How long to take off after a long race?

I mainly focus on multi day events with minimal sleep, 250-500+ miles. I just finished a race about 2 weeks ago at this point. Feeling pretty good but still tired. These events are deeply taxing.

Any info on how long to take off before starting my next training block? In the past Ive just gone off of feel after events like this but sometimes that can extend too long and I lose significant fitness. Anyway, appreciate feedback.

There’s a few options, all with their own pros and cons, with the usual caveat that everyone is different etc etc. And just to clarify, have you been riding between now and the end of your event 2 weeks ago? How often do you ride events like this? Details like age and training history might help people advise you more accurately too.

  1. If you use strava then the fitness chart on might be useful. If you find yourself in the red after the event then you can use the chart to plan when/how you start riding again.

  2. You could track a metric like heart rate, or heart rate variability that will give you a glimpse in to how your body is dealing with the stress of recovering from the event.

I don’t think it’s something or CTL can measure. Generally because it doesn’t account for sleep deprivation and the mental focus it takes to complete something hundreds of miles and multiple days.

I’ll generally allow 10-14 days before resuming riding, and then ease back into it. Usually won’t have much motivation for more than that anyways, even if the body’s okay. So start with some short easy spins, short gym sessions doing accessory exercises, then longer endurance rides with a fun effort here or there, and then resume intervals when the motivation is there for them. Also gotta accept that you’ll lose short term fitness doing these things, but can also get a nice fitness bump about a month later in my experience.

With that said, I’ve had events where I felt like I was in a sick daze for 2+ weeks because there was so much fatigue…and then started to feel like myself about a month after the event. It’s crazy how much time it can take.

Eat and sleep and enjoy some time off the bike doing other stuff and get back to training when you can. The fitness will come back around quickly.


In b4 someone says ‘adaptive training will know what to do’. - it won’t, BTW.

I’d agree with two weeks off training, then resuming with easy aerobic rides and seeing how things feel before dropping in any intervals.

This is one of the reasons I’m cutting down on audax rides - you end up riding more than anyone you know but getting slower!

Thanks for the replies. Timon, I know youve been deep in the fatigue hole a time or two!

Done a few rides, been feeling pretty unmotivated. Will start ramping back up soon.

Wait till this changes, then take one more day.