Advertise on Bikeforums.net



User Tag List

Results 1 to 15 of 15
  1. #1
    Time for a change. stapfam's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    6 miles inland from the coast of Sussex, in the South East of England
    My Bikes
    Dale MT2000. Bianchi FS920 Kona Explosif. Giant TCR C. Boreas Ignis. Pinarello Fp Uno.
    Posts
    19,915
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Recovery ride- is it needed?

    I know there are people that ride every day- know that there are people that do one hard ride a week and people that never feel any effects in the body from any riding they do and never do any form of gentle exercise to work out the stresses and strains of the riding they are doing- BUT I am not one of those people.

    I rarely ride on two consecutive days but do a recovery ride the next day after an exerting ride. Those that do the hard rides- or start to feel aches after a lesser one- are always telling us that a recovery ride where you cut the mileage- cut the effort and spin the legs a bit faster will get the body fit and raring to go for that next ride and assist in healing the body from the exertion you have just put it through. But how true is this?

    I am not one for the scientific facts that are available as there will always be two contradictory versions-for and against. I rely on my own facts but also have to say that I do not have any conclusive evidence- for or against. Or never used to. Most of my riding at present is down the gym and I am putting in harder effort on the spinning bikes than I ever do on the bike but it is only for an hour at a time as opposed to the longer times out on the road. My stats at the gym have just started to get to something respectable and that has taken some training and some pushing the brain to allow me to work harder.Thursday and I had the best session I have ever had on stats and I was doing another session on Friday night. Friday night and although I was pushing and did well- there was something not right. Started as a bit of butt ache but it never developed. Still pulled the cadence and the high pressures I had got up to and by the end of the session I was shattered. Perhaps a bit more than usual but not much. Got off the bike and the legs ached a bit- did the stretching exercises afterwards and walked to the car. By the time I had got to the car I could barely walk. Got home and struggled up the stairs for a bath and I was in pain. The back of the thighs and I was beginning to think I had done some damage. Voltarol helped and I had a restless nights sleep and in the morning I could walk but with pain. There was no way I was getting on a bike to recover but plenty of walking round the garden and things eased off a bit.

    Sunday morning and spinning again but I still had some stiffness in the thighs. So a recovery spinning ride. Cut out the high cadence- cut the high pressure and for an hour I sweated without feeling any strain on the legs or any part of me. Still got the stats reasonable or at least at a level I was at two weeks ago so it was a bit more than turning the legs. Stretching exercises after wards and had some stiffness in the thighs but no pain at all. Couple of hours later and I realised that not only were my legs in good shape- I did not have any lower back pain- and the resting of the eyelids that afternoon was not going to be necessary.

    It is not often I push myself to the extent that I overextend myself- in fact the last time I did that was when I did the Marines physical induction over 45 years ago- but Friday night and I pushed myself too hard. Perhaps it was the two days consecutive that I rarely do that caused the problem. No recovery to ease out any problems that I may be having but I am now convinced that those recovery rides work.

    So any of you that feel sore and stiff after the rides you do-Start thinking about recovering. A recovery ride in the accepted sense is a ride the next day with only a few miles necessary- far less speed- far less effort and the legs spinning a bit faster than you normally do. If you start to feel out of breath or feel you are pushing too hard then you are. It is a gentle ride to get the muscles working and moving to work the aches out of them.

    Works for me.
    Last edited by stapfam; 03-18-13 at 05:07 AM.
    How long was I in the army? Five foot seven.


    Spike Milligan

  2. #2
    Travelling hopefully chasm54's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Uncertain
    Posts
    7,090
    Mentioned
    11 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I'm no scientist so I know only what I have read in the training manuals, and what I have learned from experience.

    As well as training for racing I go touring. I'll do one longish tour every year, usually lasting a couple of weeks but on occasion longer - the longest was two months and 2500 miles. Generally I think of 60 miles per day as a sensible touring range, but it isn't that unusual for me to top 100 miles, which on a fully-loaded tourer is maybe 8 hours on the bike.

