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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've always ascribed to the fewer but more intense rides/miles - more of a personality thing compounded by schedule (kids, business owner etc.) So, I'm somewhat used to riding hard a few days per week - recovering, riding, etc.

But after races - mtb races - I'm just wiped out for two solid days. Some numbers... I'm 42. As an example, Sunday's race was about 90 minutes. My BPM average was 167 for lap 1 (first 46 minutes) and 169 for lap 2. Max was 178. Temps were mid 80s. Hydration was good - finished with a bit, averaged 24 oz/hour. Cramping - had just little "flutters" toward the end; nothing significant. My max HR is "likely" 185. I have never seen it above 181 but I've held 180 for over 2 minutes so, it has to be a beat or two... or three above that.

I took Monday off - well road 2 miles in flip flops with the kids... When I rode Tuesday with my usual group, I was beat - just didn't have it. I'm also pretty sure this is normal - just want to strategize post race training.

Thoughts?
 

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I think everyone recovers at different rates and perhaps our own recovery rate can vary depending on how intense the effort was, cycling fitness, what you did right after the race, what kind of recovery effort you did the next day, what how you ate before the Tuesday ride, etc. Perhaps you just needed another day.
 

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Of course we're all different, but maybe this is a case where your heart rate didn't accurately reflect the effort that you were putting out?

Fwiw, as I get older (45), I find recoverywise that big volume rides are much tougher than short intense efforts. I do a 3 hour tempo ride and I'm toast for several days afterwards as compared to 90 minutes doing shorter, intense stuff that seems to only require a single day for recovery. In my experience for us older guys, getting recovery right is probably the most important part of training. Overdo things and you'll waste weeks riding around stale.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I think you guys nailed it. That effort - the race Sunday - was about as close to a full effort, e.g. nothing left in the tanks, as I could've hoped for. I felt good but beat at the finish - no performance hindering cramps. But when I got off the bike, I couldn't walk - if I straightened my legs, my quads would lock... I was done. 10 minutes later, I was fine - tired but find. I felt as good as I ever have during and post race (a trip to the podium always helps too).

I really need to experiment with the type of rides in those next couple days that work for me. I think I went out too hard after that one day off the bike. I felt slow and was tired the rest of the day - after only a 90 minute ride.
 

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Everyone recovers differently... I put in one hell of a tough week last week. I planned and completed 5 days in a row of tough workouts.. Took Sunday off and rode easy Monday. I felt awesome yesterday. Recovery is an art form for each person... What works for me might not work for you.

Something I have noticed that helps me is taking a protein shake immediately after a ride. 120ish calories and 35 grams of protein and I'm good to go!

Stretching post ride also helps a lot with speeding recovery.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I always try to take in lots fluids even if I feel like I hydrated adequately during the race. Usually, this consists of basic carb/protein mix. Within 30-45 minutes, I try to take in 20-30 grams of protein - this can be solid, e.g. beef jerky or a big ole bottle of chocolate milk.

I don't do the massage thing. And usually get 7-8 hours of sleep that night.
 
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