I won't address the nutrition talk. I will agree with Will as to spin 'em easier. You are probably in "no man's land". I was riding 200+ miles/week and hit the wall. Here's the advice given to me at this time. The advice was given to me by racers and long distant riders(6-10,000/year)
1) This is came from RoadBikeRider.com email I receive weekly and seemed
VARY THE INTENSITY
If there's one trait that distinguishes pros from recreational riders, it's
how they pace their training. Professional riders can go fast because when
they train hard (or race), they go like lightning. But when they train
slowly, they go very, very slowly.
Conversely, most recreational riders train at a moderate pace -- fast enough
to feel like they're accomplishing something but not so hard that they're
suffering unduly. You'll hear some coaches refer to this pace -- about 80%
of max heart rate -- as "no-man's land." Like the shell-pocked wasteland
between dug-in armies during World War I, you don't want to be there very
Why? Because no-man's land delivers a double whammy. It compromises recovery
At a moderately brisk pace of around 80% of max heart rate, you're not going
slowly enough to recover. You need a pace around 65% of max to pump
nutrient-rich blood to your leg muscles without stressing them further.
Unfortunately, when you're languishing in no-man's land, you're also not
going fast enough to improve. That takes an intensity of about 90% of max.
When every ride is done at a medium pace, your results are bound to be
2) This is a great topic since we are logging a lot of miles. Thanks for
> all the beta folks. So by light riding are we only talking speed or
> speed & distance.
i'm not sure charlie, but i think intensity/effort is the key, as
opposed to length of ride. i think you can recover on a long ride, as
long as you go easy.
> Also I have no idea what my heart rate is. So can
> I use my speed as a simple indicator? Do you think if I drop my speed
> 3-4 miles per hour I would be achieving similar results. I'm not
> looking to become the next Lance but am feeling "leg dead" lately.
don't go by speed--that varies too much with the weather and road
conditions, and how tired you are. for a recovery ride, don't even
look at your bike computer. what's important is how you feel--don't
> don't mind going slower but I will be damned if I let a mnt biker w/
> knobbies pass me;-)
the hardest part of the program is resisting temptation! you'll catch
that guy some other day, especially if he doesn't know how to vary the
intensity of his workouts.
3) You can use Rating of Perceived Effort (RPE) as your guide. While this
still talks about Heart Rate, there's a scale at the bottom:
Basically, you just judge your exertion rate and add a zero using a scale
from 6 (lightest) to 20 (toughest) to roughly estimate your heart rate.
Others use an RPE going from 1 to 10. From Fred Matheny's book, "Complete
Book of Road Bike Training":
5 = an easy spin along bike path
6 = light effort
7 = breathing steadily and rhythmically
8 = breathing harder but but not panting
9 = beginning to gasp and can't converse
10= riding as hard as you can
I have also heard about using the conversation factor too. If you can carry
on a casual conversation with someone without fighting for breath, that
might count as light. But RPE is fairly widely used and accepted.
Yeah, I know what you mean when you see a "rabbit" go by you and that
temptation to chase is there. Unfortunately, sometimes you just don't
realize that you're throwing yourself out of whack for several more days.
Another quote - "ride at an effort and speed that anyone could do."
BTW, I also try to take one day and do some weight lifting as well. Breaks
up the routine. Works the anerobic vs the aerobic.
I don't think speed/distance really matter as much as long as your RPE stays
low. In training literature, recovery rides seem to be kept to about an
I remember training for a century and one week just feeling lousy and tired.
Didn't want to get on the bike. So, I took a few days off completely. I
came back feeling pretty refreshed and realized I had gotten into
So, after all is said and done, I think the main point is to listen to your
body and above all, keep it fun.