How long should it take to recover?

35y/o male - I’ve been doing structured training using TR in off season, this is my second season. On season mostly mountain bike with some road/gravel usually 150-250mi/wk depending on what terrain dominates. About 3+ months in this training season - started with LV general base bc I had not ridden a whole lot this fall due to life, then LV general build, now about 1wk into mid volume specialty build - marathon XC. So far I’ve increased my AI FTP 189 (2.8 w/kg) → 212 (3.1 w/kg) this season, with a recent FTP bump from 205 to 212 two weeks ago. At this point, the plan is:

M: Rest
T: VO2 (1hr)
W: Endurance (1hr)
Th: VO2 (1hr)
F: Sweet spot (1:30)
Sa/Sun: 1x Endurance (2hr), day varies

Depending on weekend plans I’ll swap the Fri & weekend ride for 2 days of some combination of outdoors on the fatbike or ski touring. Weekly TSS is ~250-300 on the plan, if I do a bigger ride on the weekend with TSS estimates (no power) it might be 400-600 total for the week. This equates to 3+hr/25-30mi on the fatbike.

Sometimes when Tues rolls around I am just totally smoked. This last week following one day of touring & a day of downhill skiing over the weekend I did the Tues workout but it felt very hard. Did the endurance workout Wed. Thurs just couldn’t hang & dropped after 15 mins & subbed 30min endurance. Fri did a lower sweet spot workout & still felt not 100%. This has happened a couple times where I maybe got a little overzealous over the weekend and it seems to take about a week or so to get back to normal.

My question - Is this expected? It feels long to me to get back to baseline, am I overtraining? Is this productive or counterproductive? I get decent sleep, 7-8hr/night and wouldn’t say this period in my life is particularly stressful. My suspicion is that I am possibly undereating/underfueling. I probably am in the 2500-3500 cal/day range, plant based, mostly whole foods - but am not tracking in any real meaningful way. I’ll usually do 200cal of tailwind per hour during a hard ride + a recovery bev for another 200 after. Thanks for any advice or shared experiences.

edit: also worth noting that all excercise and training is at 9000-12000ft elevation, indoor training 10k

More slow carbs has really helped in my recovery - extra bowls of brown rice, oatmeal, etc.

Still, you did two long days of skiing back to back. Of course, you are shattered and not ready for your Tuesday workout.

Think about it this way - what if you did two 5 hour back to back days on the bike and then didn’t ride the rest of the week. It would not be a great training plan and it would take more than 2 days to recovery from 10 hours of cycling.

That said, enjoy your winter life! But maybe it’s not compatible with multiple interval sessions per week?

1 Like

Being plant based and doing endurance training have you checked your iron levels? Iron deficiency can greatly impact recovery.
And yes also increase carb intake.

Haven’t checked iron levels for a few months but they were fine then. I do take an iron supplement and multivitamin every few days to cover B12 as well just in case.

It’s a good point about the volume, maybe I just need to find a balance when I know I will have a more physically demanding weekend outside. I will also try increasing carb intake.

1 Like

How much are you eating and drinking during you long / hard weekend activities? If not enough, your extended need for recovery could be because you got yourself into a nutrition hole

I try to do around 200-300 liquid cal/hr and then sometimes an additional 150-200 solid calories every 1:30-2. There is definitely no science involved here though.

There’s a specific meaning to the term “overtraining”, but yea, it looks like you’re doing too much.

Go back to LV. Doesn’t make a whole lot of sense to do Base and Build in LV and then jump to MV for Specialty. The former are supposed to prepare you for the latter.

Use liquid calories on the bike and eat to satiety. Anything beyond that isn’t really sustainable long term.