If you're like most people, your days are filled with nonstop action. Between work, school, family obligations and social activities, it's difficult to carve out time for yourself. But taking a recovery ride is important for your overall health and well-being. A recovery ride is simply a period of time where you intentionally reduce your activity level in order to allow your body to rest and recover. By doing this, you'll improve the quality of your life overall.
Recovery rides are extremely slow and often overlooked - this type of riding is very important in a training program as it helps in “flushing” your system, increase circulation, keep your body in a rhythm of training and maintain suppleness in muscles.
The body does not build endurance while we are exercising. It's the active recovery ride (and rest days), the period after your workout when you easy up on the training and give the body time it needs to repair and rebuild itself, making it stronger.
When And How
At least once a week or when the body and mind calls for it or the day after a hard workout or race.
Keep in mind that when you do this ride that it should really slow and all about recovery. If you are riding above the recommended target range for heart rate or power then you are riding too hard to recover properly, and not hard enough to train.
What it should feel feel like: An easy no sweat endurance ride or coffee cruise...
RPE is 1-2, an easy spin where you are applying light pressure on the pedals, and with a minimal sensation of leg effort or fatigue. During Zone 1 training your average power is below 55% of FTP and or heart rate is below 68% of lactate threshold heart rate or below 60% of maximum heart rate. I tend to guide the session by “feel” and occasionally taking a glimpse at heart rate and or power when doing a recovery ride. Duration for recovery rides are generally 45 to 90 minutes and may be longer depending on the level at which you compete.
Alternative to an active recovery ride.
Use your feet, sometimes all our body needs is a walk. This simple form of active recovery also increases blood flow which will speed up the inflow of nutrients reducing stiffness and soreness. Then there is a mental benefit to walking – just being able to get out and slow down, look around and breath will clear your head.
Another alternative and a personal favourite is staying off my feet and being lazy for a few hours.
And sleep longer on your off days. Sleep is essential to everyone and must not be compromised. It is the time when your body begins to repair any physical damage you’ve undergone. Your speed, intensity and accuracy are all affected when you don’t sleep enough. Even if you are not training hard, it is important to dedicate some time to sleep and fully recharge your batteries.
That is it, thank you for reading, I hope you found it to be a useful resource.
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