I am doing 9h30 a week on the trainer during winter/ 14 outside during the summer. I started training almost everyday 2 years ago and I have a good fitness in my humble opinion. I used to have a full day off a week but I replaced it by 1h z1 ride on the trainer.
I like riding and It is not difficult for me to ride everyday since I enjoy every single ride. I don’t really feel any difference in recovery between a full day off and an easy recovery ride.
What are your personal experiences about that and what is the science saying ?
Like others have said, I feel better when I do a recovery ride rather than nothing at all. But I am more of a high volume guy who is not as time constrained as others. Average for the year has been 12 hours a week, including the off-season break, and whatnot.
For me, a Monday completely off is always welcomed. My legs usually do feel better if I do a recovery ride vs. take the day totally off, but, the small benefit I might get from that recovery ride is outweighed by the mental break I get from not waking up a bit earlier/having to finish work a earlier so I have time to ride, kit up, fill a water bottle, get on the trainer, shower, etc. All small things, but they are required even for a 45 min spin. Sometimes the mental break is more valuable than the legs feeling slightly better on Tuesday.
IMO the pros/cons of that recovery ride will be more psychological than physiological. It won’t introduce much fatigue but I also don’t think it will do much to “flush out” your legs. But it might keep you from feeling ‘stale’ the next day. But some people will also see a mental benefit from just taking a day away from the bike and maybe going for a short walk or something else light.
So I think it’s kinda up to you and how doing or not doing the ride make you feel mentally.
After all this time doing a variety of plans and easy ride days, I’m finding at my age,50, on ssbmv1 taking three days off a week is doing me wonders.
I’m dropping the easy ride day for that additional rest day. Find my body far more prepared for the tough workouts, I push it a bit on those workout days, riding through rest intervals and doing a little extra etc to make up for extra day off.
Everyone is different, you’ll definitely find what works for you by experimenting!
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