Swapping recovery week workouts for shorter harder workouts of the same TSS

The title pretty much sums it up. I really hate doing the pettit type rides, especially when there are 5 in a recovery week. Can I swap a 1hr pettit for a 30 min VO2 if they both are 50 tss? Can I swap all 5 for short versions of the previous week’s workouts? I know not all tss is equal, but I was wondering if there was another way to accomplish the recovery week goals.

I feel like you answered your own question in a sense. Not all TSS is created equal.

Maybe instead of Petit try Baxter because of it’s variablity or even an endurance ride with two to four sprints in there to stay tuned. Outside rides would be a good option too.

Of your two options you listed above I’d 100% not choose toned down versions of the prior weeks workouts though.

I suppose everyone is going to be different so if you’ve found short intensity during a recovery week works for you go for it. Or no harm in testing it out if you want to see!

You’ll just have to listen to your body during your next block to ensure you’re getting the rest and adaptation you need.

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Not sure how you would be recovering if you’re doing VO2! The recovery week goal is to recover not seek a certain TSS.

I don’t stick to the TR plan when it comes to the recovery week. I test on the Saturday following a five day block of 1 off, 3 easy, 1 off. I don’t do anything above zone 2 as I want my body to fully absorb the 3 weeks of prior training and to reset. Take the opportunity to just go out and enjoy the countryside.

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Not periodising properly will only be detrimental.

Find a nice distraction and just glass-crank through the week.

They are only short rides.

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As I remember, upper end power fades after 3 days, but aerobic fitness declines much slower… why would you want to only work in the zones that you aren’t going to lose anyway? Wouldn’t a touch of short intensity go a long way to keep things rolling into the next 4 week block?

Try it and see how well you do on your hard Thursday workout and then see how you fare in your weekend workouts.

The body doesn’t get stronger when you’re on the bike—it needs recovery.

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I’m no sports physiologist, but I don’t believe this is true. Maybe a couple of weeks for your high high end power. Certainly not 3 days.

Training Residuals:

  • Aerobic Endurance – Establishment: 25-35 days; Residuals: 25-35 days
  • Anaerobic Power – Establishment: 14-22 days; Residuals 14-22 days
  • Muscle Endurance/Threshold – Establishment: 10-20 days; Residuals: 10-20 days
  • Sprint Power – Establishment: 2-8 days; Residuals: 2-8 days

Declines in Aerobic Capacity:

  • 1-7 days: negligible decrease
  • 10-14 days: 6% decrease
  • 14-30 days: 12% decrease
  • 30-63 days: 19% decrease
  • >63 days: 26% decrease

Minimum we can do to stay fast:

  • Aerobic Endurance – Once every 2 weeks, do a long, low-intensity ride. Ride long enough that the fatigue comes as a product of the ride’s duration, not its intensity. Example:Laurentian
  • Anaerobic Power – Once a week. Something along the lines of 30- to 60-second repeats upwards of 130% FTP should suffice. Example: Bird -1
  • Muscle Endurance/Threshold – Once a week. Try a 2×20-minute Threshold or even Sweet Spot workout. Example: Eichorn
  • Sprint Power – Once a week. Perform 4-6 all-out efforts somewhere between 20-30 seconds long. Example: Bays

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