Recovery weeks

Would be interested to hear any thoughts on recovery weeks and whether I should try them? I really just ride for fun and fitness now, no real event plans for the foreseeable future.

My typical riding week is around 13-15 hours, usually something as follows:

Monday - off

Tues - 60-90min ride (usually either zone 2 or Vo2 max intervals)

Weds 4hr+ ride, mix of zone 2/3 and harder efforts

Thursday - 60min recovery ride (low zone 1)

Friday - same as Weds

Sat - off

Sunday - same as Weds/Fri

That is 3 long rides a week. My AP tends to be Zone 2 and NP Zone 3 on these rides. Around 40% of the total ride will be at tempo or above.

I basically do this 50 or so weeks of the year and never build in specific recovery weeks. My power numbers are consistent, but as I am getting older, fatigue and recovery is certainly more of an issue.

I am wondering if a lighter recovery week every 5 or 6 weeks will make much of a difference, or whether I would be better served if I try and lower the intensity of my longer rides week to week?

If it is a recovery week, what exactly would that look like, low volume and low intensity? How many days riding etc.


  • pblakeney
    pblakeney Posts: 26,508

    I'd guess your training isn't hard enough to warrant a recovery week. You have enough recovery in your routine.

    The above may be fact, or fiction, I may be serious, I may be jesting.
    I am not sure. You have no chance.
    Veronese68 wrote:
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  • slowmart
    slowmart Posts: 4,499

    Given you ride for fun with no discernible aim other than enjoyment I would carry on until you start, or if you have, symptoms of over training.

    fatigue and recovery become more important pillars as we age and nutrition and sleep are equally as important.

    being 57 I’m endeavouring to get a good thirty minutes of threshold in one session and one Vo2 session per week. Ride with more focus of my training zones and keep z2 as the majority of my riding.

    “Give a man a fish and feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and feed him for a lifetime. Teach a man to cycle and he will realize fishing is stupid and boring”

    Desmond Tutu
  • MidlandsGrimpeur2
    MidlandsGrimpeur2 Posts: 1,669

    Thanks both.

    Yes, as I don't have severe fatigue or anything like that, I assume my body is telling me that I can handle the amount of cycling I do at present.

    I don't keep a close eye on it or track via any software, but totalling up Training Stress Score over the last couple of months, I do seem to average around 750-850 a week, so a CTL in excess of 100 I guess. I think this is probably more at the top end for an amateur.

    I think I may be best served by knocking it back a bit on one or two of the longer rides each week, and perhaps get the TSS down a bit week to week.