    I'm riding at low intensities so recovery isn't much of an issue most of the time and i can do successive days for weeks at a time, if I want. But I generally take at least one day off each week, partly just to look around in interesting places but partly as a precaution. The day after a rest day I always feel like crap, my legs are dead, it takes me ages to get going. Often it will take me the whole ride to get back to feeling strong again. This phenomenon is much less marked if, during the rest day, I take the bike out for an hour or so at an easy pace. So in those circumstances recovery rides on rest days seem to function in keeping the system operational and preventing it from closing down and having to be rebooted.

    With regard to training for racing, I'm more ambivalent. I train about four days a week, usually. Whether I include recovery rides on the intervening days, or just rest, seems to make little difference that I can discern. One thing I have experimented with is taking the recovery ride later in the same day as the hard session. So, an interval session in the morning and an easy spin in the evening. It may be placebo, but that does seem to result in my feeling my legs a little less the following morning.

  3. #3
    Senior Member NOS88's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Montgomery County, Pennsylvania
    Posts
    6,455
    Mentioned
    2 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Two things come to mind as I read this post. One, the body does need rest to adapt to the stress of hard work. Two, what constitutes recovery differs depending on level of fitness. Had the OP not had the level of fitness he did, complete rest may have worked better. But because of his fitness recovery could rightly include modest workloads.
    A conclusion is the place where you got tired of thinking. - S. Wright
    Favorite rides in the stable: Indy Fab CJ Ti - Colnago MXL - S-Works Roubaix - Habanero Team Issue - Jamis Eclipse carbon/831

  4. #4
    Travelling hopefully chasm54's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Uncertain
    Posts
    7,090
    Mentioned
    11 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by NOS88 View Post
    Two things come to mind as I read this post. One, the body does need rest to adapt to the stress of hard work. Two, what constitutes recovery differs depending on level of fitness. Had the OP not had the level of fitness he did, complete rest may have worked better. But because of his fitness recovery could rightly include modest workloads.
    You might be right. But I think the theory is that the recovery spin actually helps speed the process by getting more oxygenated blood to the muscles to both speed repair and help flush out the fatigue products. Those may be even more important for the less fit, whose recovery may be slower than that of the conditioned athlete.

    But I'm guessing. As I say, in terms of recovering from intense sessions I haven't been able to tell much difference.

  5. #5
    Senior Member NOS88's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Montgomery County, Pennsylvania
    Posts
    6,455
    Mentioned
    2 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by chasm54 View Post
    You might be right. But I think the theory is that the recovery spin actually helps speed the process by getting more oxygenated blood to the muscles to both speed repair and help flush out the fatigue products. Those may be even more important for the less fit, whose recovery may be slower than that of the conditioned athlete.

    But I'm guessing. As I say, in terms of recovering from intense sessions I haven't been able to tell much difference.
    I'm venturing a wild guess that your fitness level is higher than many your age. My experience has been that those with little fitness need a different kind of recovery. But, I know I'm also being swayed by the strength conditioning advice I've heard over the decades, "Always take a day off between working different parts of the body." The theory being that each muscle group needs time to rest and repair itself. For many of us with considerable miles in our legs, we're probably more focused on cardio issues than muscle repair. But for a very out of shape rider or a new rider they may be building cycling specific muscles.
    A conclusion is the place where you got tired of thinking. - S. Wright
    Favorite rides in the stable: Indy Fab CJ Ti - Colnago MXL - S-Works Roubaix - Habanero Team Issue - Jamis Eclipse carbon/831

  6. #6
    Time for a change. stapfam's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    6 miles inland from the coast of Sussex, in the South East of England
    My Bikes
    Dale MT2000. Bianchi FS920 Kona Explosif. Giant TCR C. Boreas Ignis. Pinarello Fp Uno.
    Posts
    19,915
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    [QUOTE=NOS88;15399909 "Always take a day off between working different parts of the body." The theory being that each muscle group needs time to rest and repair itself. For many of us with considerable miles in our legs, we're probably more focused on cardio issues than muscle repair. But for a very out of shape rider or a new rider they may be building cycling specific muscles.[/QUOTE]

    This why I generally do not ride two days in a row but the day after an exerting ride I do some form of exercise to get the muscles working. May not be a recovery ride but walk a couple of miles is usually enough.

