly terrain may require only two days of easy riding afterward, but for another it's three days."

As much as it's hard to admit, I find learning how to recover properly almost to be an art form. After five years of various nagging injuries, I'm finally beginning to get it, sort of.
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Old 03-15-09, 06:50 PM   #11
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I have also noticed that if I don't ride the day following a tough ride, I eat like crazy. I easily eat 1000 fewer calories if I do an easy recovery ride. I have no idea the science behind it, just empirical results.
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Old 03-15-09, 06:52 PM   #12
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As with so many things it may not be that simple. Quoting from the book Cycling Past 50 by Joe Friel: "The most important pieces of the training puzzle for the serious 50+ rider are rest and recovery...[For one] rider, a long ride on a hilly terrain may require only two days of easy riding afterward, but for another it's three days."

As much as it's hard to admit, I find learning how to recover properly almost to be an art form. After five years of various nagging injuries, I'm finally beginning to get it, sort of
.
I have to make a point of finding a copy of that book and read it.

Thanks
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Old 03-15-09, 10:52 PM   #13
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I have to make a point of finding a copy of that book and read it.
It sits on my bedside table. Also get Bike for Life.

A "recovery ride" for me lasts about half an hour, on the flat, spinning a low gear.

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Old 03-16-09, 07:29 AM   #14
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It sits on my bedside table. Also get Bike for Life.

A "recovery ride" for me lasts about half an hour, on the flat, spinning a low gear.
Thanks, I'll check that one out as well.
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Old 03-16-09, 07:38 AM   #15
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I am learning that. It just seems strange that it works that way. You would think giving the legs a break would be easier on them. But I felt better than I had all day after the ride. I see the point about going into the wind.
Your heart is pumping not only new food to your body when you ride, but also repairs damage too. The light ride allows the body to heal faster/better without the damage and trauma you get with pushing hard.
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Old 03-17-09, 03:51 AM   #16
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Did this today, I look at HR, my Max is 185, I kept it at 133 avg, 16.1 mph avg. Mx = 150 (on a hill).
Legs feel great but had to say a prayer - "lord give me the strength to ride slow" And yes, I'd STRONGLY recommend Friels Book

A recovery day IS a training day!!!!.
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