Group rides and recovery week

Hi all,

Group rides are back in full force in my area and I really want to join in. I haven’t been on a group ride in over a year and I’m desperately missing the social aspect of cycling. I have both my COVID shots and many of the people riding have also had their full vaccinations.

Unfortunately it’s my recovery week and I’m not sure if it’s a good idea to go on the group rides. On the flip side, it will rain all next week so I basically have this short 1 week window to be able to go out.

My TSS last week was 618 and, if I go on the three group rides this week, my TSS will be 480. 2 rides are relatively hard with regroups, 1 is easy pace. I know you generally want to keep your recovery week TSS under 50% of your work weeks, but I feel like I mentally need the outdoor group ride more than the physical recovery…or am I just lying to myself and digging a hole I won’t get out of? What would you do?

I think it depends on your fitness relative to those of others in the group. If you’re one of the fitter riders in the group, should be no problem.

The TSS comparison isn’t all that meaningful. Structured indoor TSS is much more taxing than outdoor.

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Do two of the rides, ride at the back and don’t take pulls. Let everyone know you are on a recovery week, so won’t be taking pulls.

Enjoy the rides…I’m still ~3 weeks out until I will join my local rides, but can’t wait to get back out there.

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I may only be able to do 2 of the rides anyhow, looks like the rain is creeping in on Saturday now :frowning:

Also, I’m still fairly new to group riding. Is it generally OK for someone to be on a group ride and not take pulls? Will people give you a hard time about just sitting on?

Agree with the others. Maybe try to do one of the harder ones but take it as easy as you can and then do the easier one. Could be a great mental refresh that could leave you feeling better than if you did the recovery week as scheduled.

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That’s a good point, very little coasting with indoor training while I’m coasting about 25% of the time outdoors. However, it’s the really sharp efforts that I’m worried about. I actually went on a group ride this Saturday in lieu of a workout and spent a total of 13 minutes in Z6 and 25% of the whole ride was Z4 or above.

Depends on the group and the nature of the ride, honestly, but I would think most would be OK with it. But if it is a hammerfest ride, then you may get a few side-eyes if you are sitting on the back.

But if you aren’t going to pull, then stay at the back. Nothing worse than the rider who comes part way up in the rotation and then doesn’t pull through.

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Yes, just thinking about sitting on the trainer for an hour of easy spinning drains me, especially when it’s forecasted to be sunny an 75+ this whole week!

Hahah, that was me on Saturday. I’m still learning about rotations and messed it up multiple times. Either I didn’t pull through fast enough or I pulled too hard for too long.

I’d be quite wary of going on harder group rides with the intent of not doing pulls unless you know the group and their etiquette reasonably well (and they know you). Some groups it would be fine. Some it would be accepted if it’s a group regular who’s known to everybody, but not accepted if it’s a new guy who just showed up. Some it’s never fine - they’re fast rides where you’re expected to go hard and contribute to the best of your ability, and if you’re on a recovery week then pick a different ride.

The fact that they have regroups indicates they’re tolerant of slower riders, but even that tolerance may have a limit - e.g. people often don’t mind waiting for somebody who is doing their best but just doesn’t have the fitness right now to keep up (we’ve all been there!), but may have an issue with waiting for somebody who could go harder but has decided not to because they’re having an easy day.

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“Being happy” should probably take precedent over “following the plan religiously like a monk”, particularly in these particular (Covid) circumstances where looking after our heads is even more important than usual. So be mindful of your plan, but don’t be ruled by it…

Go and ride your bike with your pals would be my suggestion, while perhaps trying to take it as easy as you’re able to per the other comments.

Consider perhaps pushing your plan out by a week, or if not possible due to target event timing maybe delete one of the weeks within it to make space so you can do your recovery next week.


Just go for it and just rearrange things to allow you to recover a little later.

After all this time there are more important things than following the plan, and I’d bet some social rides will be almost as refreshing as a few recovery days!