I Made a Mistake, and Undervalued Recovery

I wanted to share an experience I’ve had over the last few weeks, in case someone else needs something more concrete than “recovery is important, take it seriously” as a nudge to take more recovery than is prescribed in the plan.

I really only started consistently doing structured training around December, 2019. I’ve been feeling really good about sticking to the plan, not burying myself in any one workout to the detriment of the rest of the week/block, and seeing consistent improvements along the way.

After a ramp test that saw a 3% decline in FTP, and failure to complete the other 2 workouts that week, I decided to take the second week (of four, LV Build) completely off. No structured training, no going to “play bikes” with friends, nothing. I finished the third week, followed by the recovery week, exactly as prescribed, resigned to likely not seeing an appreciable increase in FTP, but feeling good that I was able to recognize when I needed a more recovery than was planned.

Ramp test was this Tuesday (4/28), I went into it with a “do your best, the result will be what it will be” attitude, and saw a 7% increase. After what was effectively 1 week of good training in the previous block.

I’m not taking this as a sign to plan more recovery weeks that what’s prescribed, but it definitely gave me a bit wake-up to the importance of recognizing when I need a little more than what is prescribed, and taking it. It felt so counterintuitive, but the results spoke for themselves. It reminded me a lot of when I realized that I needed to eat more to lose weight. My brain struggled with the concept, but I could trust the data that came out the other side.

Lesson learned, though I’ll probably reach a point again where I’ve underestimated the amount of recovery I need, my analyst brain will be much better equipped to actually take the amount of recovery I need.