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· aka Zoo
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I work 3rd shift so my schedule is a little weird, how important is sleep for recovery vs time? For example, I'm working tonight and before work I went for an 1 1/2 bike ride, this morning if I'm not too tired and I wanted to get another 2-3hrs in before it gets too hot. Is 8+hrs of recovery time just as good as 8hrs of sleep to be able to get a somewhat decent ride in and make progress?
 

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sleep is better, but it just has to happen in the same day after the ride.
riding before work, and sleeping long and hard after work has worked for me, just top up on plenty of carbs soon after the ride.
 

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reikisport said:
Zoo Sleep is probably the most important component of rthe recovery process.
Your body goes through lots of changes during REM sleep.
So go to bed!
+1,0000

My college coaches used to preach this night and day... but they were probably just trying to keep us from staying out till 6am..
 

· waterproof*
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It's easy to test the theory / prove it to yourself - do a week of the 2-a-day's your talking about, then a week of easy / sleep, then a week of 1 a day + sleep. I think you'll find your 1 a days are higher quality workouts and you have more energy in general.
 

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If you can sleep I would recommend it. Like the poster above said your body uses your sleep time to repair all the damage that your workout just produced. At the Olympic Training center the coaches routinely push sleep after a hard workout because it works towards making you a better cyclist. Usually, a good strategy is to ride hard, eat/drink, and use that "food coma" to put you to sleep. After a couple of weeks you will find yourself performing much better than any quality workout and no sleep.
 

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carbon13 said:
just top up on plenty of carbs soon after the ride.
I thought the preferred method was pre-load carbs, post with protein. I guess you could load up carbs after the ride if you're preparing for another expenditure the next day, but I didn't think they were a typical recovery food. That might be from a weight loss aspect (I read a lot) and I'm not exactly looking to lose weight.
 

· Adventure Seeker
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Yes sleep is better as said above. When we sleep, our bodies produce growth hormone to repair and rejuvenate for the next day.(yeah, I've had way too much sleep education) When awake, you're not recovering, even though you'll feel better after a bit.
However, I don't see anything wrong with working out after work. Just don't overdo it!
 

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As others have said - to answer your question - 8 hours of low or no activity - especially at work on third shift - does not even remotely compare to the rest/repair you get from 8 hours of sleep. That said, you still might be fine to do the second ride.

A couple years ago I worked third shift for a period of about 9 months. Sleep is something that is very important to me. I despised being on a third shift schedule - I never got completely used to it. One thing that I always thought was important was to maintain a regular sleep schedule. A lot of the my 3rd shift coworkers would be sleeping during the day all week, then when the weekend rolled around they would have a crazy sleep schedule. They would sort of convert back to sleeping at night for one day, and then try to convert back to graveyard sleep patterns as the week began. Because of this, our first night back after a weekend would be like night of the living dead. The schedule-changers would be tired, worn out, grouchy, etc.... I believe the main reason people would do that conversion is so they could do stuff with family during the day instead of sleeping.

I mentioned how important sleep is to me. For this reason, the entire time I was working third shift, I would maintain my exact same sleeping patterns. Over the weekends. Over a a week off for Christmas and New years. No matter what. I didn't have immediate family so that was no problem. I did become kind of antisocial, but I cared more about being healthy than I did about going to the lake with friends for the day on a Saturday, or whatever.

I don't know how used to being on 3rd you are... or anything about you, so all this I wrote might not be any help to you, but it was definitely important for me when I was on third shift and still trying to stay in good shape.
 

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I went for a hard ride Tuesday night and pretty much tried to kill myself. I slept well Tuesday night. I had off yesterday (wednesday) and I have off today. Wednesday I got up and took my girl to work and dropped her car off at the shop. Rode the bike home spinning easy and my legs felt like noodles. So I got home and did some computer stuff then crawled into bed and watched part of A Sunday in Hell and fell asleep for a couple hours. Slept well Wednesday night and now its 6:30am on Thursday and Im ready to go.

So I guess Wednesday was a good rest day and now its Thursday and Im going to go do some tempo/endurance riding. Ill kill myself again tomorrow probably.
 
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