My recovery weeks generally consists of 2 active recovery rides during the week and one or two endurance rides on the weekends. There are recovery weeks where I do very little (2 rides) to no riding at all. Personally I found that a rest week completely off the bike creates more time for other stuff, more sleep, and brings more physical and mental freshness.
Blend the easy week with the very best recovery method – 7 to 9 hours of quality sleep! Recovery happens when you sleep; the body repairs and rebuild, and grows stronger.
Rest and Recovery Week
As we all know training creates stress and gets added to stress of daily life. Aside from the weekly active recovery days and rest days, a full week where training is reduced or even taking a break from training is necessary to allow the body the time it needs to recuperate.
Essentially, a rest and recovery week is an extremely easy week - low volume and low intensity every 2-3 weeks. It mostly zone 1 riding with rest days in between and one or two zone 2 rides.
Active recovery ride - Zone 1: An easy and very slow ride where a training target power is below 55% of FTP and or heart rate is below 68% of lactate threshold heart rate or below 60% of maximum heart rate.
Ride duration: Between 60 and 90 minutes.
Easy endurance ride – Zone 2: An easy, at an “all-day” pace. Your training target power is between 56% and 75% of FTP and heart rate is between 69% and 83% of lactate threshold heart rate or between 60% and 70% of maximum heart rate.
Ride duration: 2 hour or more depending on training level/experience.
Keep it light — no intervals, no climbing repeats, or sprinting sessions.
Monday: Rest Day
Tuesday: Active Recovery Ride in Zone 1 only.
Wednesday: Rest Day
Thursday: Active Recovery Ride in Zone 1 only.
Friday: Rest Day or Active Recovery Ride in Zone 1 only.
Saturday: Endurance Ride in Zone 2 only.
Sunday Rest Day
How much fitness is lost?
Very little fitness is lost when taking a rest day, or two, or even a week where you do absolutely no training. The losses felt is insignificant when compared to gains that is made – a week of recovery creates adaptation it gives the muscles time to repair and the body becomes stronger, and the risk of overtraining, burning out, getting sick and or injury is lowered.
Being overtrained, burnt out, sick and or injured will require a longer duration of recovery and results in a greater loss in fitness.
That is it, thank you for reading, I hope you found it to be a useful resource.