Let’s Talk About the Recovery Ride


We want to hear what you have to say about the Recovery Ride.  As with each of our “Let’s Talk” posts, this one will be built up by you and your comments.

Tell us your thoughts on the Recovery Ride and what you have to suggest to other riders.  Maybe you have some questions about how to best fit a recovery ride into your cycling schedule, so post that in the comments as well so it can be addresses.

Watch this quick video to get you going, or jump on down to the comments section and give us all you’ve got on the subject of Recovery Rides.



Enjoy Your Ride

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18 Responses to “ Let’s Talk About the Recovery Ride ”

  1. suba suba on June 11, 2020 at 4:10 am

    Only a smiling visitor here to share the love (:, btw outstanding design.

  2. Martin Poynter on September 24, 2012 at 12:55 pm

    I have been getting in a recovery ride every week, usually the day after my long Saturday rides. No more than 25% of the distance of my long ride, at an easy pace using my perceived rate of effort.

  3. ladyfleur on September 1, 2012 at 10:48 am

    My tips for type-A riders who have trouble with keeping a chill pace on a recovery ride:
    (1) ride with a friend or spouse who is slower and ride their pace
    (2) ride a different route than you do when you train so you don’t go into auto mode and ride hard
    (3) ride a different bike that you don’t associate with racing, like that old mountain bike
    (4) don’t wear your kit, wear baggie shorts and a t-shirt or something casual
    (5) check your ego in the garage–confident riders don’t chase down Freds that pass them.

    Here’s my idea of a perfect recovery ride. http://ladyfleur.wordpress.com/2012/08/16/bike-commute-diaries-post-ride-recovery/

  4. Charles on August 29, 2012 at 8:57 pm

    I am uncomfortable with the term recovery ride or run. Ideally it is to help get rid of sorness after a big event or hard ride. I get that but not for everyday training. I think it is an exscuse to go easy and not try to match some numbers like a 20 mph avg today. Also if your training is consistant you will not be so sore after a run or ride that you need a few days and easy runs to come back.That means you are not training enough and pushing too hard when you do. I like base heart rate zone 2 training over recovery and almost the same thing but one is a training aid the other is not.

    • Vitaly Gashpar on August 29, 2012 at 9:16 pm

      And the fact that professional racers do them as part of their routine means they are not training hard enough? Training hard is important, but it’s also important to train smart. One can train the way you describe, and that will make a rider stronger. However, learning to intelligently recover, will allow the body to work at much higher intensities and get to that level of fitness much faster, with less risk of overtraining.

      • Charles on August 30, 2012 at 8:53 am

        Thanks for making my point. Glad we agree.

  5. Jennifer Hilton on August 29, 2012 at 8:32 pm

    Love the shirt ! IRIE Is the rastafarian word that has been absorbed into the Jamaican dialect of patois and it means you are feeling good, feeling happy! Love Jamaica, love that jersey! 🙂

    • Darryl is Loving the Bike on August 29, 2012 at 9:17 pm

      Yes, Jennifer….I may be white on the outside, but inside there is a rasta man trapped deep inside my soul.

  6. Chicago Bike Injury on August 29, 2012 at 4:03 pm

    The recovery ride is an important part of developing into a stronger cyclist with better performance. There are varying thoughts on what works best but I’ve always found that a 45 minute ride at 65% of my regular performance is best following a couple tough rides.

  7. Karen on August 29, 2012 at 4:02 pm

    I liked the video, Darryl you are so cute. I haven’t yet focused on a recovery ride but I’m wanting to learn more about it and what works best. I’d appreciate any advice you have for me on this topic.

    • Darryl is Loving the Bike on August 29, 2012 at 9:15 pm

      I usually stay out of the conversations of our “let’s talk” posts so that our readers can build things up without me….but I just had to say thanks for the cute comment. Hahahahaha. Thanks Karen.

  8. Melinda on August 29, 2012 at 3:24 pm

    I find this a very interesting topic, seeing how I’m not nearly fast enough yet to have a recovery ride. 😀 I’m getting there though.

  9. Greg on August 29, 2012 at 12:42 pm

    I sound a little like you. I plan on getting a recovery ride in every so often but then find that as the ride goes along I start going faster and pushing harder again. I’m looking for some good information on this topic from the comments posted by people.

  10. Eric on August 29, 2012 at 8:28 am

    I don’t have a set schedule but will work a recovery ride in when I feel I need it. A typical recovery ride for me is 15 miles at a pace that I don’t feel is pushing it very hard. I don’t have a power meter but would say that these rides are 70% of a regular ride.

  11. Vitaly Gashpar on August 29, 2012 at 8:16 am

    For a ride to be a true recovery ride, it has to be less than an hour long. Really, 40 minutes. You start going over that, and your recovery ride starts transitioning into an endurance ride and you’re not getting the benefits of recovery. I do a recovery every single week. Usually on Mondays after a weekend of racing. I go as slowly as I possibly can, trying to keep my HR in zone 1. Mine are about 40 minutes long.

    One of the reasons many struggle with recovery is because we are so used to strenuous exercise, that our brain thinks we’re wasting time if we are going easy. The best way for me to overcome this was to actually see what recovery does to my fatigue levels. If you ride with power and track your workouts in Training Peaks or Golden Cheetah, you can see how a recovery ride reduces your short-term fatigue and gets you ready for more hard training to follow. I think getting a visual will help you realize that by going slow, you’re actually making yourself faster.

    • JD on August 29, 2012 at 8:37 am

      This is a very good comment. I agree that recovery rides should be under one hour and that it can often be a struggle to stay at a slower pace.

  12. Matt in Orlando on August 29, 2012 at 7:24 am

    About every three weeks is my honest answer. I “force” myself to join a C group (15 – 18 mph) or a charity group “training ride” and use it as a time to help out new cyclist and work on spinning. Working to achieve a higher cadence has paid off for when I am joining the faster groups – knowing I can hit the 120+ RPM when I need it can be a big help and that little burst of acceleration is awesome on a hill. So these recovery rides are slower in speed but I average a higher cadence. Although I have to be honest, doing the same 50 mile route in 3 1/2 hours verses the normal 2 1/4 hours – that is a lesson in patience!

  13. Nick on August 29, 2012 at 6:23 am

    I typically work in a recovery ride every couple weeks. They are 70% of the power I put out on my other rides and approximately 20 miles.


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Question: I am using the homebrew sugar formulations (sometimes added to green tea).  I am also trying to wean myself off 1/2 dose adrenalean “lip tonic delivery system” (biorhythm brand- caffeine, hoodia g, synephrine, yohimbe) capsule for energy.

My question is other than juice, can you suggest modifications in lieu of table sugar for energy and hydration.


Both raw/organic honey or agave can work great in the homebrew (substitute in the same quantities for the sugar, or to taste), but you do have to shake well in order to make sure they don’t settle out.  Have you tried either of these?  Also, make sure to use at least the minimum amount of salt recommended in the homebrew as the temps rise, you need the sodium replacement if you’re sweating.

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