just another gosling
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Everett, WA
Bikes: CoMo Speedster 2003, Trek 5200, CAAD 9, Fred 2004
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For me it depends on how much was expended. I suppose I have 2 categories: (A) 9-24 hour rides and (B) 3-8 hour rides.
For all hard rides, I use a recovery drink of 24g whey protein and ~200 calories fast carbs. Then I'll have a beer or maybe 2 and eat a little something carby. I keep on with the small carby snacks until dinner. Then I focus on vegetables, some more carbs, a little protein, a little fat. I'll have some more whey protein at bedtime.
Successive days I'll have more whey protein and focus on fruit and vegetables.
Then . ..
A rides: Nothing athletic the first day. Second day, some zone 1 with one-legged pedaling. Third day, some zone 2. Fourth day and on I plan by watching my morning standing HR. If it stays high, I just do core and a little zone 1 or 2 until it comes back down.
B rides: First day, hike if the weather's nice or hit the Stepmill if raining. Second day and third days as above, plus some weight work. Fourth day some intervals or a longer ride, 20-50 miles. Then get ready for the next weekend, whatever it is.
I also do some core and stretching, but I don't really count that because it doesn't contribute to heart rate stress and therefore have a strong effect on recovery other than keeping me from going downhill during recovery.
Bear in mind that this is what I've done in my 50s and 60s. Younger folks may recover faster.