Experiences coming off a rest week

So this past week I took some rest. Didn’t stay off the bike completely but just some easy 1 hr spins and some complete days off. In the span of about 5-6 days only rode 4.5 hrs.
So just some back drop heading into rest week, had been riding any where between 9-13 hrs weekly during the prior 4 weeks. The week before my rest week my legs and wind felt good but I just wasn’t eager to push it during some group rides but if I had to, I had the legs. So Figured it was time for a little rest.
today went on a fast group ride and just felt like dog poo!! I was able to finish with the front group but just felt a lot harder than previous times.
I have heard people say coming off of a rest week, that it can be normal the first week or first couple of rides to feel like this. Maybe I could have progressively got back into the swing of things instead of jumping right into a fast ride?
My other thought is, is it possible I needed more rest?
Any ways just thinking out loud. I am only in my 2nd year of cycling and still learning a lot. At midway through this season I have almost doubled the amount I rode last year so learning a lot of different things this go around.
Thanks for any thoughts!!


I wouldn’t worry too much about it. There have times after a rest week where I’ve felt both good and bad during that first workout/ride back.

As for making your first ride after a rest week a fast group ride, again I say don’t worry about it. If you look at the plans, the first workout back from a rest week is tends to be on rhe harder side once you’re out of sweet spot base 1.

I just came off a recovery week of light easy spinning, and went for a long ride on Saturday with some friends and felt alright after a couple vo2 max -> recovery intervals.

I find I need to remind my legs what it’s like to work.

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Everyone’s body responds to recovery differently. Your two theories could both be correct but until you’ve played around with it and seen how you personally deal with the downtime it is hard to say

Without looking at your training history (both long and short term) it is hard to even hazard a best guess

I always feel worse the first 2-3 rides after a good rest, but come the 2nd week, im flying!

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I’ve just come off a rest week after finishing SSBLV2. My rest week TSS was half that of the previous week and I feel great. I did a ramp test a couple of days ago (beginning of SPBLV) and added 10w to my ftp, followed a few hours later by a fast solo ride outside for 2 hours.

I’ve had this. I’ve recently started doing Thursday night road races and they are monstrously hard. A few weeks i’d try and have an easier few days beforehand or even a day off and i am sure i’d suffer more. Then i realised this was happening and so I tried an hour of sweetspot workout the morning of the race and I am sure it acted as a primer and got the old juices flowing. I was MUCH better at the following races if i hadn’t rested for days.

completely normal to not feel well after rest. Try on Mon and Fri to do 5 x 30s @ 110-120% ftp just to keep the legs alive. Full on rest will really make you lethargic.

Progressively getting back into it is the best idea where you dictate the pace. I usually have athletes do a “rest Week revamp”: no major structure today, but get body moving after the rest week.
Do 4-5, short hard efforts, around 30-60s.
Aim for 10m of 100% FTP (this might suck and not be feasible, just depends how your body reacts…don’t worry if you aren’t crushing it).
Cruise at the high end of endurance the remainder of the ride



My legs usually feel pretty blocked the first day back from a rest week. I know that now, so I’m not freaked about them feeling this way. It’s early in your cycling “career” so you’re still learning how your body handles things. I echo what Brendan said; open the throttle a bit and then things should start to feel normal again. In the past, I’ve undereaten during a recovery week, particularly CHOs, and muscle glycogen was low at the start of the first week back. It could be that you’ve neglected your nutrition too. Check out Brendan’s blog on eating CHOs; great info.

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Great responses everyone. I’m so glad to hear it’s not unusual.

My training has been going well this year (and me closing in on the big 6-0). VO2max and threshold workouts prior to my rest week were all completed at 2-3% above target, usually a sure sign that I’m ready to move up. I took good care of myself during rest week – just a few easy spins and one ~90-minute jaunt to enjoy the scenery. I went out this morning feeling my oats …and couldn’t manage a single good interval. Heart rate was a bit high, too. I scrubbed my planned workout and turned it into a fun ride instead.

I’ve learned to treat these days as anomalies, but right after a rest week it was disappointing and a bit surprising,

Thanks for all the replies fellas. Its been a quite a few weeks since I posted about my rest week experience but just wanted to follow up.
So first couple of outings after that rest week were tough but after that i noticed the improvement. Fast forward to now I have been able to reach levels of fitness I havent seen before. So definitely noted on the different experiences people can have coming off of rest. Take home is don’t freak out over anything coming off rest :slight_smile: