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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2010
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    MD
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    164

    Best recovery tips?

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    I've started doing a HARD 20 mile group ride on Thursday evenings. The group is really beyond my level, so I'm going at 95-100% max effort for the whole hour plus ride just trying to not get dropped (and getting dropped anyway). For a solid two minutes during the ride last night I couldn't remember where I bought my bike....that I got less than a month ago. And just went back into for a fit last week. So, definitely max effort!!

    This is a pretty different type of riding for me, as before this year I was a long+slow type of rider. I have no idea how to recover from this type of effort. I do have chocolate milk as soon as I get home, and a reasonably protein-heavy light dinner/heavy snack. I telework on Fridays, so I sleep in - last night I slept from 10p until 7a - and then drink lots of coffee when I wake up, but I am just physically and mentally WORN OUT. My legs are aching and my brain is on vacation. It is affecting my work performance!

    Any suggestions on how to recover from hard efforts, so I don't get fired and have to sell my bikes?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Troutdale, OR
    Posts
    2,600
    Don't forget to massage your legs, arms, neck... It's part of recovery and not just what you eat and drink. And stretch while your muscle is still warm.

    I'm not up on what you should be drinking or eating after a hard training ride anymore so my information is outdated. But I will say that to replenish any electrolyte you may have sweated out. Electrolyte can be taken up fairly quickly while hard food takes time except for simple sugar... If you need quick pick up of sugar, eat a banana, boiled potato with skin on, and drink OJ.

    "Junk food" for me was fig newton. It has the sugar and some minerals. Great on rides as it can get crushed and still taste good.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Uncanny Valley
    Posts
    14,501
    Don't neglect your pre-ride nutrition. With an evening ride, it's easy to go out without having eaten since lunch, with your muscles already glycogen depleted. (That can actually happen quicker with a sedentary job, since your body will send sugar to your brain by preference.) If you can eat at work, try having two cups of brown rice or other complex carbs, about three hours before your ride start. If you can't eat at work, try having some simple carbs on the way to your ride, like a 300+ calorie energy bar, a tray of fig newtons, or a package of shot blox. You might replace your water with a caloric drink like HEED, too, but I'd try pre-ride food first. The early stages of depletion don't feel like hunger or bonk to me - it just feels like muscle fatigue, and even if I top up after an effort, I'm not recovered as well the next day, either.

    Foam rolling and stretching is good advice. You might try compression hose or an ice bath, though IMO those are more important with efforts lasting 3+ hours.


    Or - just to throw something else into the mix, since it's ragweed season here and even with weekly shots, midweek immunotherapy drops and two daily pills I'm still having some body fatigue and brain fog (though not even remotely close to what I'd have without all that treatment!) - is it possible that it isn't the riding at all that's the issue (other than the extent to which you get a whole lot more pollen exposure by breathing hard, outdoors, in the late afternoon)??
    Last edited by OakLeaf; 08-28-2015 at 07:07 AM.
    Speed comes from what you put behind you. - Judi Ketteler

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    MD
    Posts
    164
    Quote Originally Posted by OakLeaf View Post
    Or - just to throw something else into the mix, since it's ragweed season here and even with weekly shots, midweek immunotherapy drops and two daily pills I'm still having some body fatigue and brain fog (though not even remotely close to what I'd have without all that treatment!) - is it possible that it isn't the riding at all that's the issue (other than the extent to which you get a whole lot more pollen exposure by breathing hard, outdoors, in the late afternoon)??
    Oh this is a very good point. My allergies have definitely kicked up in the past week or two.....breathing hard outdoors for a couple hours could explain a lot of this!!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    california
    Posts
    1,227
    After a hard effort the body needs carbs to rebuild glycogen levels and a lesser amount of protein for muscle tissue. I’ll have something like a zip lock bag of homemade granola with almonds and dried apricots and maybe some greek yogurt. I drink something with electrolytes and anti-inflammatories (lime, grated ginger, salt and sparkling water works really well for me) or maybe just a V8 which provides carbs and lots of sodium. I rehydrate slowly over the next couple of hours. Later I’ll have something like a salad with beets and sweet potatoes, a fruit smoothie and then maybe a protein shake a couple of hours before going to bed.
    After a strenuous effort I start my recovery with a cool down spin the last 15-20 minutes of my ride. When I get off the bike I stretch and/or get a massage or do a self massage
    ‘The negative feelings we all have can be addictive…just as the positive…it’s up to
    us to decide which ones we want to choose and feed”… Pema Chodron

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Location
    the dry side
    Posts
    4,367
    I preload with electrolyte before a hard ride. After, I have a protein/carb snack within 30 minutes, and then a real meal as soon as possible. I am a big fan of Recoverite... it's made a huge different in how I feel the next day after a bug push.
    2015 Liv Intrigue 2
    Pro Mongoose Titanium Singlespeed
    2012 Trek Madone 4.6 Compact SRAM

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    MD
    Posts
    164
    I think part of the issue I'm having is that its only a 20 mile ride, so I don't feel like I get a pass on calories the same way I do after a 50 or 70 mile ride. I don't think I'm under-nourished - my default state of living is always eating a little more than I should ;-) - but having a dedicated recovery drink after feels like overkill to me.