    But on rides and I often find that at the top of the longer steeper hills I have used the legs too much and they begin to feel tired and sometimes hurt. Fatal thing to do is stop to give them a rest and I do a thing called "Silly Spin" Get to the top or even on the downslope on the other side and spin at 120 or more with no effort on the pedals. Blood flows through the legs and gets rid of whatever is causing the tiredness-lactic acid or toxins- and it is not long before the legs are ready to tackle the next hill.

    I am not saying that a leisure rider at a leisurely pace has to do a recovery ride but if they feel muscle strain then a few miles gently later in the day or the next day will improve the aches and pains. Just the movement of those stiff muscles-providing no strain is put on them- will aid recovery. And if it is a more experienced rider that has pushed himself a bit hard- then that gentle 5 miles will work wonders------As long as it does not turn into a 20 miler at pace up hills as you feel so good. And I have had it so I have to do a recovery ride---From the recovery ride.
    How long was I in the army? Five foot seven.


    Spike Milligan

  7. #7
    Senior Member Ursa Minor's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Santa Barbara CA
    My Bikes
    rivendell romulus terratrike rover
    Posts
    592
    Mentioned
    2 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I'm not an elite rider but I have found that if I take a short doodle ride the next day it helps a lot with recovery.
    Usually I do less than 10 miles at a very slow pace.

    Charlie
    Grimly determined to have fun.

  8. #8
    Senior Member climberguy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    central ohio
    My Bikes
    better than I deserve
    Posts
    270
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    It is said that when cyclists set out to ride slowly (a recovery ride) they often ride too fast--more of an endurance pace than a recovery pace. They ride at a zone 3 (out of 5) pace instead of zone 1. To be an effective recovery ride it should be almost painfully slow and easy.
    And I did it all clean.

  9. #9
    Elite Rider Hermes's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    San Francisco Bay Area
    My Bikes
    Too Many
    Posts
    8,601
    Mentioned
    48 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    IMO, there are two types of recovery rides - one the next day and one right after a hard session. In some respects, the recovery ride or "spinout your legs" occurs right after the hard session and ideally one is drinking the recovery drink at the same time or right before. The spinout ride varies but at least 10 minutes is required. Sometimes classes or time constraints do not allow time to spinout. For example, after a hard time trial, there is a lot of blood and lactate and other waste products in ones legs. Spinning at an easy pace at a higher cadence promotes removal BEFORE damage can be done. A recovery ride the next day is like closing the door after the horse is out of the barn.

    Recovery rides the next day, IMO, offer the rider, who likes to ride every day, the opportunity to have fun on the bike and get recovery. However, the key is keep it short, 30 to 45 minutes, faster spin and REALLY easy. I mean stupid easy. 30 miles at 15 mph is NOT a recovery ride unless maybe one is Taylor Phinney. The primary goal is to massage and work the muscles and NOT take on any more fatigue.

    For me, the trainer, spin bikes and rollers are much harder and result is much fatigue and muscle soreness and pain then riding on the road or the track. So when I do a hard session on the trainer, I make sure I do the spinout afterward and drink my recovery drink on the trainer ASAP.

