Improving post ride recovery times

Training for the Dragon Ride (7th June) at the moment. Trying to follow the latest Wattbike 12 week Sportive Plan, but struggling to get the number of rides per week in. Not least because of recurring knee pain and slow recovery from the sessions. Knee pain is being addressed with physio and a pro bike set up, also replaced the bike as re-gearing the Orbea was just too much of a faff (see related thread). Now running a Canyon Endurace CF8, which is remarkable.
I've googled improving recovery and there's so much out there I have no idea where to start. Conscious that there's only about 15 weeks to go, at least one of which will be lost due to imminent Honeymoon, so has anyone got any specific tips ? Protein drinks post ride? Cold baths? What works ? I'm currently riding around max 30miles, but the Dragon Medio Fondo is 95 ish. I've ridden that distance in the past, but not since 2008. Thoughts/tips anyone?


Recovery will improve with fitness levels. Protein shakes, cold baths - don't worry about it - it's not relevant at amateur/sportive level. Concentrate on riding your bike as often as you can, then combine that with a decent balanced diet and the recovery side will look after itself.


Legendary Member
On 3 Wheels
Try starting off a bit slower (to warm up) and then using a lower gear/faster cadence to work your cardiovascular system more.
I find the best recovery drink is a couple of beers (Isotonic) and relaxing.


Senior Member
As above. Plus proper warm up and cool down with plenty of post ride stretching will all help ease the stiffness and therby make the next day easier, getting you back on the bike quicker and with less aches and pains.
Pretty sure that your physio will agree that you can't really overstate the importance of good cool down and stretch off.


Man or Moose!
What does this plan involve?

Another point of note is that you do not need to be fully recovered before each training session/ride. If you are hoping to achieve full recovery before each ride then you are fighting a loosing battle.


Rural Quebec
There are three areas of recovery: the dietary the physical and the mental. As a rough guide, given the miles you do, the dietary could be covered by liquids and post ride carbohydrate and making sure you have enough protein in a proper diet throughout the day. Stretching and some extra remedial work on your knees should cover the physical and if you have enough sleep and rest the mental aspect is covered. I think it is important to vary your rides too and this will help with motivation, longer/shorter/faster/hilly/flat.


Comfy armchair to one person & a plank to the next
A little boost of protein and carbs after the ride is no bad thing IMO, but I'd suggest yogurt+muesli or fruit and nuts rather than some processed slime. 95 is a bit long but if you're doing 30s, then step up to a couple of 50s and a 70 before then and I expect you'll make it without trouble. Best to schedule a rest day afterwards though :laugh:

If all goes to plan, I'm doing a 102-mile day trip next month. My GPS log says I've not done more than 45 miles in a day since October. Last rides over 60 miles were 74 and 63 miles last July and my first 100 last June. Most days I just ride about 10 miles pootling to/from the nearest town and a 30-60 mile day trip most weekends. I think I've agreed to a 60 next week but it depends exactly what route our guide has selected. I still expect to complete the 102 miles. If nothing untoward happens, it's basically just a longer day with the bonuses of seeing more places and consuming more food/drink than usual.
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Über Member
Post ride “Foam Roller-ing” and stretching. I hate doing both but I find them very effective.

The roller was a revelation, it really loosens off tight muscles, it can be pretty painful thou!!!


Formerly Errecaldia
I'm struggling with recovery too, but its system level not muscular. Coming out of winter hibernation, I'm doing around 25 to 30 miles plus a bit of climb on a typical trip out, 2 or 3 times a week (plus the occasional col at 40 miles and a bit more climb). I enjoy it, it doesn't seem hard, my muscles are fine afterwards, but my back aches and stiffens a bit, sadly. The real problem arises if I do this every day, or even every other day, which I want to do. I then begin to feel generally fatigued and irritable through the day. This is a problem because I want to boost the levels (NOW!!!) and cannot because my partner gets fed up of me snapping his head off...

Is this nutritional? Is it about patience? Or am I being a wuss and I just need to push through it? What's the best way of picking up after winter and increasing range and climb?
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