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Recovery Ride, or just take the day off

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

Recovery Ride, or just take the day off

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Old 06-01-04, 02:37 PM
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Recovery Ride, or just take the day off

I have a hard time making myself ride at a pace where Im not working at least a little. So Im wondering if just taking a day or two off the bike in-between hard rides is as beneficial as a recovery ride?
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Old 06-01-04, 02:55 PM
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Do you have a HRM? if so you can use it to help you guage your easy rides. I am certainly no expert but I believe recovery riding is the prefered technique.
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Old 06-01-04, 03:08 PM
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Whats a hard ride?
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Old 06-01-04, 03:17 PM
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I just recently bought a HRM and I find it's great in the situations you're describing. I know I don't need one but it's cool to have. I find that my normal 2-3 hour rides consist of me being in the 80-90% of my max heart rate most of the time with brief 5 minute spikes up to 90-100%. On a light day, I'll try to keep it at 60-70% to recover. The same is true for jogging, I try to keep myself between 70-90% so I don't burn out and so far it's been working great.

I've also heard that out of resting, massage, and riding, riding provided the best recovery. So get out there and just cruise around the block, get the blood flowing and some fresh air. As a general rule of thumb, if you can read a paragraph from a book in normal sentences, you're good. If you're studdering to breathe, you're working too hard for a recovery ride. Though I wouldn't recommend actually reading while on the bike...
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Old 06-01-04, 03:20 PM
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I have the same problem so I guess I'd pose the same question (I'll be watching this thread for suggestions)

so far I bet I'm doing the wrong thing;
I do an 'easy' distance ride (20-25 miles), but fast, to 'recover'
as opposed to a longer distance 35+ etc. (still usually on a fast (for me) pace)

I prolly need help...and I have an HRM, I'm usually just trying to keep it from exploding
it's hard to not just pour it on all the time, what do you do?
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Old 06-01-04, 03:22 PM
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Originally Posted by zotma
I prolly need help...and I have an HRM, I'm usually just trying to keep it from exploding
it's hard to not just pour it on all the time, what do you do?
Can't you set up certain zones in your HRM?
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Old 06-01-04, 03:27 PM
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yes and I hate that beeping when you cross the line
there's something downright unsatisfying when riding low HR for me
seems like I start out okay then lose track, if I have the HRM on silence with just the arrows designating the zone (in or out of it) I tend to disregard it. my problem, any other solutions than to pay more attention to the HRM?
(not to hijack the thread.....)
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Old 06-01-04, 03:34 PM
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Originally Posted by zotma
I have the same problem so I guess I'd pose the same question (I'll be watching this thread for suggestions)

so far I bet I'm doing the wrong thing;
I do an 'easy' distance ride (20-25 miles), but fast, to 'recover'
as opposed to a longer distance 35+ etc. (still usually on a fast (for me) pace)

I prolly need help...and I have an HRM, I'm usually just trying to keep it from exploding
it's hard to not just pour it on all the time, what do you do?
A recovery ride should by no means hard, or fast. i keep my hrt rate below 125 on recovery rides but avg around 116 bpm. when i was not as fit it was almost impossible to keep my hrt below 125 so i just didn't ride recovery.you will find once you are pretty fit it will be alot harder to get your hrt up, and remember you only benifit from your efforts when the body is resting.
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Old 06-01-04, 03:41 PM
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Originally Posted by pacesetter
A recovery ride should by no means hard, or fast. i keep my hrt rate below 125 on recovery rides but avg around 116 bpm. when i was not as fit it was almost impossible to keep my hrt below 125 so i just didn't ride recovery.you will find once you are pretty fit it will be alot harder to get your hrt up, and remember you only benifit from your efforts when the body is resting.
I don't think it's a fitness issue, I teach cardio kickboxing 3 nights a week
it's kind of more of a holding back issue
I need to learn how to go slow, that's where I could use some tips
(ummmm still hijacking I guess )
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Old 06-01-04, 03:45 PM
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Originally Posted by Random
I have a hard time making myself ride at a pace where Im not working at least a little. So Im wondering if just taking a day or two off the bike in-between hard rides is as beneficial as a recovery ride?

