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Recovery Rides(16 posts)

Recovery RidesSSA
Jun 4, 2001 11:39 AM
Recovery rides (half an hour to an hour of easy spinning) the day after an intense ride never seem to work for me. If anything, they make my legs even more soar. What gives?
One training routine doesn't work for allParker
Jun 4, 2001 11:44 AM
Peoples bodies can, and often do, react differently to the same training regimin.
Do what you find works best for you.
I think that days off are thoroughly underrated. I've beenbill
Jun 4, 2001 11:50 AM
posing the question in various forums for awhile -- why should I do a light workout as opposed to a day off -- and no one has given me a satisfactory answer.
I think that you probably need more time/less effort than a light spin to recover.
re: Recovery RidesHank
Jun 4, 2001 11:53 AM
two things (which you may already be doing): do a lot of stretching after your rides (especially your hard rides) and make sure you eat well before, during and after your rides - I'd also try some of the modern recovery drinks like Cytomax (I love Cytomax). If you go into a recovery ride sore and spent, there is little chance the recovery ride will improve things.
re: Recovery Ridessteeveo
Jun 4, 2001 12:31 PM
This rainy snap has proven to me once again the value of DAYS OFF. Three days of no riding, then the fourth day when I get back on the bike I can actually feel a quantum leap forward.
In a perfect world, the theory seems...Kyle
Jun 4, 2001 12:30 PM
to be a good one. Increase the oxygenated blood flow to the injured (ie trained) area to promote healing. Unfortunately, it's not a perfect world and I've never seen any good data on the subject. Even Ed Burke's otherwise excellent book 'Optimal Muscle Recovery' dodges it.

A few thoughts:

1. You'd have to do this for a fair amount of time (ie a few hours) to get any real benefit from increased blood flow. I mean, even if you quadrupled flow for a half hour, that's only a 3% total increase in blood flow for the 24 hour period.

2. There may be a stretching benefit to being on the bike, but you can do it off the bike easier.

3. You have to ride without creating any further stress on your legs. For a novice (or even intermediate) rider, this may be difficult as the simple act of pedaling hard enough to stay upright may create stress. In a highly trained rider, though, this may not be as much the case.

4. You have to be extremely disciplined. Know your recovery zone and stay in it. No speeding up when that old lady with the poodle in her basket passes you.

The bottom line? Unless you're an elite rider, just take the day off.
put on your 12-27 and stay on the 27 on flats only. No climbs.railer
Jun 4, 2001 2:22 PM
Just spin. Dont worry about HR just move the legs as lightly as possible. It seems to help me. If i take days off I come back stale or flat with that burning sensation.
yeah, but, how do I get home? nmbill
Jun 4, 2001 8:25 PM
It's a personal thing but it works for merunstevierun
Jun 4, 2001 2:22 PM
Recovery rides, that is.
It makes me feel stretched out and more relaxed after
a really hard ride/race. The hardest thing is
learning to go so slow that there's almost no
stress on the legs. For me that's an average HR under 100,
a relatively quick cadence in the small ring and an average speed around 14 mph.
As I said, very very slow.
Also, I ride for 1.5 hours on recovery days.
re: Recovery Ridesjstonebarger
Jun 4, 2001 2:26 PM
The only good argument I've heard for "recovery rides" is to increase blood flow. Problem is, most of us have lives beyond cycling--if it's recovery ride or couch, maybe, but those of us who do 9-5 for a living or chase kids in our spare time don't have to worry about blood flow...
Take the day off.
Recovery Rateblue bayou
Jun 4, 2001 2:58 PM
My "recovery" day activity is dependant on my base fitness level. I ride throughout the year but my fitness changes--up and down. When I am in soft shape, my recovery is totally off the bike. As I get stronger, my recovery is spent in relationship to my strengh. For example, I got on a streak and rode 200 miles a week for about 6 months. My recovery was a 20 mile ride on flat terrain, cruising about 60-70%. As I started riding less, my recovery rides were time based. An easy spinning ride 30, 45 or 60 minutes.

I'd say stay off the bike and use your ride days to get stronger. After a few weeks, try riding on your recovery day. You may be able to tolerate the recovery ride then.
Thanks To EveryoneSSA
Jun 4, 2001 3:08 PM
Although there has been a few different answers given, I've actually put it all in a perspective that makes sense for ME and compared it to my past experiences. I think Hank had an especially good point that made sense for me: prevention is key. I havn't been doing as much stretching lately or using my Cytomax. I did the 24 hr race in Spokane last weekend and I wasn't being disiplined about any part of my recovery.

Thanks for all your answers!
re: Recovery Ridesbear
Jun 4, 2001 5:29 PM
I think that the problem is that you are taking a too long ride? a hour is way to long,,,good for a pro how trains for 5 hours yes, but for the average guy the ride should be at most 1/2 hror 20 % of yourtraing ride,,I traind for 1 to 2 hours and take it easy with a mild warm up of 15 to 20 minutes and feel great,,try and see..
Rest days are good.Largo
Jun 4, 2001 5:41 PM
Because of school work, i can't ride every day, and have tuesdays and thursdays off, yet have never been stronger on the bike.
I get in good intensity on the weekdays that i train, and longer miles on the weekend, and those two rest days are key.
Rest is just as important as training.
If you take a day or two off, you probably won't get overuse injuries either.
I am convinced ...bianchi boy
Jun 4, 2001 9:15 PM
Of the value of recovery rides and/or days off after hearing a discussion on training at our local bike club. We had an excercise researcher/physiologist who is also a long-time biker speak to our club. His basic argument in favor of recovery rides (or days off) is this: Your body works best in cycles or waves -- that is, periods of intense stress or activity followed by relative calm or inactivity. The calm/inactive periods allow your body to rebuild the muscles, etc., that are damaged or stressed on your active days. If you never take days off or recovery rides, your body never has a chance to fully heal and rebuild. The researcher said he deals with athletes all the time who reach a certain plateau and then never improve or even regress. They react by training even harder, and their performance continues to degrade. What they need to do is take some time to recover.

In my case, although I am certainly no elite athlete, I often find that I have my best rides/fastest times after taking a few days off or easy rides. I really noticed this when I used to run (had to quit due to injuries years ago) -- I almost always improved my running by taking days off or cross-training with other activities like biking or swimming. On my days off now, I do other things for excercise, like hiking or lifting weights, or take an easy bike ride.
This has worked for me!Steve A
Jun 5, 2001 9:03 AM
Rest on the bike , I have tryed it both ways no work out after a Sunday race or rest on the bike. I just feel better when I rest on the bike 1-1/2 to 2 hours flat road 80 rpm- zone 1 to 2 heart rate, I use it to reflect on my race the day before and unwind.