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Thread: Recovery

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
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    Question Recovery

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    How long does it take you to recover from a ride / work-out?

    To make a long story short, I've been thinking I need to give myself more time to recover. However, I would like to find ways to help speed this process up, so I may enjoy riding / working-out again more / sooner.

    I realize there will be a lot of variances (age, current fitness level, etc.), and variables (type of riding, exercise intensity, etc.) that will impact one's recovery. But, I thought some overall discussion would be helpful.

    I know with Spring finally coming here in the Midwest, I would like to make the most of my cycling season. And I must confess, recovery has been a part of my training I have given the least amount of focus to...and I am now realizing perhaps it needs to be the most.


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Location
    San Francisco Bay Area
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    9,324
    My current weekly schedule

    Sat: Run and swim
    Sun: Outdoor ride
    Mon: AM Upper Body/Core trainer session PM yoga
    Tues: AM Run PM hard Spinervals
    Wed. AM Legs/Plyometrics trainer session PM yoga
    Thurs.AM Run PM easier video
    Fri: More yoga or nothing

    I don't always get in the second cardio session if I have a meeting after work. For yoga I use a video, Yoga for Triathletes and it's really just good stretching. Now after a really hard ride or long run I will soak in cold water and then put on my compression tights. Especially if I have something tough planned for the next day.

    I think because I'm mixing it up so much, recovery is easier. When I was just training for double centuries I would have specific recovery ride days either on the trainer with a video or outside.

    Veronica
    Discipline is remembering what you want.


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  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Boise Idaho
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    1,162
    A big part of recovery for me is taking the time to stretch and to use my foam roller. Oh and I have started to drink 8 oz of electrolyte before I go to bed, seems to help with leg cramps.
    I usually have one day of the week that I don't exercise. But again, I am not a competitive athlete, just somebody who likes to be active
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  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Concord, MA
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    I also have one day a week where I do nothing. Sometimes, though, if I am really stiff on that day, I do a light spin on the trainer in the winter, or I go for a walk/do yoga in the riding season. Other weeks, I take two rest days, and one has light exercise. It really depends on what else I am doing besides riding. Recovery gets more important as I age, but I've never been able to do the level of intensity that others do without some kind of issue. For me, it's not always injury, but more the stresses all this stuff puts on my immune system. I have learned the hard way, believe me.
    I am pretty bad about stretching, but I do use the foam roller and try to do up dogs for my lower back. My issues come when I try to run and ride; my legs just are too sore or heavy from running to do long rides or climbing and continue to go to my fitness classes twice a week, which is really important to me. I've had compression tights for a few years and they don't seem to do anything.
    Last edited by Crankin; 03-25-2013 at 04:03 AM.
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  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Uncanny Valley
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    +1 on the self-myofascial release (foam roller, Stick, rolling pin, lacrosse ball, etc) and compression hose.

    Also no one's yet mentioned recovery nutrition, which I think is the most important part of it. The window starts closing 30 minutes after your workout ends, and closes in 2 hours. So, as soon as I get back from a long run, I'm fixing my recovery shake with carbs to replenish muscle glycogen and protein to help muscles rebuild. I stretch *while* I'm fixing and drinking it. Then I *try* to get a full meal within 2 hours.

    And yeah. It's pretty well established that no matter how fit you are, everyone's recovery time increases as we get older. It'll mean different things to different people, but none of us in our 50s and above are going to be able to get the greatest benefit by working out with the same frequency as we did in our 20s and 30s. You hear people say "I've been doing the same thing for the last 30 years," and that's great that they can still do it and not get injured, but odds are they'd be even stronger and faster if they took more recovery time.
    Speed comes from what you put behind you. - Judi Ketteler

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Atlanta, Ga
    Posts
    863
    I think that GOOD sleep and some active recover (zone 1 heart rate or below) really help me. Extra water, eating right, and extra sleep! Good luck!
    Slow and steady (like a train!)

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  7. #7
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    Oct 2002
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    San Francisco Bay Area
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    Yeah, I forgot about sleep. I plan my life around getting 8 hours of sleep, or more, a night.

