Do I need a rest week?


Since November last year, I’ve been enrolled in the Masters High Volume Plan, and I’ve been incredibly satisfied with the progress I’ve made. My very first race is scheduled for April 21st, and my Speciality Phase is set to commence on April 1st. Although I’m supposed to have a rest week next week, I’m feeling surprisingly energetic and not fatigued at all. Do I really need to take a rest week, or would it be alright to skip it and jump straight into the Speciality Phase instead?
Any feedback is much appreciated, thanks!

There’s hundreds of threads on the topic but the short answer is yes, if you want to adapt to the optimum. You break your body in hard training, even if you are not feeling broken, then in a rest week its builds back stronger. By skipping a rest week you’ll improve to a point but you won’t be able to improve to the optimum as your not giving your body the chance to build back strongly.


Thanks for the reply, I will trust the process. Let’s hope it all works out for me.


Edit: Ignore everything I wrote down below and take the scheduled rest!

I know @HLaB has already answered and gotten the “Trainerroad approved” checkmark, but to be honest, the full rest weeks are sometimes more appropriate to non-Masters plans imho. Also sorta depends on how “Masters” you are. :slight_smile:

In the Masters plan, you’re only doing two hard days per week. There is a lot of rest and Zone 2 endurance work in your schedule already. If you’re feeling fresh and crushing all your assigned workouts, you may not need a full rest week.

Instead you may just need a slightly lower TSS / load of a week as is discussed in all the block training articles out in the wild. Personally, I usually just do an “achievable” workout and let myself have a fuller rest only after doing something off-plan and truly exhausting on the weekend with friends. (Yes, a bit plan sabotaging, but some of us ride bikes to have fun too.)


I think some people would take the rest and others would push through. IMO, the key is that pushing through COULD have negative consequences that lead to problems prior to or on your race day. Taking the rest COULD have negative consequences in that you’ll lose a minor improvement, but if I had to choose between those two risks, I’d take the “recover and be fresh” option.


Are you going to taper for the race? If you take a recovery week next week, ten you have three weeks to train and one week to taper. It works out perfectly.


When in doubt, it’s a good idea to err on the side of recovery. But it’s also good to experiment and see how your body reacts. If you are feeling particularly fresh and strong at the end of a block, pushing a single recovery week is probably not going to put you into a bad place (and may actually be beneficial as long as recovery comes soon thereafter). Trying these kind of things can help you learn how your body reacts and you may find things that work well for you, but it comes with risk of setbacks. Before skipping (or pushing) an entire recovery week, I’d suggest trying a reduced recovery week and see how that goes. Some of this is also dependent on where your events fall and what the priority is for those events. I’ve learned that my body responds well to a big “surge” block about a month before my “A” events. Sometimes that means just piling extra stress into the final week of a scheduled block, sometimes that means doing 4 weeks “on” rather than 3 (pushing recovery out a week). Either way, extra recovery is planned after the big block to absorb all that stress. The standard TR plans are solid and safe, but shouldn’t be followed blindly (in my opinion) if you are trying to optimize your training long term. I’d tell a person just starting out to just follow the plans, but at some point it’s worth tweaking/experimenting as you get experience. TR gives you lots of tools to make adjustments and try new things, experimentation is critical to learning how all this stuff works. Don’t be afraid to break some eggs in the short term, failure and setbacks are critical to optimizing long term results.

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One more option is to take your rest week, but on Sat and Sun of that week go back to zone 2 volume. So essentially, you’ve got a 5 day rest week. I find this to be plenty.


Yeah, thats exactly how its structured!

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I added the calendar for reference, I may just extend the time of the endurance rides and refrain from doing any efforts.
What a great community, thanks so much for all the responses!


I feel ya… I have been there. But if it is working why tinker so close to the race?


You’re right…

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I definitely have to agree with @HLaB, @John_Koch, and @Jolyzara on this one.

Recovery is a critical piece of the training puzzle, and if you want to sustainably get faster, training periodization is the way to go!

The fact that you’re feeling good right now is a really good sign for your upcoming event! It’s still four weeks away though, and pushing through your recovery week when your body is supposed to be using its energy to adapt to all of the stress you’ve accumulated over the past three weeks isn’t going to pay off down the road.

You’ll need a rest week before your event, and we’d argue that the best time for it is now. That way you’ll still have three weeks of specialty training to sharpen your fitness before your A race. :crossed_swords:

Good luck! :crossed_fingers: :four_leaf_clover: