Whenever I think of recovering faster, I hear my grandfather in the back of my head telling me to sleep faster when I only had four hours until the morning. By no means do I want you to start shortchanging your recovery time or try to psychologically speed up the process. I do want you to consider how fast your heart rate recovers and some learn valuable information you can provide to educate your riders.

The Litmus Test


  1. I periodically play a “game” with my cyclists, called the recovery game. I got the idea from one of the profile models offered during a spinning workshop (with Tami Reilly). I do this in two classes, sequentially. Only one rule in the game – do not begin next interval until you have recovered. The first week, they are not allowed to use hr monitors, and must rely on rpe/body’s signals, to measure recovery. Class starts by finding a perfect easy/moderate effort and noticing what it feels like. The goal is to find this during recovery. After the first interval (z3), I begin the recovery. I notify them as each minute passes, and invite them to begin the next interval whenever they are recovered. As class progresses, intervals vary in length and intensity, but the recovery rule remains. I ask them to note how long they allowed for recovery. The following week, we do it again, this time with hr monitors. Very enlightening exercise.

    1. Author

      Lisa, This is a fun game indeed and very insightful. Although I done similar exercises in personal coaching and small group training, I’ve not tried this for one of my weekly classes. Thanks for sharing!!

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