Recovery Time

Discussion in 'Health Nutrition and Supplements' started by spinner32, Apr 2, 2009.

  1. spinner32

    spinner32 New Member

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    Hey all,

    Just curious about how many "off" or recovery days you all plan into your training schedules. I currently have 2 days a week that I take off, and 2 really easy days in the saddle. I then space out my main workouts (2 weekend races per week, and a hard ride in the middle) accordingly.

    i.e.

    Sunday: Race - Collegiate Crit
    Monday: Easy spinning ~ 1hr
    Tuesday: Off
    Wednesday: Intervals
    Thursday: Easy spinning
    Friday: Off
    Saturday: Race - Collegiate RR

    Just curious what advice or thoughts some more experienced racers have to offer on optimizing training and recovery. Sometimes I feel completely recovered for the next weekend's races, but others I'm feeling fatigued. I don't want to venture into an overtrained state.

    Thanks
     
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  2. daveryanwyoming

    daveryanwyoming Well-Known Member

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    Well, you'd probably get more responses if you posted this in the Cycling Training forums instead of the Health and Nutrition Supplements forums but basically I'd say you've got too much rest and not enough training in your weekly schedule.

    You basically train one day a week, race two days a week and rest/recover the other days. And although gaining race experience is essential it may or may not be your best training. If you're comfortable in your group and race tactically or are way outclassed and get dropped it generally isn't the best training. If you're active in the race, launching and responding to attacks, getting off the front and working and contesting the finish it can be great training. But a lot of folks race cagey (smart if you're after good results) or not well matched to their competition and aren't necessarily training well during races.

    I don't know what sort of intervals you're doing on Wednesday, but at a glance I'd think about adding some Tempo/SST work on Tuesday and an openers ride on Friday before your weekend of racing.

    The Tempo work should be somewhere in the one to three hour range depending on your fitness, base and recovery from the weekend. And it should be ridden at a comfortably quick pace that requires some focus and where you start to notice deep steady breathing but isn't brutal. And you should try to find continuous sections of road including flat stretches and steady moderate climbs where you can hold that Tempo/SST pace for 20 minutes to an hour or more without a lot of stops or coasting descents.

    Follow that with your Wednesday intervals which hopefully include some longer 15 to 30 minute Threshold efforts or at least some 5x5 style VO2 Max work. If you're doing minute long gutbusting L6 efforts to compliment a crit and a road race then you're definitely ignoring your core metabolic fitness and your sustainable power will suffer.

    The openers ride on Friday is really important to get you ready for racing over the weekend. You've basically got two days of rest following your Wednesday intervals before you race. That's a recipe for heavy blocked up legs on the weekend. Yes, it's possible to be too rested before racing. The openers ride should get you up to race pace and even VO2 Max pace for a few short to mid length efforts and can include a sprint or two if you feel good but the overall ride should be around an hour or so and leave you feeling pretty good. Don't cook yourself with a lot of high end work or too much time in the saddle on Friday, just wake your legs up and get mentally and physically ready to race on Saturday.

    FWIW, I've learned to avoid resting the day before a race at all costs. Without the openers ride I feel awful for the early miles of a road race and something that starts fast like a crit or TT is even worse. If you really feel tired after Wednesday's session and feel like you need more rest then take Thursday completely off the bike and make Friday your easy spin day before weekend racing. But I'd strongly advise you not to rest two days straight before your weekend races.

    Another observation over many years is that most riders really start to shine when they can manage 5 good training/racing days per week. These aren't all max effort days but I've learned personally and from friends and team mates that something magical seems to happen when a rider goes from 3 to 5 days of good riding per week. Some take 2 days completely off the bike, some spin easily for one to two days per week, but 5 purposeful days really seems to pay off for most folks. I don't know anyone who's been able to make big progress with two easy spins and two complete rest days per week, that basically translates to training 3 days and resting 4 days per week and that's not gonna cut it.

    Good luck,
    -Dave





     
  3. spinner32

    spinner32 New Member

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    Ok, thanks for the advice.

    I am doing the extra rest right now because it's early season and I just came off of a BRUTAL week in the mountains. I'll try to ramp it up over the next week and knock it down to 1-2 rest days since I won't have another race weekend for two weeks.

    The "openers" thing is interesting. I have done this in the past - I guess my problem was the discipline factor involved in not going too hard. When you say short to mid length efforts, what would you recommend? L4/5 for a couple minutes with adequate spinning in between?


    The only reason I posted this in health/nutrition was because I had some serious overtraining problems last year, and was curious about what people here had to say regarding their strategies for rest/training ratios.

    Thanks again for the input, I'll give your suggestions a try and be sure to report back on how it goes for me!
     
  4. daveryanwyoming

    daveryanwyoming Well-Known Member

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    I basically roll out like I'm warming up for a TT by ramping slowly up to Tempo, then spinning for a bit then holding steady SST in the 80-90% of FTP range for 8 to 10 minutes, then spin some more then do maybe a 2 to 3 minute L5 effort, then spin home. I might throw in one or two short sprints if I feel good but that's it.

    That shouldn't be too painful or leave you too cooked to race. The SST at that level should feel pretty comfortable, if you're struggling to hold 80-90% of your one hour power for 8 minutes then something's wrong. The L5 effort sometimes feels a bit hard, but then I tend towards the two minute end and I only do sprints if I really want to so they don't happen if I'm not feeling great.

    It's good to know you've been doing some bigger weeks and the extra rest is temporary, but even then I'd ride more days and just take them a bit easier. Too much rest is a really bad deal as races approach. If you're really cooked from your big week in the mountains then think about five or six days with several of them at the lower end of SST, Tempo or even Endurance pace while avoiding long hours on the bike. That makes more sense than 4 rest/recovery days per week and letting all your base slip away.

    -Dave
     
  5. recoverydoc

    recoverydoc New Member

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    I would agree that you may have a bit more recovery then you need. You doing anything else on the off days? i.e. core,run,swim

     
  6. spinner32

    spinner32 New Member

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    Yes, I usually do a resistance training session and core work. This plus a full load of college classes doesn't make it feel much like a "rest" day. :rolleyes:

    I'm upping my workout time this week by one day, and watching WKO+ to see how it goes. I'd like to have a TSB around +15 by the 18th. Then I'll start another cycle of training for some summer races.

    Thanks again for the advice.
     
  7. daveryanwyoming

    daveryanwyoming Well-Known Member

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    Are you hoping to perform well on a TSB of +15 or are you just planning on being really well recovered before starting your next build cycle?

    FWIW, I race terribly with a TSB greater than +10 or so and I wouldn't want to be that high unless the event was short and intense. For road races I tend to get my best results in the -5 to +5 range.

    YMMV,
    -Dave
     
  8. spinner32

    spinner32 New Member

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    Well, I've noticed that my power peaks tend to be around a TSB of +12-15, so just erred on the upper side... I know I probably won't get it that high :rolleyes:

    I'm fairly new to WKO+ stuff, so I'm just learning where my "peaks and valleys" are, so to speak.

    And, I have a few races that week actually - the more important ones later in the week, so would a little buffer room be worth including?

    Thanks again for the input, I appreciate your advice with this stuff, it's a new way of training for me.
     
  9. recoverydoc

    recoverydoc New Member

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    You need to factor in your school/work work load as well as other training into what you are doing truly for recovery. I feel that you need to monitor all the factors that are work and all that your are doing for recovery and try to maximize each aspect of training.



     
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