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Riding Hard and Recovering Harder

February 01, 2016

Riding Hard and Recovering Harder

“Recovering on the bike is actually harder than it sounds.”

by  ALP Cycles Coaching

Everyone at the camp has been working hard with long endurance rides with pack handling skills, how to get up and over punchy climbs, technical fast downhill cornering, climbing in and out of the saddle, and eating cookies at the Cookie Shack atop Mt. Lemmon. Add in some bonus mechanicals (broken chains, flat tires and a broken derailleur) and everyone was ready for a rest day.

But what is a rest day? And why do you need one?

Humans are not machines. In a robotic world you could just keep your body to the same level of intensity day after day after day. But we’re not robots. If we keep pushing our bodies to a high level, eventually our fatigue level would be so high we’d either fall over, get injured or dig ourselves into a hole so big we may never get out (interested in reading more? Google “Overtraining in cycling”). So in order to reap the benefits of all of the hard work we’ve done over the past several days, today was an easy rest day.

alp cycles coaching tucson training camp

Recovering on the bike is actually harder than it sounds. I like to think of easy rides in terms of not letting my power exceed my heart rate. But if you don’t have a power meter, it should feel like taking an easy walk on the bike.

Recovery rides can also be referred to as noodling. So all 17 of us noodled on down to Presta Coffee Roasters in downtown Tucson after a quick stop in the park to do some skill drills: emergency braking, cornering, bumping, wheel touching and cone pick up drills. We split up into four stations where each coach taught athletes a specific skill they can incorporate into their training.

We then noodled back to the condos and enjoyed a few extra hours of downtime before our nightly coaching meeting followed by another delicious meal cooked by Chef Patricia.

Recovery days are important. And sometimes taking an easy active recovery day is just what the doctor ordered. We have one more day with a long ride on tap with some sprint drills thrown into the mix.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


Alison Powers

Alison Powers only recently retired from cycling, finishing her final season on the UnitedHealthcare Women’s Team. Her career has spanned a wide array of wins, including the 2013 USA Cycling Professional Criterium National Championship where she won in memorable fashion by soloing after an early breakaway that obliterated the pro women’s peloton. Other standout results during the 33-year-old’s 2013 season include the win at Redlands Bicycle Classic, second at the Tour of Elk Grove, third at the US National Road Championship and the US National Time Trial Championship, and stage wins at Cascade Classic, Tulsa Tough, Tour of the Gila and Redlands Bicycle Classic. Hailing from Fraser, Colorado, Powers has been racing bikes professionally for eight years and is a true athlete with her career beginning as a teenager in mountain bike racing. In her mid 20s, she added in alpine ski racing before switching over to the road. In addition to being the current Criterium National Champion, Powers has two other national championships (Time Trial, Team Pursuit) and 2 NRC titles (2009, 2013).

About ALP Cycles Coaching

ALP Cycles Coaching is located in the mountains of Colorado, and is a cycling coaching company with over 25 years of professional sports experience. ALP Cycles Coaching is unique in that we have 4 coaches, Alison Powers, Jennifer Triplett, and Patricia Schwager who each brings her own coaching strengths and personal experiences. We work together to create a training plan that works for each and every person. Visit them online at

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