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Easy week - what do you cut out?

terongiterongi Posts: 318
Most training regimes seem to recommend an easy week built into the programme (usually one out of every 4 weeks).

my question is: what makes an easy week easy? Is it:

(a) reducing time spent on the bike, but maintaining intensity?
(b) reducing intensity?
(c) reducing time and intensity?

My usual training week is:
4 hours of easy riding - commuting
1-2 hours of hard riding - turbo plus local chain-gang
3-4 hours medium/hard weekend ride

which of these activities should I cut out or reduce to make an "easy" week?

Posts

  • BronzieBronzie Posts: 4,927
    I'd tend to go with c) - a bit of both.

    If you were going to cut out just one item in that list, I'd go with the one that leaves feeling the most fatigued.
  • Recovery weeks should be very easy.

    Ex Recovery Week:

    Sun. 30 min VERY EASY below 55% of FTP power, NO HILLS.
    Mon. Off
    Tues. 45 minutes easy below 55% FTP with still NO HILLS
    Wed. OFF or 45 minute below 55% FTP & no long hills
    Thurs. 60-90 minute at 60% FTP
    Fri. 45 minutes non stop at Tempo
    Sat. 45 minutes easy with 10 min at 100% FTP in there to warm up for the next cycle.

    Cut ALL long rides on the rest week!

    So, just a few hard efforts and in the last 2 days. This works well for me.
  • liversedgeliversedge Posts: 1,002
    whats a rest week?

    seriously.

    I don't know if its a WKO/Powermeter thing but I know when to rest and when to go hard by looking at my training stress balance. I view rest/easy days as when the magic happens and take them all the time (when they are neccessary not just being a slacker!!)

    But then my training plan is kind of a sketch rather than a blueprint. Life happens for good and bad to affect my training and a missed ride here and a sneaky workout there all balance up in the end!
    --
    Obsessed is just a word elephants use to describe the dedicated. http://markliversedge.blogspot.com
  • thiscocksthiscocks Posts: 603
    Due to pulling a muscle in my back recently my rest week has been:

    Mon: OFF
    Tues: 1hr turbo gentle
    Wed: OFF (after discovering that riding yesterday didnt do my back any good)
    Thurs: 1hr walk
    Fri: 1hr walk
    Sat: OFF
    Sun: 2hr walk

    ...will I be able to remember how to ride a bike?....
  • Frank the tankFrank the tank Posts: 6,806
    I'd just go with reducing the intensity and time if you wish.

    Keep your legs turning over and don't break any pots. Do your stretches and a little core strength work, should be right as ninepence. Then you can rip into the tough stuff for three week again. :D
    Tail end Charlie

    The above post may contain traces of sarcasm or/and bullsh*t.
  • BhimaBhima Posts: 2,145
    I've never had a rest week! :shock: :shock: :shock:

    I only ride 6 days a week though - one being slower, the other 5 days being very high intensity stuff! :shock:

    Should I be resting more? Never had any problems/pains/fatigue to be honest; and I eat LOADS to accomodate the training. I see big improvements every week. Maybe if my performance drops, i'd consider a rest week but, until that happens, surely I should be ok???
  • rickhotrodrickhotrod Posts: 181
    Terongi - it doesn't sound like you train hard enough to need a rest week. 1-2 hours of hard riding during the week isn't going to induce much fatigue!
  • calciumcalcium Posts: 16
    Try not talking to the mrs, i find that help me rest.
    mmm!
  • softladsoftlad Posts: 3,587
    KKspeeder wrote:
    Recovery weeks should be very easy.

    Ex Recovery Week:

    Sun. 30 min VERY EASY below 55% of FTP power, NO HILLS.
    Mon. Off
    Tues. 45 minutes easy below 55% FTP with still NO HILLS
    Wed. OFF or 45 minute below 55% FTP & no long hills
    Thurs. 60-90 minute at 60% FTP
    Fri. 45 minutes non stop at Tempo
    Sat. 45 minutes easy with 10 min at 100% FTP in there to warm up for the next cycle.

    These days, I'm starting to take these kind of regimes a bit more seriously, because I need all the help I can get.. ;)

    But how much of an issue is the 'no hills' thing..? I ask, because where I live (west Wales coast), there is just about no 'flat' terrain. We have big long hills, short sharp hills and everything in between, but cycling round here means you are either climbing or freewheeling. Consequently, a 'recovery' day for me usually means no cycling. Does anyone else have this kind of issue (the terrain here is not unique, I know that) and how do they cope..?
  • phil sphil s Posts: 1,128
    Turbo or rollers?
    -- Dirk Hofman Motorhomes --
  • softladsoftlad Posts: 3,587
    phil s wrote:
    Turbo or rollers?

    actually, I didn't think of that.. ;)

    That's a fair answer, but it does seem a shame to sit indoors on a turbo when I could be outside on the bike. Point taken though...
  • BronzieBronzie Posts: 4,927
    Bhima wrote:
    I only ride 6 days a week though - one being slower, the other 5 days being very high intensity stuff! :shock:

    Should I be resting more? Never had any problems/pains/fatigue to be honest; and I eat LOADS to accomodate the training. I see big improvements every week. Maybe if my performance drops, i'd consider a rest week but, until that happens, surely I should be ok???
    Your body only adapts to the training load (ie you become fitter) during the time you are recovering from the training.

    The idea of fitting in a recovery week every 4th week is that you gradually increase the training load over the 3 weeks leading up to it, have an easy week to totally recover, and then another 3 weeks with a training load starting higher than the previous 4 week block. In that way, you reach a higher peak than you could if you didn't build in any easy weeks.

    It also helps to avoid over-training, although I think you have to be really putting in some long training hours or ramping your training up too quickly to be liable to this.
  • BhimaBhima Posts: 2,145
    Bronzie wrote:
    Your body only adapts to the training load (ie you become fitter) during the time you are recovering from the training.

    Yeah, that's a good point. I am definately getting fitter but, perhaps I could be getting even more fitter with a bit more rest... Is the 3:1 ratio of training:rest weeks the most effective in your opinion?

    If you don't train hard for a while, you start to lose your maximum strength, right? So what's the longest you can go "easy" without going backwards?
  • KKspeederKKspeeder Posts: 111
    softlad wrote:
    KKspeeder wrote:
    Recovery weeks should be very easy.

    Ex Recovery Week:

    Sun. 30 min VERY EASY below 55% of FTP power, NO HILLS.
    Mon. Off
    Tues. 45 minutes easy below 55% FTP with still NO HILLS
    Wed. OFF or 45 minute below 55% FTP & no long hills
    Thurs. 60-90 minute at 60% FTP
    Fri. 45 minutes non stop at Tempo
    Sat. 45 minutes easy with 10 min at 100% FTP in there to warm up for the next cycle.

    These days, I'm starting to take these kind of regimes a bit more seriously, because I need all the help I can get.. ;)

    But how much of an issue is the 'no hills' thing..? I ask, because where I live (west Wales coast), there is just about no 'flat' terrain. We have big long hills, short sharp hills and everything in between, but cycling round here means you are either climbing or freewheeling. Consequently, a 'recovery' day for me usually means no cycling. Does anyone else have this kind of issue (the terrain here is not unique, I know that) and how do they cope..?
    ACTUALLY I live in a very hilly area where the topography rises sharply from a large body of water. You can soft pedal very slow up the smallest (least steep) hills. OR just do 30 min on the trainer in front of the TV (better idea.)
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