Amazing scientific facts about recovery

If you’ve ever ridden your bike too much, you need to recover. However, like everything related to cycling, it’s not simple. In order to properly recover, especially if you’re beat to crap and look like a worn out shoe, you need to understand the science behind it. Fortunately, the Internet is here to make everything easier.

Time was, when I was beat to crap and looked like a worn out shoe, I would set my bike in the corner, eat a tub of ice cream, and read a book. After a few days of that, I’d be hankering to go out and hammer again and buy some stretch pants. It turns out that I had it all wrong. In order to properly recover, you need to do lots of things. Sitting on your ass and making love to the cookies and cream won’t cut it, at least not for #profamateurs like us.

Here are several very useful web sites that break down the moronic simplicity of recovery into numerous complex steps, one of which involves more exercise doing something called “active recovery.” More about that later.

  1. Tips for effective recovery
  2. Recovery Strategies of the Pros
  3. Recovery Tips and Buying Stuff
  4. Various Tips and Advertisements

Notice that none of these experts advises that you actually get off your bike for more than a day or two. Apparently, when you are beat to crap and look like a worn out shoe, you need to eat, drink, massage, sleep, and especially you need to go get yourself some of that “active recovery.”

Like most things in cycling taken as biblical truth, active recovery is founded on the body of peer-reviewed research known as flummadiddle and moonshine. At first it may seem like the worst thing for you when you are exhausted and shoe-like is doing MORE EXERCISE OF ANY KIND, but that’s because you are a lowly Cat 5 and don’t understand the nuances of physiology yet.

You see, when you are beat to crap and look like a worn out shoe, and when the thought of riding makes you want to puke, that’s exactly when you need to go out and ride your bike to get some of that active recovery. “Active recovery makes you recover in an active way,” says Dr. Bill Flummadiddle of the Moonshine Research Group.

“We know that inflamed muscles and a sore butt actually become stronger when they rest through exertion. It is like the Pac-Man effect, which our aerospace labs have proven is what keeps people from falling off the edge of the Earth,” Flummadiddle adds. “So by actively forcing your tired muscles to recover, they get rested by doing more, although they are doing less than they would have been doing had you been doing intervals. It’s the fact that they are doing less than something, although more than nothing, that allows them to recover. DNA mitochondrial adaptation trichinosis.”

If Dr. Flummadiddle’s explanation is hard to grasp, you can skip over to Alan Kipping-Ruane, who makes it all very clear. Basically, what you’re looking for is exercise that lets you recover in an active fashion, especially with matching socks. If you still don’t get it, check this scientific read on HuffPo, which has lots in common with Flummadiddle and his Moonshine Research Group.

I compared active recovery with my current strategy, which is more of what I would call passive recovery and involves even more tubs of ice cream along with the odd jar of peanut butter, bread, and lots of sitting. After four days of passively recovering, I am feeling better each day. My legs no longer scream when I stand up. My bike, while not looking exactly sexy yet, isn’t eliciting a rictus, either.

Now where are those stretch pants?



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3 thoughts on “Amazing scientific facts about recovery”

  1. Matthew Smith

    My favorite posts on Strava are the posts from friends who do 40+ mile active recovery rides. They understand physiology so much better than myself, buried as I am under a pile of potato chips on the couch.

    1. Active 40-mile recovery is recovery-ing in an active way, enhancing activeness while also promoting muscular recoveryness. Five stars. Pringles?

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