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Recovery Time after a Long Ride

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Recovery Time after a Long Ride

Old 06-14-22, 05:25 AM
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Recovery Time after a Long Ride

I attempted my first century this past weekend getting 85 miles done before sagging in with a cut tire. Physically for the most part I felt well during the ride and the next day had my running partner not been out of town, I may have attempted our usual Sunday run because I felt well. But I thought it best to rest that day and took the dog for a short walk. Monday is a rest day anyway so I stuck to that schedule. However this morning I went out for my usual 3 mile run and was flat. I felt good, but had zero energy so I stopped at .75 mile and walked home.

I'm 57 in reasonably good condition and acclimated to the heat and humidity we are experiencing. How much recovery do others take after a long ride? I seem to be much flatter as far as energy goes than I am after a half or full marathon. Is there anything different that I should try for recovery than I do after a long run?

Thanks
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Old 06-14-22, 06:18 AM
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I did a 300km ride on Saturday. I monitor heart rate variability when I wake, look to how I feel, sleep quality, and look at my "TSB" levels to judge readiness.I took one day off.

HRV on the APP that I use ranks you from 1 to 10. I was a 3 on Sunday although felt pretty good, a 3 is about as low as I can remember being. I was a 10 on Monday but the sore legs showed up, so, I did an easy 90 minute ride Monday because I slept well and wanted to ride. It seems sore legs come on day 2 after a big ride as I have gotten older. I have decided to err on the side of caution these days. If I think I need might recovery, I take it although it is very rare for me to take 2 days in a row.

If your longest training ride was not at least 65-70 miles, that Century should be expected to tire you out quite a lot requiring perhaps a few days recovery.. OTOH, riders who do that distance often would not need any recovery
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Old 06-14-22, 08:52 AM
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Recovery doesn't mean not to ride or run. Unless you over extended yourself and became dehydrated or worse, then just don't go all out hard for a day or two. Moderate length rides at an easy pace and even a few short sprints or personal KOM attempts are fine during that ride, IMO. As is any other activity done at low level of exertion.

If you are really fit then even the century ride might not require recovery if you did it at a low effort.

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Old 06-14-22, 10:10 AM
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After a long, hot ride it takes me a few days to feel like riding hard again. But you're younger and probably in better shape than I am.

If there's a Vietnamese pho restaurant near you, it's a great way to replenish your salt and water, and the carbs from the noodles will help reload your muscles.
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Old 06-14-22, 12:01 PM
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Originally Posted by GhostRider62 View Post
If your longest training ride was not at least 65-70 miles, that Century should be expected to tire you out quite a lot requiring perhaps a few days recovery.. OTOH, riders who do that distance often would not need any recovery
This may be a big part of what I felt this morning. I was going to forgo a half marathon this spring and work on the century training but I trained with a young lady from our group doing the long runs on Saturday mornings and making up miles another youth needed on Sunday mornings. My longest training ride was 60 miles. While that isn’t exactly sitting at home, it probably isn’t as good as time in the saddle.

I guess how well I feel as far as no muscle pain fooled me into thinking I was more refreshed than I am. I will probably take it easy and see if I can get the energy back before I run with my Sunday partner.
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Old 06-14-22, 06:21 PM
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At the age of 84, I have found that riding every other day works best. A recovery day is a good thing.
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Old 06-14-22, 06:28 PM
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Originally Posted by Chuck M View Post
This may be a big part of what I felt this morning. I was going to forgo a half marathon this spring and work on the century training but I trained with a young lady from our group doing the long runs on Saturday mornings and making up miles another youth needed on Sunday mornings. My longest training ride was 60 miles. While that isn’t exactly sitting at home, it probably isn’t as good as time in the saddle.

I guess how well I feel as far as no muscle pain fooled me into thinking I was more refreshed than I am. I will probably take it easy and see if I can get the energy back before I run with my Sunday partner.
Cycling does not make my muscles as sore as running does. My fatigue cycling is more hormonal and metabolic. The deep fatigue isn't as obvious on a bike. Just my experience or maybe I suck at running, it just hits the muscles different
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Old 06-14-22, 06:37 PM
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Full muscle recovery from that kind of effort could be a week, even longer if the intensity was high. I do a lot of 200k rides, of varying intensity. Usually I feel fine within a couple days, but I'm not 100% for longer. I'm 61, and I do at least 1 200k or longer every month.

That doesn't mean I can't ride for a week, it just means full recovery takes time.

The other thing to consider is dehydration; it's very likely you ended the 100 mile attempt dehydrated, and may have still been dehydrated when you tried running. That will zap you for sure.
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Old 06-14-22, 08:04 PM
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Originally Posted by GhostRider62 View Post
Cycling does not make my muscles as sore as running does. My fatigue cycling is more hormonal and metabolic. The deep fatigue isn't as obvious on a bike. Just my experience or maybe I suck at running, it just hits the muscles different
I tend to have a different muscle soreness after cycling than running. Which is puzzling to me as I don't have any soreness from this ride. Just a very low energy level. But after thinking of it, while I prefer to solo cycle, I enjoy a running partner. I'm hoping that my partner's absence is simply creating a little low motivation.

