Is it really a "recovery" ride?

Episode 245, “Is there a value to the One-hour Easy Ride?” was an eye-opener for me.

I have read from coaches and writers, correct me if I am wrong, that one can choose to take the day off or do an easy recovery ride. If there is no research as to the recovery ride helping to recover compared to not riding at all, is it really a recovery ride?

Dr. Mujika in this episode said that at 65% max heart rate, which could be considered at the edge of a recovery/endurance ride, maximal blood volume adaption was taking place, as well as training the MCT one system to bring lactate back to the mitochondria for fuel.

So is a “recovery” ride at that level really a training ride that produces at least two important adaptions, just that it happens below the effort level of autonomic system stressing?

Trevor noted the research on volume and the effect it had, not just the duration of a particular ride.

As a masters cyclist with poor recuperation, I would take a couple of days off after a long ride. It seems based on this episode that I should ride at around 65% instead, even for an hour a day, to get more volume in and in a way that does not overtrain, instead of taking the day off.

This is a topic that really “depends” on the athlete. It depends on thier resiliency, durability and ability to go easy enough for recovery intensity. While there is no great sceince backup for recovery it is a staple for many athletes and coaches to prescibe as Trevor noted that it can be used as the overall mix of volume and intensity and rest/recovery. I have athletes that do better with a full day off vs reocvery ride and then I have some that need a little training load on a recovery ride that is more HPR (high performace recovery) where they ride at recovery 55% less of FTP but do some short harder efforts to keep things moving and not shutting down too much, this is very individual and as I coach it is one of my job to help each athlete figure out what works for them.

When you talk about 100% recovery, sleep is the only documented training load I know delivers results. Good luck and happy training.

1 Like

I don’t do ‘recovery’ rides anymore. I find a day off with a nice walk to keep moving and a good nights sleep are the best for me to aid recovery. I might still do the occasional 60-90 minute easy zone 2 ride if I’m feeling ok, but that is more a maintenance thing and not the same as recovery.