First, let me apologize for what might appear to be a somewhat misleading title. As I was out on my first ever "recovery ride" I was searching for a catchy title. After all, who the hell would want to read about some 60+ y/o's recovery ride? But when "Recovery Rides - Fact or Fantasy?" (the first iteration of the title) popped into my head, it occurred to me I might be able to kill two birds with one stone... post a boring ride report, and prompt discussion on the relative merits of "recovery rides."
In the year and a half that I have come to BF for all sorts of cycling wisdom, recovery rides have popped up in most discussions of post hammer-fest activities. While there is plenty of anecdotal evidence, I'm not familiar with any empirical evidence supporting the concept.
The theory, as near as I can tell, is to take a short, low effort, high cadence ride and get the blood flowing to clear toxin build up from the leg muscles. It certainly sounds logical. My interpretation is a 30-40 min ride in HR zone 2 at about 100 cadence. Speed and distance are irrelevant and are dictated by maintaining the other three factors.
But is this settled science, or just addicted cyclisits excuse to get out of the house for yet another ride Truth be know, that's how I used it today. When my wife said "Why are you going out for a bike ride today? You rode 115 yesterday!" I was able to justify it by saying "Everybody on bikeforums says you have to take a short recovery ride the day after a hard effort. It works all the poison buildup out of your legs."
So, what do you think? Any empirical evidence to support "recovery rides"
Oh, and by the way, humor an old man and check out the ride report.
Post 115 mi LOOP Recovery Ride
Executive Summary: 35 min; Ave Cad: 99; HR: Zone 2. NOTE: RWGPS average cadence is bogus. They average in 0 cad and report an mean, not the mode or median. Garmin reported 99.