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Thread: recovery rides for beginners

  1. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tim Kelley View Post
    FYI--It's not lactic acid that makes you feel sore, and you don't sweat it out:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2006/05/16/he...6run.html?_r=0

    http://www.active.com/mountainbiking...sterday_s_ride

    See, I told you I'm no expert.

  2. #12
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    Purely anecdotally, I find that a recovery spin -- as opposed to a complete day of rest -- helps. If I have a very tough workout, I feel very creaky walking around the next day. A spin seems to lube up the legs so I don't experience that. Also, a recovery spin helps me not feel quite so sluggish trying to get started for the next real workout.

    If you're a runner, a recovery activity the next day -- either a bike ride or a walk -- makes a huge difference. Very different sport, though.

    Also, on a tangential but related note, a cool down after a workout is very important. That's why you see riders in the Tour on their trainers even after a very long, hard stage. Those 15-20 minutes following a hard workout are super critical to avoiding crazy soreness the next day.

  3. #13
    PotomacCyclist is offline I spend all day thinking about bikes and talking to people on the internet about them.
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    I often do a recovery bike ride right after many of my harder run workouts. I find that much of the post-run muscle soreness and tightness disappears after I do my post-workout stretching routine or a recovery bike ride. On running forums, a lot of people say that they just sit around after a run, sometimes falling asleep. Then they complain about hurting all the time. (Some misguided people actually say things like "running is supposed to hurt," which should not be true.)

    I think the extra circulation helps to push nutrients to the muscles and tendons (protein) while possibly flushing out metabolic wastes, like ammonia and other nasty stuff. I think the post-workout stretching helps to loosen up adhesions in the muscle fascia and it seems to calm down microspasms in the muscles. I like to stretch after every run and strength workout (not before), but I don't always stretch after easier bike rides.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dirt View Post
    For me, recovery rides are mostly mental. I want and need to go out and ride the day after a big effort... whatever that may be. My legs feel better. My mind feels better.

    Pete
    This. Exactly.

    Even if a little bit of you wants to go out to ride again, its time to get out there and do so. Everything feels better after

  5. #15
    PotomacCyclist is offline I spend all day thinking about bikes and talking to people on the internet about them.
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    Triathlon/cycling coach and author Joe Friel also says there is a difference based on the experience level of the cyclist.

    He says that for beginners, a rest day might be the best option. But with more experienced cyclists, they usually get more out of an easy recovery ride on the day after a hard workout than a complete rest day.

    This might be one of those situations where you have to learn how to listen to your body. And take notes on how you respond to either the rest day or an easy recovery spin. Good nutrition, avoiding excessive stress, and plenty of sleep are also important for recovery.

  6. #16
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    Basically what I said is the wise thing to do...

    I often end up stacking hard workouts on top of each other in order to train for doing many hard days in a row. You really have to listen to your body and know when it is time for a more serious rest if you do things this way.

    Lots of good information here. Thanks y'all for contributing.

    Pete

  7. #17
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    I'd also add that what you eat in the first half hour after a hard ride is extremely important.

    Recovery drink is good. A healthy meal with lean protein and some good carbs and fresh veggies is a very good thing. If you're riding the next day, making sure that the meal happens in the first half hour after your ride is a good thing.

    Love,

    Dirt

  8. #18
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    dasgeh is offline Queen of Family Biking & All Things Kidical
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dirt View Post
    I'd also add that what you eat in the first half hour after a hard ride is extremely important.
    Ah, yes, a tall glass of cold chocolate milk is the best end to a hard ride. I don't even like milk, but I love that cold glass.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dasgeh View Post
    Ah, yes, a tall glass of cold chocolate milk is the best end to a hard ride. I don't even like milk, but I love that cold glass.
    My friend Rebecca got me hooked on Gu Brew Recovery mix. Basically I put it in the blender with milk and a few fresh strawberries. YUMMMMMMM. The cool thing is that when I'm in weight loss mode, which I often am, it fills my tummy so that I don't want to eat a HUGE meal after a ride. It helps me keep my calorie intake down for the day.

  10. #20
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    I once read a response on a national cycling forum to a question regarding sore legs and how to recover them. It took some time for me to find it, but here is a screen cap of the response:



    I found it really interesting and have tried to use this in my regular commutes/rides. On my recovery days I really try to keep it simply with very little effort. I don't care who passes me or how slow I am going, I focus on a nice relaxed cadence, good breathing habits and low HR. I enjoy my surroundings; hearing and seeing things I usually miss. Instead of taking a day off the bike now, I do these types of rides and my legs feel much better, and it prevents me from going stir crazy sitting at home.

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