Just wondering… do you need “down time” to let your legs recover from a long and/or strenuous ride… or can you beat the heck out of your legs several days in a row without a problem?
Do your leg muscles need time to rebuild from riding the way they do when you work out with weights?
I guess it depends how much you beat them up. I know there have been some rides where my legs needed several days to recover from the damage, though on other occasions I have ridden after abusing my legs and I feel like they healed through the exercise.
I am not a sports medicine expert.
Traditional training for bike racers is usually to do an easy day (little or no heavy riding) on the day before a race. This is based on a 6-day training cycle, broken by races every Sunday.
The Lance Armstrong Performance Program has an entire chapter on recovery. I couldn’t summarize it here, so I just recommend it. It’s not a deep book, but is reasonably easy to read and learn from. In most places, it’s not too difficult to make the bike-to-uni transition.
One thing in the chapter: it is better to do recovery rides rather than vegging on the couch. Ride easy, so as not to induce new training, and ride for 1/2 - 2 hours. The number of days of recovery depends on how long you were above “lactate threshold”, which is basically how badly did your legs burn, and for how long. The recovery rides speed your body’s recovery by improving circulation, relaxing you, circulating nutirents, etc.
The book goes more into recovery, so I hope that whets your appetite.
I bought it through amazon.com.
As you know I do about 5-8 miles a day. Both on road and Muni. Some days I do all out Muni rides for 8-12 miles which beat on my legs. I deal with the recovery by lettting my legs tell me how hard to ride the next time. Your legs know best. Let them tell you if its the right time to ride hard or not. Being your not looking to build muscle your not looking for the same recovery time necessary for muscle growth.
Now, Are you comming to this Saturdays Long Island Muni ride?