Recovery ride? Duration?

Hi. Wonder if a recovery ride can be to long. Staying in Z1 and low Z2. What will happen inside the body if I go past 60 minutes or so? All the rides inside the SYSTM are around 30 minutes ha?


IDK. A lot of the Inspiration Rides come up as recovery rides in training plans. I just did Afghan Cycles which is a 1.5 hr recovery ride in a 4 week MAP block. It says it’s like base training in that it adds aerobic duration while adding minimal fatigue. Of course with recovery rides in general the effort level has to be kept low enough, which is easy to do in ERG mode on trainer. IMO, kept appropriately low, long is fine, even good.

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I suppose it depends on what you’re recovering from.

A few days straight Sufferfest rides and 30 mins z2 is just right. 1hr+ probably to much.

If you’re on an easy week between blocks, then a 1.5hr easy ride is just what’s needed


I find that doing 1 hour + in Z1 or Z2 in ERG mode can be quite painful as I usually end up with a cadence around 60rpms. But, if I do them in Level mode I can much more easily stick to Z1 / Z2 with between 70-80rpms. So level vs erg mode can make a big difference for long recovery rides.

But like previously stated, if you’re doing a high volume plan then a long recovery ride can make sense, while if you’re doing a low volume plan then a 60+ or 90 minute recovery ride may be too long.

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Hey @Magnus_M72 Great question! The recovery is essentially what makes your training take effect. It’s the harvesting and rewards of all your hard work! Recovery rides are rides performed within your recovery heart rate and power zone. To exceed heart rate, power and intensities above what is recommended for recovery could cease the adaptation process and therefore rendering your recovery week useless. Riding up to 30-60 minutes is optimal. At the end of your planned recovery, rides can be up to 90 minutes.

As @emacdoug pointed out, sometimes they are best performed in levels mode to allow you to spin a comfortable cadence. To help flush the legs, this cadence is typically a little higher than your threshold cadence. There is typically a point during the week where your legs feel great and then they feel terrible as your body utilizes energy to complete the adaptation phase. Just remember, the body is rather intelligent and it can identify changes quickly, so if you do go too long or too hard, even one time or for one day, this process can cease.

Happy Training!


@Coach.Simon.B as one who is currently recovering , in this case from a multi day effort, so you have any science around this kind of situation:

Day 1 - ride most of the time from lunchtime till early the next day
Day 2 - after 1hr sleep start again and do about 10 hours in another two shifts up till midnight
Day 3 - 3hr-4hr sleep and just three hours until lunchtime.

Wrecked as much by sleep deprivation as by cycling.

Sat afternoon 2hr nap
Sat night normal sleep
Sun - driving all day (not good for legs) no exercise
Sun - normal sleep
Mon - local walk with family was it. Steps weren’t fun.

The question becomes … it’s hard to ‘listen to one’s body’ as it’s difficult to know whether this kind of effort actually has any ‘training’ benefit anyway. And I’m just not sure what kind of ‘lay off’ I should take before returning to the fold.

Thoughts welcome.

Afghan is not a recovery ride in’s an endurance (building) ride
Zone 2 not zone 1

True. It’s categorized as an endurance ride, but I was viewing it the context of the MAP plan, where it comes between much harder MAP specific workouts. Compared to those, it’s easy and doesn’t seem taxing at all. I generally do recovery rides in ERG mode and my cadence just naturally hovers around 90-95 rpm.

My guiding principle is to feel better after the ride than I did before it, and not be more tired the next day. Tricky part is, you sometimes don’t know until it’s too late, so you have to experiment and adjust next time.

I usually keep it at about 1/4 to 1/5 of my longest endurance ride over the last few weeks. In the middle of a rest week I might do that twice (am and pm) but I don’t go much over. I much prefer to err on the short side (no upside, much downside, to pushing too hard).

Hey There! Sounds EPIC. Training Benefit- Mental Toughness! Operating on a couple of presumptions- 1. That you fueled all rides appropriately. 2. All rides were at Endurance/Tempo pace. I would recommend the following-

Checking your morning resting heart rate will be key. Your resting heart rate needs to return to your baseline. This can take up to 2 weeks! An example of this would be if you completed an Ironman.

You can begin to ride again once you feel up to it. Ride for 1 week at Recovery Pace 1.5 hrs max per day, then week 2 if your heart rate response has been your normal you can then resume riding at Endurance Pace. If not, then continue to ride at Recovery Pace. Following a week at Endurance Pace, you should be able to return to regular training!

Keep up the fluids and be sure you are getting 8 hrs of sleep each night!

Thanks @Coach.Simon.B
The mental side was beyond describing at one point on Friday afternoon - helped no doubt by trying to help someone else who was having a difficult time of it at one stage. Nothing like that to bring positivity out.

Yes to fuel. Constant eating 24hrs a day to all intents and purposes. I didn’t come home lighter despite dehydration (fluids were less successful), riding was rarely even Endurance as far as I can tell. Maybe the first 6 hours were, but was more like recovery pace after that with apart from the hills where I ran out of gears which were tough. Thankfully they were all in the first 10 hours really

Ok, I’ll monitor resting HR. Perhaps I shouldn’t have tried out The Model yesterday after all.
Though this mornings Resting HR was only 1bpm above the January average so I guess it’s back to normal today.

HRV average for Sat (though Apple Watch HRV averages are something I’m not sure about) was 9 :joy: .
Its back to normal now (I’m a super stress ball low HRV type anyway).