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 Post subject: Post season rest
PostPosted: Wed Aug 29, 2012 4:43 pm 
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So, my first race season has ended and I'm exhausted. I've been on the bike 6 days a week since December, had a great season and even managed to win a race and place second in two others. More than I could ask for. But I'm completely wrecked. I've been unable to get close to my normal power numbers so I've decided to take 7 to 10 days off. No cycling at all. There are still two months of good weather where I live so I'd like to keep training and I figure a rest will make that possible.

So my question is simple: What specifically is my body doing during this period?

And, is that too much rest? Too little? And better yet, why is so little written about rest? It feels and sounds like a good idea but why so much information about training and so little about resting if it's so important?


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 Post subject: Post season rest
Posted: Wed Aug 29, 2012 4:43 pm 


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 Post subject: Re: Post season rest
PostPosted: Wed Aug 29, 2012 6:17 pm 
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My $.02 is this:

7-10 is a long time off, perhaps do 1-2 of no ridding punctuated by easy rides.
Maybe try some light rides (ride with kids or parents in the park, leisurely)
Perhaps try mountain bike rides, which work different muscles and can be lots of fun.

You sound way fitter than me, but I know from past experience I lose a lot of fitness in 10 days off the bike.

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 Post subject: Re: Post season rest
PostPosted: Wed Aug 29, 2012 6:40 pm 
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Location: Bay Area
There is no right or wrong for days off. I'll take probably 2 weeks off straight this year and I've found that when I take a break my power isn't great the first month back, but after that is back to normal.

The purpose of forced rest after a hard season is to let your chronic training load (CTL) drop, let your ATL hit 0, let your body's hormones recover and return to normal, allow for supercompensation, and just break some habits.

What I've done is just do everything unstructured after the season ends. I might still do a 5 hour ride or I might not. I might hit up a local group ride or I might go to a yoga class. Basically, I'm still riding and keeping the movement pattern engrained and getting between 8-13 hours a week while letting my CTL drop. I have to take a trip for work where I won't be able to ride so I'll probably run 3-4 days a week to keep the weight off and not worry about riding. If you do not let CTL drop enough you run the risk of having little room to hit your ceiling when you resume training.

FWIW this year my teammate allowed his CTL to drop to 15 and took a full month off the bike for the first time in 3 years. He absolutely sucked the first month back, but when race season came he got some really good results, got an upgrade, hit record PB power numbers, and for the first time ever had no issues with missed workouts due to fatigue or burn out. You have to recover to make progress and it really depends on how much you've overloaded and for how long.

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 Post subject: Re: Post season rest
PostPosted: Wed Aug 29, 2012 11:02 pm 
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Location: Norway
I already missed too many weeks due to injury (crashes) this season and won't be taking any weeks or days off once the season ends. December is usually slow and fun though, with xc skiing and xc mtbing.

So far since jan 1 I have 530 hours of training and at the moment I'm setting PBs on every hard training session. Once the season ends I'll go for shorter harder rides for fun (Strava KOM hunting) and then longer slower rides to reduce weight a little bit. After that threshold training combined with long rides and weight stabilization.

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 Post subject: Re: Post season rest
PostPosted: Thu Aug 30, 2012 3:24 am 
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Thanks guys for your input. I'm at the end of day two and already feel better. Going to play it by ear but 7 to 10 days seems excessive. My dog loves it though. More walks!


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 Post subject: Re: Post season rest
PostPosted: Thu Aug 30, 2012 7:47 am 
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Location: Norway
I'd get out on the bike, maybe the mountainbike or a crossbike. Go easy, go new places and enjoy yourself. Being completely off the bike is quite the transition :-)

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If you really wanted to save weight, get off the bike and run.


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 Post subject: Re: Post season rest
PostPosted: Sun Sep 02, 2012 4:03 pm 
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530 hours isn't much to begin with so I wouldn't take much time off with that.

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 Post subject: Re: Post season rest
PostPosted: Sun Sep 02, 2012 9:24 pm 
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I made it three days! I was just climbing the walls. Glad to be back training.


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 Post subject: Re: Post season rest
PostPosted: Sun Sep 02, 2012 11:51 pm 
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Why call it training? Just ride. I'm convinced if someone has a hard time hitting 550hrs/year they would be well served just taking 3-4 days of rest as vacations a few times a year depending on their training history. The people that I know that take more rest tend to race two disciplines, a long season, and/or train 700+hrs a year.

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 Post subject: Re: Post season rest
PostPosted: Wed Sep 05, 2012 12:30 pm 
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Joined: Wed Mar 28, 2007 12:49 pm
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Location: Near Horgen, Switzerland
-1

You are not most people. If you feel in need of a rest then you should probably take one. I know that I do not put in significant training hours, but likely put in a few more working and travelling hours than most people and often need to take a break. And at 30-something I'm not the same as I was at 22. I am looking forward to some lake swimming in early autumn, then some xc skiing once it's colder.