    I did have some Gatorade on the ride and ate a banana and granola bar before.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Uncanny Valley
    Posts
    14,501
    That's the same attitude I had when I used to do an evening ride with a group that was somewhat over my head. Sounds similar to yours. I didn't think I needed to eat for a 25-30 mile ride, I just thought I couldn't keep up. I discovered it completely by accident, one day I'd had a late lunch of beans and rice around 3:00, and I rode SO much stronger that night it was unbelievable. After that, I started making sure I was fueled before the ride, and I hung with the group MUCH better.
    Speed comes from what you put behind you. - Judi Ketteler

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    california
    Posts
    1,227
    Quote Originally Posted by fallstoclimb View Post
    I think part of the issue I'm having is that its only a 20 mile ride, so I don't feel like I get a pass on calories the same way I do after a 50 or 70 mile ride. I don't think I'm under-nourished - my default state of living is always eating a little more than I should ;-) - but having a dedicated recovery drink after feels like overkill to me.

    I did have some Gatorade on the ride and ate a banana and granola bar before.
    Going at 95-100% max effort for over a hour+ is what I would call a very hard ride, no matter the distance covered. I prefer natural ingredients for pre-ride, ride and recovery food. Allen Lim’s book ‘the feed zone’ is a good source for maximizing nutritional input before a ride, nutrition on a ride, and getting the most out of you post-ride food.
    ‘The negative feelings we all have can be addictive…just as the positive…it’s up to
    us to decide which ones we want to choose and feed”… Pema Chodron

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    MD
    Posts
    164
    Quote Originally Posted by rebeccaC View Post
    Going at 95-100% max effort for over a hour+ is what I would call a very hard ride, no matter the distance covered. I prefer natural ingredients for pre-ride, ride and recovery food. Allen Lim’s book ‘the feed zone’ is a good source for maximizing nutritional input before a ride, nutrition on a ride, and getting the most out of you post-ride food.
    I should check that out -- is it vegetarian friendly?

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Concord, MA
    Posts
    13,394
    I think it is veg friendly.
    I also have to eat right before a ride. If it's in the morning, it doesn't matter how carefully I prepare my pre-ride breakfast. About a half hour before the ride, my stomach starts growling. I usually eat half a Lara Bar or half a banana. I have found out lately that I need to eat more during long rides where I might not be going fast, but I am working hard from climbing. And today, for example, I swept a 30 mile ride. The pace was very moderate, and as the sweep, my pace was even slower, as 2 women were a little bit back and slowing as the ride went on. There were a couple of harder climbs. Despite a good breakfast of egg whites, lox, red pepper, slice of spelt toast, and blueberries, at about 11:15 I felt famished. I had eaten about 1/2 of a Lara Bar after 10 miles. All I could think of was lunch. Goodthing I was going slowly and it wasn't hot.
    I led 3 after work rides this year. I had a very large snack at 5 PM, for a ride that started at 6. Ate dinner when I got home, at 8. The pace of these rides is fast for me, and I felt like I was dying the whole time. When I ate a little more before, it was better. I also need more sleep as I get older, and more recovery in general.
    2015 Trek Silque SSL
    Specialized Oura

    2011 Guru Praemio
    Specialized Oura
    2017 Specialized Ariel Sport

  12. #12
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    california
    Posts
    1,227
    I’m vegetarian….there are vegetarian (and gluten free) ingredient alternatives to meat and fish and many just vegetarian recipes. The book made me think more about fueling myself and recovering in more of a scientific way with fresh natural foods.
    The ‘feed zone portables’ book has some great recipes for nutrition when riding/hiking etc. The blueberry & chocolate coconut rice cakes are one my favorites.
    If there is a barnes and noble near you check their website to see if it’s in stock at that store…that way you can take a lot at the book to see if it’s something you might like.
    ‘The negative feelings we all have can be addictive…just as the positive…it’s up to
    us to decide which ones we want to choose and feed”… Pema Chodron

  13. #13
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    MD
    Posts
    164
    I will definitely check that out, thank you!

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Location
    the dry side
    Posts
    4,367
    I have all their books. There is something for every diet. Vegan, dairy free, gluten free...
    2015 Liv Intrigue 2
    Pro Mongoose Titanium Singlespeed
    2012 Trek Madone 4.6 Compact SRAM

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    1,973
    Fails to Climb, I don't think I ever work that hard on a ride, although I do some very long rides or rides with extensive climbing (4000-6000 feet).

    That said, I really agree with the comment about making sure you've got something in the tank before you go out on the late afternoon/evening ride. Last week I was riding home from work (just 11 miles) around 6 pm. Lunch at my school is at 11 am, and I don't think I had a snack in between and I didn't have anything with me to eat. I very nearly bonked on the way home. My route is out on the edge of the desert and along a bike path, and it has no services between about mile 5 and mile 9. I thought I could make it home but about mile 6 I felt horrible. I barely made it to the first convenience store. And that was just on a casual ride. (And like you I usually eat more than enough....)
    2016 Specialized Ruby Comp disc - Ruby Expert ti 155
    2010 Surly Long Haul Trucker - Jett 143

 

 

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