    Veronica
    Discipline is remembering what you want.


    TandemHearts.com

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Posts
    1,708
    Thanks for the replies thus far!

    Yes, things are different now with age. And I would totally agree about the nutrition. I am reading a nutritional book now that's big on the aspect of recovery. I need to work on both the extra stretching and nutrition. But it seems like I just need two days off inbetween. Which I am used to going at it every day / every other. And I am a bit limited on what I can do for activities, so that makes a diff I'm sure (not mixing it up so much).

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Posts
    251
    Recovery is so important and it is different for each individual. Finding the right combination of nutrition, exercise, stretching, yoga, sleep, etc. can be a bit of trial and error until you find what allows you to get back out there to hammer again at your 100%. I absolutely agree that age makes a ton of difference. It has for me in my early 40's compared to 20's and early 30's. I have a congenital heart... issue (won't call it a defect because it's bothersome, but not life-threatening, even working at VO2 Max) and otherwise I'm super healthy. But a slight electrolyte imbalance (low potassium) threw me into a tachycardia that wasn't particularly fast (120's - 150's... resting heart rate is low 50's, though) and not dangerous, but needed to be addressed with I.V. Potassium. It came on an hour after a 30 mile hard ride that was on the heels of rides that I didn't let myself adequately recover from. It was pointed out to me by my cardiologist that electrolyte drinks are NOT adequate, especially with regards to potassium (we looked at many different brands, including my favorite Scratch and they have next to no potassium at all). Supplements are not absorbed efficiently. Proper nutrition is key. The take away for me was... active recovery is good (take a day to do a fast-paced walk... no need to be sedentary to recover) and look at your diet. Supplements and electrolyte drinks help only a very small bit... get your body's needs from a healthy, well-balanced diet and listen to it when it needs to rest. Rest does not equal couch. Good luck finding your right balance.
    The bicycle has done more for the emancipation of women than anything else in the world. ~ Susan B. Anthony

  10. #10
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    Sep 2007
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    Uncanny Valley
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    I'd always read that only about 15% as much potassium as sodium is LOST in sweat, and that's why electrolyte drinks don't have much.

    SaltStick cites a lot of the research on their page: http://www.saltstick.com/products/sscaps/cpotassium.htm

    Honestly, if you're getting 6-700 calories a day from fruits and vegetables as we all ought to anyway, I think that will take care of potassium needs unless you've got some other kind of imbalance going on.

    Personally I can't get enough sodium or magnesium without supplementing. Potassium has never been a problem for me.
    Speed comes from what you put behind you. - Judi Ketteler

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    WA State
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    My personal rest schedule is 1 day a week off the bike, 1 week every 4 weeks, light or no bike (so usually just my 2 commute days).

    I also really like recovery tights for back to back racing days. I'm not entirely convinced that they help with recovering strength or stamina, but they sure do prevent sore leg muscles.
    "Sharing the road means getting along, not getting ahead" - 1994 Washington State Driver's Guide

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  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Posts
    251
    Quote Originally Posted by OakLeaf View Post
    I'd always read that only about 15% as much potassium as sodium is LOST in sweat, and that's why electrolyte drinks don't have much.

    SaltStick cites a lot of the research on their page: http://www.saltstick.com/products/sscaps/cpotassium.htm

    Honestly, if you're getting 6-700 calories a day from fruits and vegetables as we all ought to anyway, I think that will take care of potassium needs unless you've got some other kind of imbalance going on.

    Personally I can't get enough sodium or magnesium without supplementing. Potassium has never been a problem for me.
    Exactly, it's very individual - what's necessary for one person to recover properly may or may not work for the next person. You and I are perfect examples of two people that have different needs and probably deal with recovery differently. That's why it's important to tailor your recovery intake and activities to your own personal needs and health situation, including medications that you are taking that may change how and how fast your recover from strenuous exercise. I guess I'm confused by your
    The bicycle has done more for the emancipation of women than anything else in the world. ~ Susan B. Anthony

 

 

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