Originally Posted by downtube42 View Post
The other thing to consider is dehydration; it's very likely you ended the 100 mile attempt dehydrated, and may have still been dehydrated when you tried running. That will zap you for sure.
I would rule out hydration because I am pretty good at maintaining hydration. Saturday I sweat throughout the entire ride and urination during and afterward the event was normal. But I did experience some light headedness Sunday and Monday so that is probably an indicator I lost some minerals that could be contributing to the fatigue.
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Old 06-14-22, 09:23 PM
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I use a heart rate monitor for all athletic activity. I know that a low active HR after a tiring ride means I should stay active but cut the time and intensity back until my HR comes up normally with increased intensity. How much recovery time I need depends on how well I prepared for the bigger ride. When I'm training for an event ride, I keep it down to about 4 hours, but ridden as hard as I can and still finish. Doing the hard training ride once a week, I can ride double centuries, etc., no problem. It's more the intensity than the length of time that prepares one for distance cycling. IME. It's a little different than running in that the muscle damage from going hard is a lot less.
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Old 06-15-22, 03:45 AM
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I used to race competitively, and with back-to-back races going on sometimes several days, there was no recovery time. There's nothing like spending 5 hours in the saddle the day before, being too sore to bend over to tie your shoes, and wincing in pain to lift your leg over your bike to begin another 4 hour race. But after 30 minutes on the road the stiffness and pain disappear and you are hammering as hard as the day before.

In training nowadays (my racing days are far behind me) I alternate hard days and easy days. After hard days, a meal immediately after my ride (before my shower if my wife isn't paying attention) aids in recovery, as does a good set of stretches. After especially hard rides, I can visit a sports massage specialist who works nearby (he works the the Japanese Olympic team), he does wonders. On easy days I ride "easy," the lowest gear at a pace which kids and housewives pass me. I just pedal for awhile to smooth out the kinks and get the circulation going.
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Old 06-15-22, 05:44 AM
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Originally Posted by Chuck M View Post
I tend to have a different muscle soreness after cycling than running. Which is puzzling to me as I don't have any soreness from this ride. Just a very low energy level. But after thinking of it, while I prefer to solo cycle, I enjoy a running partner. I'm hoping that my partner's absence is simply creating a little low motivation.
I have done many, many multiday events where you ride thru the night or day after day after day with some sleep at night. I have researched fatigue as it relates to endurance events and there is not much good research and there is a lot of opinions. 100 miles is not very far, so, maybe you just have a small viral infection or something. It sound like you had reasonable training to take the 100 miler on. If we were to hook some electrodes up to your legs (say VL), the contraction force would be normal. The nervous system balance gets skewed. That is why the old TdF racers took amphetamines. If the problem is just some soreness, some easy rides should clear that up. In terms of what prepares one for longer rides, I tend to listen to Alan Couzens, Iñigo San Millán, Phil Maffetone, Seiler, Howard Luks, etc. and do very little HIIT with lots of volume just at VT1 or a HR of 115-120 and 220-250 watts rarely going to threshold for any extended period of time. My guess is you should take it easy for a few days and do some easy rides, it won't hurt your training to rest a little.
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Old 06-15-22, 11:55 AM
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I consumed a few more calories yesterday and this morning my workout went a little better. I will probably just take an easy ride through the neighborhood before work and rest up for Sunday morning. My running partner indicated she expected six miles before she went out of town and she will hold me to it.
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Old 06-15-22, 05:06 PM
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Originally Posted by Chuck M View Post
I attempted my first century this past weekend getting 85 miles done before sagging in with a cut tire. Physically for the most part I felt well during the ride and the next day had my running partner not been out of town, I may have attempted our usual Sunday run because I felt well. But I thought it best to rest that day and took the dog for a short walk. Monday is a rest day anyway so I stuck to that schedule. However this morning I went out for my usual 3 mile run and was flat. I felt good, but had zero energy so I stopped at .75 mile and walked home.

I'm 57 in reasonably good condition and acclimated to the heat and humidity we are experiencing. How much recovery do others take after a long ride? I seem to be much flatter as far as energy goes than I am after a half or full marathon. Is there anything different that I should try for recovery than I do after a long run?

Thanks
IME I always feel a bit flat if I take several rest days straight after a big ride. I find it better to take a single day off - focusing on nutrition & hydration - and then do an easy ride on the second day. Then I'm usually fully recovered by the third day.
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Old 06-15-22, 05:12 PM
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For me, it depends on how hard I rode the day before. I've done 200 miles and hopped on the bike to do another the next day. After the first few miles, you'd be surprised how quickly you recover. Other times, I've ridden 70 miles and am wiped out the next day.

It's good to do a recovery ride the next day ... truly soft pedaling ... or even go for a hike.
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Old 06-15-22, 07:12 PM
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When I was riding a lot, doing a shortish ride (20-30 miles) the day after while pushing really easy gears helped me a lot. I also seemed to do better using a recovery drink immediately after a ride as well. My favorite was a powdered solution which was 4 parts carbohydrates to 1 part protein.

Interestingly when I rode across the US, I rode the 3500 miles averaging about 85 miles a day. It took 43 days with 2 of those being rest days. I felt pretty good day after day but was probably riding in Zone 2 most of the time. But there were a lot of 100+ mile days with the longest being 127 miles.

I haven’t ridden much this year but still did 100 miles on back to back days with bags on my bike. I’m rambling but in thinking about it, it was fairly low intensity.

So, it seems to make sense that longer rides at a higher intensity will require longer recovery. If you haven’t trained or do a ride that’s a lot longer than what you’d normally do that’s going to require a longer recovery. I think I’m basically repeating what others have already suggested……

I’m also learning that recovery takes longer the older you get.
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