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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
What guidelines do you follow for recovery rides?

Do you have a set min / max distance (or time) ?
Do you take it easy the whole time or throw some small sprints, etc in?
What do you eat or drink?

My recovery ride consists of drinking a lot of water (no energy drinks) on the ride and throughout the day, and riding 25 - 50 miles, higher cadence (95-100), no sprints or hard efforts, keeping a low HR. I'll eat some granola bars as needed. This is my second season of riding (currently about 120 miles per week riding), mostly recreational and club rides, at least one century planned this year, so any advice would be appreciated so I can make sure I'm using them for their intended purpose.
 

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For 120miles a week, i'm not so sure whether you need a recovery ride, unless you're riding 17miles a day at threshold+
 

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a 25-50 mile ride as you describe it sounds more like a base ride than a recovery ride. Especially if your going 50 miles.....

Recovery should be just as it says....recovery...and should be short and sweet....1 hour max.
 

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Depends

smith102 said:
What guidelines do you follow for recovery rides?

Do you have a set min / max distance (or time) ?
Do you take it easy the whole time or throw some small sprints, etc in?
What do you eat or drink?

My recovery ride consists of drinking a lot of water (no energy drinks) on the ride and throughout the day, and riding 25 - 50 miles, higher cadence (95-100), no sprints or hard efforts, keeping a low HR. I'll eat some granola bars as needed. This is my second season of riding (currently about 120 miles per week riding), mostly recreational and club rides, at least one century planned this year, so any advice would be appreciated so I can make sure I'm using them for their intended purpose.
If you're riding 30 hours per week, a recovery ride might be 2-3 hours at a relaxed pace. If you're riding 120 miles per week, it's pretty hard to see how you can do a 50 mile "recovery ride."

A recovery ride should be at an easy pace and of a duration such that you feel refreshed rather than tired at the end.
 

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If you've had a really hard crit on Sunday, ride for an hour on Monday in zone one. Better yet, do the same thing on Sunday evening.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I should've thought about what I wrote a little more before posting...lesson learned. I started this thread because I couldn't find anything on this site regarding the "right" way to do a recovery ride.

For example, this past Saturday, after my 35 mile club ride ("A" group), I did a recovery ride on Sunday. I rode 40 miles, taking a 20 min break half way when I stopped at my office.

The purpose of the ride is to get the blood flowing, remove lactic acid buildup and keep muscles loose, correct? I have been told to do at least 25 miles, and that some guys, after doing a fast century on saturday, will do a 50 mile recovery on Sunday. I've done a couple of these recovery rides to try to help and after the ride and the next morning, I did not feel "recovered", so I am looking for second opinions and to find out what works for you.

My weekly mileage is very low due to weather and work load right now, and as it increases, I want to make sure make sure that I'm being as efficient as possible with my riding.
 

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Recovery rules

smith102 said:
I've done a couple of these recovery rides to try to help and after the ride and the next morning, I did not feel "recovered", so I am looking for second opinions and to find out what works for you.
If you rode hard enough, it may take a couple of easy rides to feel fully recovered, but in general if you still feel weak after a recovery ride, then you went too hard and/or too long. Most likely, you went too hard. Still, I don't see a 40 mile "recovery" ride after a 35 mile group ride as making much sense.
 

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a "recovery ride" is neither. Even at 30 hours a week one would be better off to just not ride for recovery.

Starnut
 

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If I ever do a so-called "recovery ride" I do it on my rollers. Little ring, high cadence, 45 minutes max. I like my rollers for this purpose because I won't get tempted to go longer or harder, I won't get caught in bad weather or have to push into a headwind, or decide to catch the guy in front of me, or have to wash my back after riding in the rain, etc, etc. The sheer boredom of riding indoors guarantees my recovery ride will be short. Indoors, I can get changed, ride, shower and be done in an hour. I usually do not bother with recovery rides at all during the winter training season, but I do use them on Mondays during racing season, if I have raced one or both days on the weekend.

The theory behind the recovery ride is to increase blood flow and circulation to help in tissue repair after a hard workout. The ride should not be long or hard. To the OP, what you are doing is not recovery. It is endurance or base level training. You are tired from Saturday and you are likely riding hard enough to induce more fatigue on Sunday. Nothing wrong with that, except that you are expecting to feel better afterwards and you won't. Overload is an important concept in training, you should do the group ride Saturday and then ride longer and easier on Sunday, but then take Monday completely off to recover. Less is often more, especially for the time-limited, career-oriented amateur racer.
 
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