Feeling exhausted/burnt out just before a recovery week-what do I do for the next few days?

Hey all,
I’ve had a great few months of steady improvement in all areas. I’ve been adding some extra volume and intensity because there have been some great days outside and I wanted to get out.
I have a recovery week coming up next week and I was planning on taking a few days completely off to reset (since I was starting to feel tired last week). This week the wheels have come off the wagon and nothing has been going right. My last day of the block is Saturday and I was hoping to just push through the fatigue by sheer stubbornness, but that’s not really going well.
I’m wondering what the best way to approach the rest of the week might be given how I feel. My weekly TT series starts in 3-4 weeks (in April) but my major A race isn’t until July, which means I have some wiggle room when it comes to modifying my plans. That being said, I don’t really want to just bag the week early and have nearly 10 days of easy rides. On the other hand, I don’t want to start my recovery now and need to add intensity to a recovery week next week.
Anyone have any tips on how to navigate the rest of this week to not overtrain or over-recover (and take too big a step back before races)? Do prescribed workouts but at 90-95% intensity, do the same intensity but the short versions, just freeride…I’m just not sure.
I have had horrible allergies the past week and I just started a really tough class in grad school, so life stress has played a part in how I feel.

Easy answer: freeride endurance pace for the rest of the week on whatever bike you feel like for as long as you feel like until you are ready to rest.


Big picture, a few rides at the end of this week aren’t going to make a difference. The work has been done over the previous weeks/months. The best way to ruin that work is to dig a hole you can’t get out of. Rest for a few days, get some good food, get some good sleep. If you feel up to it maybe try one of the -1 or -2 versions of the workout. Otherwise, your A race is in July so it is more important that you hit your training from the end of March through July than the next two workouts. If skipping a few workouts lets you do that then it is worth it for the big picture.


Sometimes though it’s best to pull the plug a bit early. you’ll be better served to pull the plug early it sounds like. stevemz’s advice is much better than doing the hard last week workouts at 90% intensity.

The last week before a recovery week is where i’m at my lowest physically… then during the recovery week is typically the part of the month where I feel at my lowest mentally… Like i’m pretty depressed right now… and it’s day 4 of my recovery week… Last week I knocked out my hardest workouts in the block progression… but it wasn’t pleasant… It’s all connected to my writing my PhD thesis at the same time while tackling some difficult base block workouts this past month.

Physical stress is usually easier to handle than mental stress. My last hard workout of the block was supposed to be a long endurance ride… but bad things happened during the ride (bad traffic, 2 flats, then a broken spoke on my first outside ride) and I had to call it off. after only an hour of riding. all that bad luck actually made it my most stressful workout in the past 3 months.

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@isaac124 Yeah, I know what you mean. Pretty bad mood in general. You know how when you’re fresh or feeling fit you almost crave those really hard efforts? It’s the opposite now-just moving around feels irritating. And life stress only makes it worse. I will see if I feel like doing some mental refresh rides the rest of the week (get out to enjoy nature, not train) and see if that can’t carry me into the rest week feeling mentally a bit better.
@zo541 I agree that big picture is much more important, but I’m so hyper focused and OCD that it’s hard for me to not see the TSS ramping up each week and not feel like I’ve failed if it doesn’t. It’s hard to not feel like I need to absolutely shove the TSS and efforts into the week however I can. I think @stevemz is right about the happy rides, not workout rides. Thanks all!

Mindset needs to be that adaptation brings about improvements, not the training. So if you continue training when you are ‘in a hole’ as @zo541 says, you won’t benefit from it. Recover for a bit, get a bit of zip back and then go for it in your next block.