Progression Level Drop over Rest Week

Had a look around and couldn’t quite find the answer I was looking for. That, or I don’t have the vocab to find the answer properly.

I have found the decline in progression levels during my rest week pretty steep. Here’s the difference are after 6 days of endurance rides



Is this normal?



That’s how periodized training works: you stimulate your body for several weeks (typically 3 or so) and then you have a rest week. Rest week is when a lot of adaptations happen, i. e. when you actually get stronger since your body has time and energy to repair the damage you did to it and build up everything stronger than before. If you don’t include periodic rest weeks, your body will eventually burn out.

So yes, you will lose a bit of fitness at the top end, but you will be fresher, i. e. your power bar at the very, very top will be a tiny bit smaller, but your life bar much, much longer. For rest weeks or tapers this is a net positive for the athlete.


Thanks @OreoCookie, I appreciate the time you took to help out :slight_smile:

I’ve been training with TR for 4 or so years, so I’m pretty across the point of a rest week. I was more curious about the relatively steep drop in progression levels in 6 days: 1.5 for Vo2, and 1.2 for Anaerobic. I also get that the higher end of thew power curve will drop faster, but this still seems pretty exaggerated to me. But maybe not!?

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I don’t have enough experience with AT to know. I haven’t even completed an entire season with it yet.

PL drops are certainly a thing TR seems to be tweaking. I found their drops to be very much on the conservative end (i. e. AT will drop PLs much more than necessary for me and my physiology).

If you are sure AT is too conservative, just use a harder alternate workout and see how things go. Keep in mind that this isn’t just about whether you can finish a single workout, but it is about the fatigue you accumulate over a week or several weeks. I was a bit too ambitious in this respect in my last cycle, where I found that two hard VO2max sessions were the limit for my body at the current time.

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If you think about the CTL model instead of AT, think about how much your CTL drops with a week off. I think this is just the same pattern.

By the way, if you’re interested, there was a great Fast Talk Podcast recently explaining why people shouldn’t chase CTL at the expense of recovery and time for adaptation, and how athletes perform better regardless of that drop.