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A Recovery Ride After a Hard Workout or 'How to Burn Off a Pound of Fat in One Day'

I had a terrific workout yesterday so I thought I’d do a low-power recovery ride. I did, sort of!

So naturally, I rode 71 miles for my recovery ride...ha ha. But I *did* keep the power (wattage) down because my legs most definitely had not recovered from the day prior.

I found myself aiming for 5 ascents, but I started thinking: “if I really want to get down to 175 pounds by Feb 14, what is required to do it? Answer: I need to front load the efforts to burn off a lot of fat, so I’ll do ten ascents and some relatively flat mileage”.

One big workout of 3142 calories will let me do 6 moderate ones (1450 calories) for the other 6 days of the week. In other words, 1700 calorie per day deficit for 7 days is equivalent to 1700 * 7 / 3500 = 3.4 pounds of body fat in one week—if my body cooperates. This morning I weighed in at 179.2*, so that would get me to 175.8, in theory. It might be better than that because a lot of calories needed to repair and recover are not accounted for. And hunger might strike back and I’ll end up dropping the average caloric deficit. But I figure I’m good shedding 2.5 pounds at least. Tomorrow should be interesting. And the next day.

And so I ended up burning 3287 kilojoules (3142 calories), which accounting for some extra calories for muscle repair, is equivalent to burning a pound of body fat (a pound of body fat is 3500 calories because body fat contains water).

* I always weigh in after I wake up, without clothes and prior to eating or drinking. This keeps the numbers consistent day over day and lets one see interesting behaviors, like temporarily gaining 3 pounds for 2-3 days as the body over hydrates during recovery; that extra fluid disappears a few days later when recovery is done.

The heart rate data right at the start is bogus—interference sometimes screws up the values.

3 Hour Early Season Workout: power in watts, heart rate, ascent
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