if you can't ride easy take a day or 2 off, that will be more benificial than riding to hard of a recovery ride.
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Old 06-01-04, 03:50 PM
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Why don't you read lance armstrongs performance program,the guy's won the tour de France five years in a row,he must be doing something right?
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Old 06-01-04, 04:04 PM
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Originally Posted by zotma
I don't think it's a fitness issue, I teach cardio kickboxing 3 nights a week
it's kind of more of a holding back issue
I need to learn how to go slow, that's where I could use some tips
(ummmm still hijacking I guess )

First sentence in that post was NOT HARD or fast, and if someone who is unfit trying to use there hrt monitor and stay in zone1 will most likely have a frustrating time if that's what they rely on rather than feal of a ver easy effort.
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Old 06-01-04, 04:15 PM
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This is the theory I go by. Let it be known that for reasonably short exertions (maybe time < 1hr) heart rate monitors are good for RECOVERY/SLOW_SPEEDS ONLY!!. If you just did something hard and need to put in more distance, keeping your heart below 140 does this well. This is said on the grounds that you reach your max heart rate much before your max physical output. In workouts that are supposed to be all out, I"ve slacked off before while keeping max heart rate.

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Old 06-01-04, 04:28 PM
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Originally Posted by pacesetter
First sentence in that post was NOT HARD or fast, and if someone who is unfit trying to use there hrt monitor and stay in zone1 will most likely have a frustrating time if that's what they rely on rather than feal of a ver easy effort.
absolutely true
particularly if you're doing caffeine before a morning ride or caffeinated gel during the ride

so knowing there are factors that alter the hrm report,
(or if you don't have an hrm)
do you tend to spin only on the recovery ride?
coast the hills or choose a route with no hills?
is it best to keep it under a certain amount of mileage or time?
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Old 06-01-04, 04:55 PM
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i don't get this..all you have to do is cut your ride short. a hard-working 30-45 min ride is enough for recovery. recovery rides are there just to keep the muscles going.

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Old 06-01-04, 05:16 PM
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Originally Posted by zotma
absolutely true
particularly if you're doing caffeine before a morning ride or caffeinated gel during the ride

so knowing there are factors that alter the hrm report,
(or if you don't have an hrm)
do you tend to spin only on the recovery ride?
coast the hills or choose a route with no hills?
is it best to keep it under a certain amount of mileage or time?

I spin on endurance rides also being mine are 4-6 hours. i avoid hills at as much as i can on recovery days
and if i do have a hill to climb i spin up it as easy as i can. it is best to keep recovery rides 30-90 minutes.
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Old 06-01-04, 05:25 PM
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Originally Posted by shaq-d
i don't get this..all you have to do is cut your ride short. a hard-working 30-45 min ride is enough for recovery. recovery rides are there just to keep the muscles going.

sd

Your right you don't get it, a hard working 30 -45 minute ride is a work out!!! just because you cut time does not cut intensity! if you don't care to improve your performance on the bike and over all health ride hard all the time be counter productive, weaken your immune system don't give your mucsles time to repair, ect ect ect.
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Old 06-01-04, 08:44 PM
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Originally Posted by shaq-d
i don't get this..all you have to do is cut your ride short. a hard-working 30-45 min ride is enough for recovery. recovery rides are there just to keep the muscles going.

sd
A hard ride, no matter how short, rips apart muscle. A recovery ride is low enough in intensity not to destroy muscle, all it does is gets the blood moving.
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Old 06-01-04, 09:16 PM
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so i guess our advice to this guy is just to learn how to control himself and ride a nice relaxed recovery ride?

