Rest & recovery weeks during base

A light bike doesn't replace good fitness.

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Joined: Sun Jan 24, 2010 10:34 pm


Are recovery weeks essential during a conventional base period? This is my first training year where I'm planning a conventional training program following a typical endurance training model, I'm a 44yo with several years of stuctured training under my belt, mainly mtb focused but now I want to concentrate more on road, previously I’ve always adopted a sort or reverse periodization type program consisting of a lot of indoor SST during base due to time limitations and weather etc. This year with a winter bike, more time, good lights and clothing I plan on riding outside for all but a few interval based workouts (snow and ice allowing). I’ve started my base early and plan to continue through til Jan-Feb, due to a complete lack of motivation for any sort of structured training or riding for the most of this year, I have been riding on and off but only when I wanted to and just rode, sometimes not for weeks. Anyhow I’ve got my mojo back, weight is coming off and training is going good so far I want to ensure I have a good aerobic base. For the past six weeks I’ve been riding 10-14hrs a week almost exclusively in zone 2 (about 75-80%of my total time per week) increasing volume and TSS slightly each week, 2hrs Tue & Thur, 3-4hrs Sat and 4-5hrs Sun so apart from the weekends I get good bit of recovery during the week. Is it still necessary to include easy weeks with a reduced volume during a low intensity base period?

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Joined: Sat May 15, 2010 2:01 pm

by mr4fox

Wow no replies?? well this might be a bit late but...
Im still learning how to structure base training properly and for the past 6 weeks have taken a similar approach to you while gradually increasing the weekly hours and intensity.
Im looking at Table 8.4 in Joe Friel's - The Cyclist' Training Bible...kinda hard to describe it all in words here but the table shows the weekly hours during the different training periods based on the total annual training hours. Base1 Base2 and Base3 are 4 week blocks and it looks like the hours for week 4 in each base block is about 50% of week 3 in the same block.

for example. if a 500hour annual training load then Base 1 weekly hours are:
Week1 = 10hours
Week2 = 12.0h
Week3 = 13.5h
Week4 = 7.0h

Id recommend the book btw if you haven't already got it.

by Weenie

Posts: 69
Joined: Sun Jan 24, 2010 10:34 pm


Thanks for the reply, I'm finding that due to life getting in the way every few weeks my weekly volume drops from 10-12hrs to around 6 hrs and as at least 80% of my time is spent at zone 2 just now I suppose that would help towards recovery.
"I can accept failure. Everyone fails at something. But I can't accept not trying."
Michael Jordan

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Joined: Sat Nov 29, 2014 3:20 pm

by Sarvesh95

I would also advice incorporating strength training if you haven't already. 2-3 days of strength/resistance training in the gym would yield impressive improvements and also is a great source of motivation.
Moreover strength training prevents osteoporosis.
I am currently using "Weight training for cyclists" by Ken Doyle and Eric Schmitz and would recommend you the same.

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Joined: Sun May 25, 2014 4:57 am

by Nefarious86

Base and core work/strength training go hand in hand. Matt Brindle has some well structured strength training material with videos to support the routines.
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