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Question about recovery rides(6 posts)

Question about recovery ridesmlbd
Feb 21, 2002 2:01 PM
As spring approaches i'll get back into my full riding schedule which would include 3 short but fairly intense rides during the week (15-25 miles; some climbing; moderate to sometimes high intensity), one long weekend ride (60+ miles, high intensity), and a recovery ride the day after the long ride. I don't plan on racing, but i'd like to get the most fitness out of this program as i can. My goal is to do harder centuries than i did last season and to do them faster. Here are my questions:

1) should i make one of the mid week rides a recovery level ride? is a recovery ride after a 1-2 hour moderate-to-high intensity ride necessary?

2) what constitutes a recovery ride? in the interest of time, i'd like to make my tiny commute to school (20 min each way) a recovery ride? Is that suffcient for muscle recovery?

Advice appreciated.
-mark
re: Question about recovery ridesDINOSAUR
Feb 22, 2002 9:27 AM
I don't race either, I'm just an old fart who likes to ride. Personally I think all the various training methods make this sport much more complicated than it really is. Merckx just went out and rode his bike "lots".

I keep track of my miles but I found keeping track of your ride time is more conclusive. Another factor is that we all ride different terrain. A two hour ride with a lot of climbing can't be compared to a two hour ride in the flats.

I usually try to ride between 12-15 hours a week, 5-6 days depending on what else is going on with my life (and the weather). My short time rides are around 2 hrs, my medium rides are around 3 hours and my long rides are up around 4 hours and building. If I have a difficult long ride, I'll take the next day off. Then again I ride nothing but hills, because of where I live. I really don't have any "easy rides". A "easy ride" means I cut back on intensity.

This time of year when the weather is changable I just try to go out and ride as much as I can and don't worry about time or miles.

Another thing I've discovered after returning to this sport after a long hiatus (this will be my 4th season) is that it is the acumulative miles in your legs that eventually makes you a better cyclist. Cycling is a slow sport to advance in. You kind of have to put everything together for yourself. I don't have a heart rate monitor (yet) I rode for three years without a computer.

But it doens't hurt to take a look at various programs to give you an idea how to proceed. There are lots of books and online training programs. You might try asking this question at roadbikerider.com online newsletter. You can submit a question and it will be personally answered my Fred Matheny, usually within a couple of days. They also have a number of books available at reasonable costs.

One thing I've discovered is that you are constantly learning in this sport, and a big word is PATIENCE.

I probably didn't answer you question but maybe I set the stage for others to offer different ideas and suggestions. I'm just in it for the ride...

Ride Safe
Dino
I have yet to be convinced of the value of a recovery ride asbill
Feb 22, 2002 9:33 AM
opposed to sleeping in. There is supposed to be some value in squishing out the bad stuff that builds up in a tough ride, but, ahhhhh . . . I don't know. Maybe if you are an extremely fine-tuned machine trying to remain at the absolute top of your game, but for the average hard working joe, I have serious doubts that it makes any difference at all. I always have heard that 30 minutes suffices as a recovery ride, anyway, so that 20 minutes sounds fine.
For whatever it's worth, I followed almost exactly that regimen last summer, and I thought that it worked great. Intervals, intervals, intervals. Little endurance, some hills, you'll be golden.
I'll try ...tarwheel
Feb 22, 2002 11:11 AM
Our bike club had an excercise physiologist/ researcher speak at one of our meetings. The guy is also a long-time cyclist. One of the main points I took away from his talk was the importance of alternating hard and easy workouts. That is, 2-3 hard days (intervals, speed) followed by two recovery days (slow easy pace, cross train, or day off). The reason for the recovery days is your body needs time to repair the muscle damage caused by hard, intense, prolonged workouts.

According to this guy, who had a lot of research to back up what he was saying, you will actually improve your performance more by taking recovery days than going all-out all of the time. He said he has often dealt with athletes who can't figure out why they keep training harder and longer, yet their performance plateaus or degrades. Often the reason is because they aren't giving their bodies any time to recover. Made sense to me.

I think many of us have probably noticed the same thing. You ride hard for 7-8 days straight and end up feeling more and more worn out. Some of my best, fastest rides have been after I've been forced to lay off the riding for a few extra days because of bad weather, travel, etc.
Oh, I'm a big fan of a day off; I just never saw the point in anbill
Feb 22, 2002 11:35 AM
actual recovery ride. If you see in my original post, I said that I don't see what a recovery ride does for you over sleeping in, not that I didn't see the advantages of sleeping in. I believe in rest. Just ask my bed.
re: Question about recovery ridesguido
Feb 22, 2002 2:23 PM
Good advice above. I'd just like to add that the reason coaches give competitive riders an easy day to recover on the bike, is to keep the muscles limber and expell lactic acid from the day before. Easy spinning, with only slightly elevated heartrate, is a regenerative process. So is sleeping, but loosely working the legs keeps them from tightening up, which accumulates over a period of time only doing hard workouts. If you do it right, there's nothing wrong with a 20 minute commute as a recovery ride.