Question about recovery weeks

Would there be any drawbacks if I replaced Z2 workouts like Petitt in a recovery week with something like tempo? I have the feeling that these very easy “workouts” do nothing for me and that I could just as well sit on the couch… In fact I did a two hour tempo ride a few weeks ago and it felt very easy, like maybe a 3 or 4 on a scale of 1 to 10. Now of course, it’s a recovery week for a reason, so I would definately do no intensity (sweet spot or above) for that week, but do you reckon it would be OK to replace Z2 with low IF tempo workouts, without defying the purpose of recovery weeks? Or should I just stick with the plan?

My short answer, stick to the plan.


My personal experience, for what it’s worth is:

  1. Replacing z2 work with tempo defeats the purpose of a rest week. A small amount of tempo or higher work is fine though. I’ll often do a short Zwift race (<30min) on my rest weeks.

  2. Z2 work during a rest week accomplishes more than doing nothing. It keeps you looser and you feel less sluggish when you come back.

Basically, the goal is to let your body recover for a few days to catch up on healing from your recent training load, while still doing some work to maintain the adaptations you’ve already made.


I feel the same, but unlike you, I choose the couch this time :joy: I have to say though, my legs started to feel a bit weird after a few days. So a bit of riding does seem beneficial for sure. Bit of tempo is propably fine too, if you don’t go overboard. I guess really only one way to find out :man_shrugging:

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No science to back this up here, but I’d rather use the +1 versions of some of the aerobic rides that have the 15 second sprints in there, just to keep those fast twitch fibers sharp. Not sure what your goals are, but for my mtb and gravel goals, I like to keep those sprints handy.