How to speed up recovery from fatigue

I finished the 1500 km London-Edinburgh-London 9 days ago, had to stay off the bike completely until today due to saddle sores, and just went out on a group ride which I had to cut short because I was still very fatigued. That really surprised me because I’ve otherwise been feeling fine. So any tips for how to get back into the swing of things quickly? More protein is probably a good idea. What kinds of workouts are good? I should probably do a ramp test to adjust the targets on the turbo but I can’t face wrecking myself for a crappy test result. I’m vaguely thinking that short workouts with short but sharp-ish intervals might be good just to try to bring the power up again after a ton of z2 riding. But maybe it’s better to go with TRs usual recovery week programme but a bit extended?

There is no short cut, but you can definitely prolong your recovery by coming back to soon. This will also blunt your upcoming training if you come back fatigued.

Do not do a ramp test, you’re recovering.

Do not do “short sharp intervals”, you’re recovering.

Do not do group rides unless everyone in the group is out for a recovery ride.

Do light z1 - z2 rides sub 1 hour to spin the legs. When you think you’re recovered, give it one more day.



Not a good idea to bring even more fatigue.

Focus on lots of food and protein, and get proper proper sleep.

Anything from yard work etc is also fatiguing. So try to rest the body completely.


Thanks! I guess I’m nervous because last time I had a long break off the bike after a big event I lost so much power, so this time I want to balance detraining against recovery. I specifically dropped down to a slower group today because I wanted to take it easy, but after 90 mins all I wanted was just noodle home (and I did).


Everything everyone else said plus increase your sleep time


I dunno how much you usually ride, but 1,500km is roughly the distance I ride per month.

If you ride a similar amount then 9 days ago you did a month’s worth of riding in a very short period of time. I wouldn’t even look at doing anything other than z1/z2 for another two weeks


Get yourself a box set of videos and put your feet up for a few more days. Have a bit of lazy time.


Hmm I do about half that per month normally. I guess I’ve found it pretty easy to recover from 600 km rides so I thought a bit more than a week should do it and I’m feeling motivated to get going again (and there are some nice club rides coming up). But I suppose I have to be realistic and give it time.

Speaking from personal experience, all of the models based on training load are complete rubbish for recovering from a Grand Brevet. They say you’re “fresh” or have good “form” within days.

Btw, the good news is that the more of the multi-day rides you do, the faster you recover from them. So the obvious solution for you is to sign up for some more long rides, especially while you have the massive fitness gains (and mental gains) this year.


Sleep, sleep, sleep


I don’t think there is any way to speed it up. Just be patient with yourself and treat your body with respect. A 1,500 km effort is massive, and you should schedule adequate recovery.

Stick to recovery rides and very easy Z2. Reduce volume to what feels like almost nothing. It is also ok to take a week or so off the bike completely.

Recovery rides are called recovery rides for a reason: the primary purpose should be to improve blood flow to your muscles, which helps with recovery. Keep them to 1 hour or less and see how long it takes you to get back to some level of normalcy. I wouldn’t be surprised if you need two weeks to recover.

Definitely do not do any sharp efforts. Do not do long and/or hard Z2 rides — you just did 1,500 km of Z2, that should stimulate plenty of adaptations :wink:


I’ll echo what others have said here.

Just to add, please note that a recovery ride might mean significantly less work than any of the easier Trainerroad workouts.

As you’ve been off the bike for 10 days now, in the next few days I would try a couple of very light spins starting at maybe 30% FTP (barely pushing the pedals) working up to maybe 50% at most. Keep it under an hour too.

From there I’d ease back into the “intensity”, working up to normal Z2-ish rides.

Don’t worry about losing fitness, esp. after the giant stimulus you’ve just delivered to your body. Anything you might lose from over-recovering is easily gained back when you’re fully back at it!


Quoted for truth.


I did a 1200km event at the end of June as a B event on my training plan and then carried on with my adaptive training plan to prepare for LEL in early August as my A event. Adaptive training did a good job of taking the stress from the first event into account. So it is possible to avoid some of that fatigue and keep training.
This length of event exists outside the norm of what I suspect sports science concentrates on, so I’ll take all the advice about carbohydrate consumption but also try to ensure I ride with an eye to recovery. In practice this means taking real food and protein or recovery shakes in the controls, avoiding “burning matches” and taking time for a shower or sleep.
I agree with two points made above; the events don’t get easier but recovery does get easier with experience and I also want to avoid the experience from the past where I have taken a long time off the bike after a >1000km event and seen the loss of FTP.

I can report that my legs feel almost back to normal now. Went for a Z2 group ride and I didn’t have to go home! Going to try a paceline session on Thursday, to see how that feels. I also realised that I was somehow mentally impaired for the first few days. I met a friend in the pub the day after I got home and realised when I saw him again yesterday that I could barely remember what I’d said to him because I was suprised at some of the things he knew. :laughing:


I know. I know! I’ve been looking at Sweden’s Midsummer 1200 or Ireland’s Mile Failte 1200. It’s like a drug.