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Old 06-01-04, 09:25 PM
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Hehe, pretty much yeah, patience hehe. I know how hard that is when he's on a slow recovery ride and someone zips by and he gets the urge to just crank it.
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Old 06-01-04, 10:03 PM
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When I raced (this was before HRM's), I never took a day off just did an easy day and didn't let anyone control my tempo. I would ride about 10 to 12 miles at a leasurely 10 to 12 mph. If I was racing a long event I would ride about 5 miles the day before at a 10 to 12 mph pace. I would also park about 5 miles from the race site on race day and ride slowly in to warm up a bit.
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Old 06-01-04, 11:00 PM
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I should get huge kudos for this. This is a training tip from the 11/28/01 newsletter on Sally Edwards heartzones.com site. I think you can find this in the Cyclist Training Bible by J. Friel too (but I'm not sure). Anyway, every competitive athlete and enthusiast (not matter what your sport) should perform a delta test in the morning to gauge what intensity you should work at for that day. After you establish your pattern, this simple test will tell you whether you should doa recovery ride or take the day off.

I swear by this - it works well for me. Like to see your feedback on this. Enjoy.

Delta Heart Rate: Another way to measure your fitness. A reader recently contacted Heart Zones inquiring about the difference they were seeing in their resting heart rate and ambient heart rates both while sitting and laying down. This is a very good and common question. Here are the specifics: This athlete notices an ambient heart rate of 90 when sitting up and 62 when lying down. Resting heart rate is measured at 44. The question is whether it is ok for such a difference between sitting up and lying down. In the Heart Rate Monitor Book for Cyclists (page 84 and 85), Delta heart rate is the difference in your heart rate at different positions, for example, lying down and standing up. Do this test. Take your heart rate after lying down for two minutes. Stand up and your heart rate will "spike" but will settle after an additional two minutes. The difference is your "delta heart rate". If the difference is greater than 30, take a day off. This is not a good number. If the difference is 20-30, it is cautionary - take a day off or train in a zone lower. If the difference is 10-20, this is normal. If the difference is 0-10, this is excellent.
This is a valuable test, especially if you retest yourself daily and watch for specific trends (upward trends may indicate too much stress or over-training and downward trends may indicate you're right on track).
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Old 06-02-04, 07:01 AM
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Originally Posted by shokhead
Whats a hard ride?

Lets say a 20 miler at my best pace, or a group ride where Im at the front for a long time trying to pop somebody. I guess what Im asking isEven after a day or two off of the bike after one of these rides, my legs sometimes feel sore or just plane weak. Would a slow ride say in zone 2 help repair the muscles faster than just doing nothing?
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Old 06-02-04, 07:15 AM
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Originally Posted by Random
Lets say a 20 miler at my best pace, or a group ride where Im at the front for a long time trying to pop somebody. I guess what Im asking isEven after a day or two off of the bike after one of these rides, my legs sometimes feel sore or just plane weak. Would a slow ride say in zone 2 help repair the muscles faster than just doing nothing?
Everything from what I've read has shown that short leisure rides are much better than say, taking a nap. I'm currently on my break from work and am doing 50-60 miles a day in zone 4-5. I just keep going until I notice my average speed drop significantly then I will take a recovery ride in zone 2, just take it real slow.
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Old 06-02-04, 07:36 AM
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Originally Posted by madcyclist
I should get huge kudos for this. This is a training tip from the 11/28/01 newsletter on Sally Edwards heartzones.com site. I think you can find this in the Cyclist Training Bible by J. Friel too (but I'm not sure). Anyway, every competitive athlete and enthusiast (not matter what your sport) should perform a delta test in the morning to gauge what intensity you should work at for that day. After you establish your pattern, this simple test will tell you whether you should doa recovery ride or take the day off.

I swear by this - it works well for me. Like to see your feedback on this. Enjoy.


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Ok let me see if I understand this correctly:
You lay down for 2 minutes then measure your HR, I usually do this by measuring pulse count over one minute. Then stand up, wait for two minutes then begin another HR measurement. Subtract the two. I am confused b/c it reads sort of like you lay down for 2 minutes then take the HR count then stand up and immediatly take the HR count or do you stand up wait 2 minutes then take the count. Make sense? Thanks
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