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 Post subject: Re: Post season rest
PostPosted: Thu Sep 06, 2012 3:31 pm 
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i guess that depends how you treat your riding: as a pleasure/leisure activity ( no matter the intensity) or as a training, a job to do?

i find it really helpful to ditch all those expectations and regimes and simply focus on having good time on my bike. back in the days when i presumed riding as a some kind of obligation, taking the break from riding and getting to ride again caused many problems, both of physical and psychological nature. it took time for me to find pleasure in it

what i did was throw all the computers away, stop pushing myself to ride even if didn't feel like, just take it easy. the result - i cover twice as much distance per year with much higher (estimated) avs, i'm not 'tired', i found out i can climb (i mean: i gotten to really enjoy it) and only thing i listen to is my body. its kind of finding your cycling ying and yang. when you do this, you treat cycling more naturally, therfore any need for dividing the year or months into riding and non-riding time seems unnecessary.

as for racing. i dont race at all, but that doesnt mean i dont hang with guys who do ( and who are really good at it ) so i ithink i have a pretty good idea what you need in order to race. i assume i could easily start to participate in cycling events with this attitude of mine, and i probably wouldnt be the last one to cross the line. i find it really funny how some guys identify 'serious' riding with buying all those powermeters and other stuff, comparing watts, buying on-line coaching sessions etc. i dont think of myself as a mean person but dropping them on any occasion makes me feel really good :beerchug:

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 Post subject: Re: Post season rest
PostPosted: Fri Sep 07, 2012 3:00 am 
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Thanks for your continued input guys. For some background, I'm 38 and a business owner. So, not a young buck and I have more stress than would be ideal, but I'm fortunate for my good health. I'm just trying to understand rest and my bodies ability to recover more completely so I can ride stronger and longer, racing or not.


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 Post subject: Re: Post season rest
PostPosted: Fri Sep 07, 2012 1:41 pm 
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Location: Brighton, UK
KWalker wrote:
530 hours isn't much to begin with so I wouldn't take much time off with that.


Not much!? :unbelievable: We're only in August! At that rate he'll have about 800hours (15hours/week) by the end of the year. Thats a lot in my book (amateur racing level)! That should be enough for cat 1 power levels.

I've actually just returned from 1week completely off the bike (holidays) and feel that I have lost loads of fitness. I do feel though what Ive lost in fitness Ive gained in motivation which I hope to channel into my winter training for next season. Plan is to go from my 12hour/week to 15 next season and hit that magic 800hour mark.

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 Post subject: Re: Post season rest
PostPosted: Fri Sep 07, 2012 1:58 pm 
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I assumed he meant 530 for the yearly total. FWIW I'm well over 530 right now, but probably won't hit much over 720-730 because of travel and an off-season.

People have to remember that life's ups and downs add stress. Your hormones do not always care where stress is coming from- they just deal with it. So if you have a business and a family, 530 hours could feel like 900. Conversely, if you're a student and aren't working, 530 hours might feel like half of optimal. Its all relative. I think going by your feelings and desire to get back on the bike is the best bet. The metrics are great and all, but they can't gauge your individual response too well.

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 Post subject: Re: Post season rest
PostPosted: Thu Sep 13, 2012 12:37 pm 
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KWalker wrote:
I assumed he meant 530 for the yearly total. FWIW I'm well over 530 right now, but probably won't hit much over 720-730 because of travel and an off-season.

People have to remember that life's ups and downs add stress. Your hormones do not always care where stress is coming from- they just deal with it. So if you have a business and a family, 530 hours could feel like 900. Conversely, if you're a student and aren't working, 530 hours might feel like half of optimal. Its all relative. I think going by your feelings and desire to get back on the bike is the best bet. The metrics are great and all, but they can't gauge your individual response too well.


I think I wrote pretty clearly that I had 530 hours thus far since January 1 2012.
And it should total somewhat more than 530 hours by the end of the year as I have not quit riding ;-)

And oh.. I'm a student.. and working :-/ Not so much work at the moment though, fortunatley. Waiting for season to end and to finish my thesis..

I'm with you with what you're writing though KWalker. This past week has been pretty hard after my crash last weekend. I guess the recovery from all the road rash does suck some energy. I've been sleeping everywhere all of the time.. fortunately feeling more on top of things now, and the wounds are healing :-) I guess it's been a pretty clear signal to back off somewhat. I've had no problem easing off a little to allow the body to recover.

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djconnel wrote:
If you really wanted to save weight, get off the bike and run.


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 Post subject: Re: Post season rest
Posted: Thu Sep 13, 2012 12:37 pm 


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