    Since we are all individuals with different needs, there is no right answer but more what works for you. My advice is to test different recovery protocols and see which works for you. This is definitely not a one size fits all concept.
    "Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results." Einstein

  10. #10
    Starting over CraigB's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Indianapolis
    My Bikes
    1990 Trek 1500; 2006 Gary Fisher Marlin; 2011 Cannondale Synapse Alloy 105; 2012 Catrike Trail
    Posts
    4,081
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by climberguy View Post
    It is said that when cyclists set out to ride slowly (a recovery ride) they often ride too fast--more of an endurance pace than a recovery pace. They ride at a zone 3 (out of 5) pace instead of zone 1. To be an effective recovery ride it should be almost painfully slow and easy.
    I've heard this, too. I don't remember where I read it (probably in "Bicycling"), but someone said you need to deliberately hold yourself back on recovery rides, and consciously ride at a speed you know your grandmother could beat.
    Craig in Indy

  11. #11
    Banned.
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Brighton UK
    My Bikes
    20" Folder, Road Bike
    Posts
    1,664
    Mentioned
    3 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by stapfam View Post
    Perhaps it was the two days consecutive that I rarely do that caused the problem.
    Hi,

    Most probably. If you pushed two days consecutively then had an easy day
    or day off most of the time, your "muscle memory" would be different to
    one who mostly pushes alternative days - and does a lot of exercise.

    If you do loads of exercise pushing alternative days then your "muscle
    memory" will be very fine tuned to that regime, and won't take to the
    pushing two days consecutively in the slightest, and you'll get basically
    very confused feedback the second day, and you can easily overdo it.

    (In the confusion its possible you'll do even better than the first
    session, just like beginning exercisers on a first run, the feedback
    shuts off, its treated as a body emergency unusual situation.)

    Your body will probably go with the flow during the second session,
    and then go, "WTF just happened ?" and then let you really know it.

    rgds, sreten.

    FWIW in my youth used to run and push it most of the time. Another
    young chap joined the company and wanted to get into running so
    I took him out on the routes I used and I had to take it easier.

    We went out 3 or 4 times over say 10 days, I then did a route
    on my own and improved my best time significantly even though
    I had been running at a slower training pace the last few times.

    I think improving the pace you find relatively easy is actually better than
    pushing a lot and can actually make you faster when you occasionally
    do want to push. I think some people try too hard for too much
    of their training mileage. Just rack up the miles is my adage.
    Last edited by sreten; 03-18-13 at 08:34 PM.

  12. #12
    Senior Member IBOHUNT's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Western Maryland - Appalachian Mountains
    My Bikes
    Motobecane Fantom Cross; Cannondale Supersix replaced the Giant TCR which came to an untimely death by truck
    Posts
    2,326
    Mentioned
    24 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by climberguy View Post
    It is said that when cyclists set out to ride slowly (a recovery ride) they often ride too fast--more of an endurance pace than a recovery pace. They ride at a zone 3 (out of 5) pace instead of zone 1. To be an effective recovery ride it should be almost painfully slow and easy.
    Racer guy I ride with told me the recovery ride should be right on the edge of vertical stability.
    I'll be testing that out this evening for 30 min.

  13. #13
    Travelling hopefully chasm54's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Uncertain
    Posts
    7,090
    Mentioned
    11 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by IBOHUNT View Post
    Racer guy I ride with told me the recovery ride should be right on the edge of vertical stability.
    I'll be testing that out this evening for 30 min.
    Track standing does not count as a recovery ride...

  14. #14
    Senior Member IBOHUNT's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Western Maryland - Appalachian Mountains
    My Bikes
    Motobecane Fantom Cross; Cannondale Supersix replaced the Giant TCR which came to an untimely death by truck
    Posts
    2,326
    Mentioned
    24 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by chasm54 View Post
    Track standing does not count as a recovery ride...
    Dag, you got me!

  15. #15
    Senior Member Gravity Aided's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Posts
    2,564
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I do the stretches from the book (yes, an entire book) called Stretching by Bob Anderson . Exhaustive information on the topic. Stretches for every activity. I also do recovery rides, because they help. Makes my life a lot more pain free.
    midlifecyclistblog.wordpress.com www.facebook.com/bill.midlifecyclistblogger

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •