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Define "recovery ride"

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Road Cycling “It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle.” -- Ernest Hemingway

Define "recovery ride"

Old 09-02-06, 08:11 AM
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Define "recovery ride"

I keep hearing this term, and it seems to be associated with a day after ride of shorter duration. If anyone really knows or has an opinion I would like to hear.

Personally, I consider a recovery ride to be that ride home in the car following something like a century.
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Old 09-02-06, 08:15 AM
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a bike walk.

an easy spin where your HR never goes out of zone 1.

for some it's for an hour, for other longer. i generally keep mine at around 1:30

the idea is to get the blood flowing just a bit, to help keep the legs supple and flush out the crap left in your legs from the race/century/whatever that you did the day before.

not only is it good for the body, it's good for the head.
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Old 09-02-06, 08:35 AM
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I need to do more of these. Damn rain.
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Old 09-02-06, 08:52 AM
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Gets nourishing blood flowing to the legs which aids in recovery without having them incur any additional stress
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Old 09-02-06, 10:10 AM
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Flat as can be, small ring only, HR below 70%
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Old 09-02-06, 10:17 AM
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For me it's 1-2 hours with HR < Zone 1 (120 bpm).
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Old 09-02-06, 03:55 PM
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I had all intentions of doing one yesterday, but was in the mid 70 percent range at times....but then I also did all my climbing while standing, to hit different muscles - never got out of the big ring actually during the ride, but I didn't kill myself. Taking today and tomorrow off, and hopefully a nice long ride on Monday.

Typically for a true recovery ride, I don't ride outside with a HR monitor, but I keep the overall effort easy enough so that I breathe comfortably through my nose pretty much the entire ride (except obviously on some hills)....for me, that's a good indicator of where my HR is at, without wearing my monitor.
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Old 09-02-06, 04:49 PM
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Recovery ride - low gears - no climbs - zone 1 only - no stress on the legs - easy ride

Opposite of hammer fest
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Old 09-02-06, 04:56 PM
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A recovery ride is any ride where my buddy is faster than I am - as in, "you didn't beat me up that hill, butthead, I was on a recovery ride."
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Old 09-02-06, 05:17 PM
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Ultra easy ride below zone 1, under 130 bpm. Listen to some music enjoy the weather. People slowly passing you with triumpant smiles on their faces. he he.
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Old 09-02-06, 06:12 PM
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Length can vary greatly depending on your current fitness and trainning, if you're doing 4 or 6 hour rides, a recovery might be 1-2hours, if you've been doing alot of sub 2 hour workouts with intervals, then 30-60mins is fine.

Along with light pressure on the pedals (120w-170w power) (115-130bpm HR) it's often a good time to play with your speedskills, do some spin ups to work on your cadence, and/or break up the recovery ride into intervals where you pedal 5-10rpm faster then you normally would but in such a slow gear the only thing your impacting is your nervous system, teaching it to move your legs faster and smoother in conjunction. Other times it can be more relaxing to pedal at a lower cadence then normal. Usualy i just try for my normal 95rpm though.
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Old 09-03-06, 03:53 AM
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mine's the same as other guys: less than 90 mins at HR <60% max. Riding this slowly obviously could mean that is takes nearly 90 mins to do 35km (22 miles)!! On days following REALLY hard ride, I'll doless than an hour at 50 to 55% max HR

If i'm doing 2 easy days in a row, I'll probably do about 60 to 65% on the second day, and a littel bit longer. I'm now 40, () and I don't recover like I used to.

Last edited by 531Aussie; 09-03-06 at 04:28 AM.
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Old 09-03-06, 09:30 AM
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<< I'm now 40, () and I don't recover like I used to.>>

You poor thing; wait till you're 66!!
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Old 09-17-06, 08:46 AM
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WHat if you dont have any trully flat roads. And if you go anywhere you need to climb? Then how do have a recovery ride?
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Old 09-17-06, 08:59 AM
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Originally Posted by Rich22
WHat if you dont have any trully flat roads. And if you go anywhere you need to climb? Then how do have a recovery ride?
Assuming you have a triple or equivalent...spin up the hills in your granny gear.
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Old 09-17-06, 10:47 AM
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Originally Posted by Rich22
WHat if you dont have any trully flat roads. And if you go anywhere you need to climb? Then how do have a recovery ride?
Walk/jog. Go to the gym, ride a stationary bike or use your trainer at home. Play basketball.
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Old 09-17-06, 11:22 AM
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If you're out riding your bike and you happen to see me up ahead for longer than a minute or two at most, you're on a recovery ride.
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Old 09-17-06, 12:28 PM
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Originally Posted by Pizza Man
For me it's 1-2 hours with HR < Zone 1 (120 bpm).
at what power level?/ lol.
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Old 09-17-06, 02:35 PM
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Originally Posted by Snicklefritz
at what power level?/ lol.
Pizza Man zone 1: Keepin' it under 560 watts.
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Old 09-17-06, 02:59 PM
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Originally Posted by SpongeDad
A recovery ride is any ride where my buddy is faster than I am - as in, "you didn't beat me up that hill, butthead, I was on a recovery ride."
LOL nice! I've got to remember that one.
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Old 09-17-06, 03:08 PM
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Serious question though:

How long after a big long ride should you do a recovery ride? The day after?
I'm planning on doing a little over a half century in October to train myself to be able to do an actual century. But in the meantime the half century would be a real decent effort for me. I estimate (from my previous 3 incidents of bonking) that I would need my 50 oz. camelback, two water bottles, a pre-load of muscle milk, two clif bars, 4 gel packs, 3 pills of amino vital, and a re-load of water somewhere down the route.....just to survive the day. :\

When the ride is over I will definately be spent so I can't do another hour for recovery on the same day. The day after I should do the recovery? Actually, can you break it down in hours how long I should wait? 12 hours perhaps? That way I can get some sleep time in?
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Old 09-17-06, 03:10 PM
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If it's a really hard day, you can also just take the next day off. Otherwise, I would do the recovery ride the day after the hard ride.
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Old 09-17-06, 06:15 PM
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Originally Posted by StalkerZERO
Serious question though:

How long after a big long ride should you do a recovery ride? The day after?
I'm planning on doing a little over a half century in October to train myself to be able to do an actual century. But in the meantime the half century would be a real decent effort for me. I estimate (from my previous 3 incidents of bonking) that I would need my 50 oz. camelback, two water bottles, a pre-load of muscle milk, two clif bars, 4 gel packs, 3 pills of amino vital, and a re-load of water somewhere down the route.....just to survive the day. :\

When the ride is over I will definately be spent so I can't do another hour for recovery on the same day. The day after I should do the recovery? Actually, can you break it down in hours how long I should wait? 12 hours perhaps? That way I can get some sleep time in?
The next day would be good. Getting out that day will loosen up your muscles considerably and make you less sore. My experience is that the first ride after a hard ride, my muscles will be sore for 30 minutes, whether I do that ride the day after or four days after.

And remember to keep the ride really light. Really really light. You just want to tickle the bottom of your aerobic zone.

On the food side, I did a hilly (1800' with some steep climbs) 57 miles today. Took me around 4 hours (lots of city riding/stops/turns/etc). My HRM estimates that I burnt about 3000 calories.

During that 4 hours, I drank about 30 oz of accelerade, ate one newton, half a bagel, half a bag of clif-bloks, and half a small bag of pretzels. Given my level of effort, that was about all I could stomach.

Your goal should be to get around 250-350 calories from carbs per hour during your ride, and perhaps a little protein at the same time. Most beginning riders both eat too much, and don't eat the right stuff.

I've found that a good sports drink makes a huge difference - water and food at the same time.

Oh, and recovery drinks can make a big difference in how fast and how well you recover.
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Old 09-17-06, 06:21 PM
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Recovery ride for me: 1 hr, easy, small chainring.
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Old 09-17-06, 06:23 PM
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Originally Posted by Rich22
WHat if you dont have any trully flat roads. And if you go anywhere you need to climb? Then how do have a recovery ride?
The only way I could do a completely flat ride would be to drive a couple miles to a MUP and start there. I don't mind driving there, but I'd rather take the day off from cycling and do another activity. That's been my formula since I started cycling and it works well for me.
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