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Training & Nutrition Learn how to develop a training schedule that's good for you. What should you eat and drink on your ride? Learn everything you need to know about training and nutrition here.

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Old 04-16-07, 03:59 PM   #1
Gee3
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Recovery Ride question(s)...???

I was reading a post and saw a guy saying he is tired after racing all day and is going to do a recovery ride the next day. What is the purpose of a recovery ride and how does it help? I just thought after riding hard you should rest your legs a day or two to let your legs recuperate.

What should a recovery ride consist of?

I tried the "search" but got a "database problem" message.

Thanks for your help!
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Old 04-16-07, 04:08 PM   #2
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I do recovery rides of 1/2-1 hour long. I never take the HR above 105 and keep the cadance 80-90 rpm's. The propose is work the legs a just enough to get the blood flowing to wash out all bad stuff without building more. They seem to work for me.
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Old 04-16-07, 04:21 PM   #3
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Yeah, search seems to be broken. You'd think someone would notice. I rode myself into total exhaustion yesterday. Today I'll do 45 minutes of Zone 1 (60%-65%) of maximum heart rate (MHR) or 65%-70% of lactate threshold (LT), whichever way you figure it. I'll do that on my rollers, because if I even go out the door and see a road my heart rate will go over that. I'll listen to something calming while I ride.

Most weeks I'd do that Z1 today and then another recovery ride tomorrow. Tomorrow's ride would include some hard, but still low HR work, like one-legged pedaling drills. This week I've got a hard ride on Thursday, so I won't do anything Tuesday or Wednesday.

The purpose is to loosen up tight muscles and flush out waste products. Your veins, arteries, and capillaries will expand a bit and carry fluid to where it's needed. If you've ridden hard, there's muscle damage to repair. Microtears in the muscle. So your muscles need some nutrition to do those repairs and maybe the recovery ride gets them to make the repairs in such a fashion as to aid future cycling. It works, anyway.

The more you've been riding, the longer and stronger a recovery ride can be. Machka did a century as a recovery ride recently. If I've just been doing intervals, I'll do a Zone 2 recovery ride the next day. I only drop it down to Zone 1 when I'm really wasted.

OTOH, if you don't have much of a base, then you might do better not doing a recovery ride and just resting. It's not supposed to add to your training load.
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Old 04-16-07, 04:33 PM   #4
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How I usually gauge my recovery rides is if the little kids with training wheels are passing me I'm doing it right.
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Old 04-16-07, 04:44 PM   #5
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Cool! Thanks for the replies and explanations. They helped a lot.

I hadn't biked this weekend but I ran on Sat and got a good workout running in the outfield playing softball (getting shelled by the other team!). Now my legs feel a bit tired/fatigued. Do you think a nice easy recovery ride on my trainer tonight would help with a rest day afterwards?

Thanks again!
Gary
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Old 04-16-07, 04:59 PM   #6
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Nope! I think you're just starting to get that good feeling in your legs. Go out and do some hill riding. Ride 'til you're going "ouch" and "please, baby, no more" at the bottom of the following descent. Then do a 5 mile TT on the way home. Then a recovery ride the next day. Softball was your recovery. More pain, please.
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Old 04-16-07, 05:08 PM   #7
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CFBoy - Cool! Thanks man!

I should have asked this question last week when I had my Climbing and Descending clinic. My legs were crying ouch so much they decided to rebel and cramped on me! hehe!
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Old 04-16-07, 05:25 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gee3
. . . they decided to rebel and cramped on me! hehe!
More base. If you're getting cramps and not just pain, you need more base. My observation. Try doing more Zone 2 rides during the week. Your legs should always feel a little tired during the season. So if you feel tired, ride, just not hard. The more tired, the less hard. Watch your HR. If you're riding outside and your HR doesn't climb like it usually does when you go a bit hard over a bump, you need active rest. Dial it back. So the tendency is to formalize that bit of wisdom into "recovery rides."
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Old 04-16-07, 08:40 PM   #9
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someone else said recovery days are the poor man's massage
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Old 04-16-07, 08:43 PM   #10
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Recovery rides might assist in recovery. Above all, though, I think it's for people who don't like taking days "off" and still want to get a ride in.

To get the blood going, a brisk walk or light run would do the same thing.
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Old 04-17-07, 02:22 AM   #11
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Recovery rides might assist in recovery. Above all, though, I think it's for people who don't like taking days "off" and still want to get a ride in. +1 but i always do thema nd the pros do them in the tdf 2-3 hours on rest days your body then realises that its your lega it needs to recover rather than changing into "non-cyclist" mode which it would do if you had a rest. one recovery day and one rest day a week seems to work for me.
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Old 04-17-07, 06:58 AM   #12
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You can also help your body flush lactic acid by doing your "recovery ride" right after a hard workout. Thirty minutes of L1 riding. This is the way to go actually. Why wait until the next day?

You an also apply the same principle to your intervals workouts. Do two sets of four with 15min L1 riding in between.
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Old 04-17-07, 07:29 AM   #13
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Recovery rides are also good for preventing Deep Vein Thrombosis (blood clots) DVT is a significant risk for endurance athletes, including cyclists, who tend to become dehydrated during events. Thicker blood tends to clot more easily once the heart slows down. Obviously, rehydration is important, but gentle recovery rides gets the blood flowing to help clear any forming clots.
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