How do you structure your "rest/recovery" week?

A light bike doesn't replace good fitness.

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by jeffy

Assuming the "3 week on" & "1 week off" how do you structure your "rest/recovery" week?

For those that use the Base/Build periodisation model do you structure Recovery differently at different times?

My recovery weeks are the thing that i find hardest to work on / find the right balance, sometimes out of force (vacation scheduled for week 4) or "i'll try full week off the bike" - and feeling like I have lost fitness for the first week back.... Sometimes out of obsession with PMC/CTL (rushing back too soon - evident when i start back and it becomes clear i haven't recovered enough)

My volume currently is around 10-12hr + 2x Ergo interval sessions per week

My last "Rest Week" looked like this, and i found it worked well for a change ....

Day #1 - 30 minutes Easy Z1 Ergo
Day #2 - Off
Day #3 - 30 minutes Easy Z1 Ergo
Day #4 - Off
Day #5 - 2 Hour Outside High Z1/Low Zone 2 with some light surges/ but nothing too intense.

after this 1st day back training was 3x8 Sweetspot on Ergo that felt pretty good, the next day did a slightly modified 3 hr British cycling Endurance, with Tempo and Threshold OverUnders...... Feeling good.

Looking for feedback, thought it might be a good thread for people to share there experiences of "Recovery Weeks" for different volumes & intensities
- what worked for them, and what didn't :beerchug:

by Weenie

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by petereps

I try to think of training as blocks rather than weeks, as the 3 week on 1 off structure really has no relevance other than it's convenient to think in terms of weeks. I usually take two to three days easy after a string of sufficiently hard blocks, likely to be about every 2-3 weeks. I think your off week is a bit too much down time, especially at your volume. For context I'm lucky to get about 20 hours a week on the bike. I would definitely feel like I lost some fitness with your off week. I suggest trying instead to take 2-3 days off every two weeks, or as needed. Basically same amount of rest, but spread out more evenly. After 2-3 week of hard training I usually do something like:
Monday: off
Tuesday:easy hour
Wednesday: 3 hours with ~15 min vo2 work
Thursday: 1 hour easy
Friday: Openers ~2 hours
Weekend: Race/Long training

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by sib

Currently on a rest week myself, and wondering whether what I'm doing is optimal..
I typically ride 10 hours a week and my rest week is:

Mon, Tue - 60mins @FTP66%
Wed - easy spin
Thu - 60mins @FTP66%, including 3x1mins @FTP133-150% (5mins RIB), and 3x30secs @FTP150-200% (5mins RIB)
Fri - easy spin
Sat - time trial, to see if I've made any improvements since last month
Sun - off

My legs feel relatively stiff even though I haven't been doing anything.
Interesting to see how the time trial goes on Saturday.

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by Willem

I ride Masters and have been doing this for many, many years since racing as a juvenile.

With the tools we have today, I no longer plan what I will do on training day 1,2,3 etc., or recovery day 1,2,3 etc.

I know when I need base, when I need build and when I need to do intervals during the racing season, but that is how far it goes.

My power meter, heart rate and RPE tells me when I can put the hammer down and when it is time to ride slow or get off the bike completely. My body unfortunately does not follow a precision training calendar. I listen to it and it dictates what happens on training day 1, 2, 3 etc., as these days approach. Some times I need a recovery week after one week of racing, sometimes I can train hard four weeks in row, with my body giving excellent response.

Recovery to me is the most important thing, and there are numerous variables which affects recovery. Stress at work, family, how well you sleep the night before, friends, what you were eating, etc., etc.,

This is probably out of the norm of most coaching training programs which are based day to day and week to week. But go train when your body is not ready for it, you waste time, loose fitness and then get sick.

Some times during the racing season, a day off the bike can result in sore legs after the next ride. Sometimes during the racing season you have to get off the bike for a number of days and then get back into it. It all depends on your condition at the time.

Personally, on a recovery week I reduce the hours, spin low power high cadence and what I do for the day depends entirely how my body responds once I get on the bike. Sometimes my recovery week would be just 3 days easy, sometimes it would have 3 days completely of the bike, it all depends.

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by boysa

^ There is some real wisdom here. Learn to listen to your body.

Of course, a pm and a HR monitor make the sounds a LOT clearer!
"Deserve's got nothing to do with it." William Munny

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by beatle

As stated above, I as well have moved away from strict structure. Though I got faster, it burnt me out.

But generally, lower volume (60%) and still keep some intensity is the usual advice. I think a week is really too long and now I back off during the week and still have my normal big/intense weekend rides.

by Weenie

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by boysa

Wow. That is heavy, man.
"Deserve's got nothing to do with it." William Munny

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