Recovery Time After Relative Big Efforts

I’m on the low volume XC Marathon plan. I’m using the weekends for longer rides and ‘B’ races as my ‘A’ event in September will be between 5-6 hours. I’m wondering if I’m overdoing though. Two weeks ago I did a 5.5 hour ride that had a TSS 342 which emptied the tank. This past Sunday I cut back and did 4 hours with a TSS 283. I felt good at the end of the ride but still took Monday off. Both rides were fueled with 80+g of carbs/hr. However today is Tuesday, I’m scheduled for V02 but am wiped: more so than yesterday. I need to do longer rides on the weekends but need to recover in time to do my TR workouts any thoughts on how?


Like you, for whatever reason fatigue seems to hit me harder two days after the big effort as well. Just my opinion here… You’re doing a marathon event so the long ride should be the priority in your training. Push the workout to Wednesday & Friday, long rides on Sunday. Other days are endurance/recover/rest as needed. Drop the third workout… since you are struggling to recover, you don’t need it.


I would suggest doing your long rides on Saturday vs. Sunday…this will give you some extra recovery time before the Tuesday hammerfest.

Also, you don’t have to do a 4-5 hour ride every week…try alternating weeks and doing a “long-ish” ride of 3 hours on alternate weeks.


A 4 hour ride with a TSS of 283 comes down to an Intensity Factor of 0.84, which is huge for such a long ride. (But possibly inflated because of it being a lot of very short burst efforts?)

I’d definitely move the scheduled VO2Max workout and take some more recovery.

Good point. We get hung up in the 7 day week but sometimes 10 days cycles (or longer) might just work better!


5-6 hours event is not ridiculous. You should be able to get away with (maybe do better?) with 4 hr long rides. And yes, not needed every weekend. Prioritize the structure during the week.

I’m often trying for multiday stuff, so two back to back long weekend rides are normal for me in the latter phase of training. But if doing a long hard weekend, a Tues hard VO2 workout is out of the question. Especially after a 400 TSS ride, you need almost 2 days to recover, especially if over 40.

+1 on the idea to move the hard workout to Wed/Fri. Do Z2 or completely rest or just do yoga/mobility work. This is the way.

From the introduction of the NP and TSS 20 y ago:

" While individuals will tend to differ in how much training they can tolerate, depending on their training background, natural abilities, etc., the following scale can be used as an approximate guide:

  • TSS less than 150 – low (recovery generally complete by following day)
  • 150-300 – medium (some residual fatigue may be present the next day, but gone by 2nd day)
  • 300-450 – high (some residual fatigue may be present even after 2 days)
  • Greater than 450 – very high (residual fatigue lasting several days likely)"

Of course, the more you train, the more you can train (which is a PPP), and TSB is an even better guide than the above.


Its pretty typical for me to feel pretty sluggish on the tuesday after a big weekend, often worse than monday. Usually, im good to go on a workout and feel better after riding than before…just need to get out the door. Now if you legs are super heavy or if youre super fatigued, you may want to bump the wo back a day so you can get a quality wo in.

You don’t need to be doing weekly event length rides in mid-June for an event that is in September. Especially if you don’t think you’re recovering enough to do your next workout. Cut it down to three hours except for the ride just before your recovery week. So…once every 3 or 4 weekends do a LONG long ride leading into a recovery week…something like that.

Ok, @MarkM13, I just looked at your calendar, and, HOLY SHNIKEES, no wonder you’re feeling a little tired after your weekend long rides. 5 hours at IF 0.84 and 4 hours at IF 0.92. Four hours @ 0.92 intensity factor? How can even you do that? Yikes.

Of course, opinions can vary, but my opinion is that you should dial back the weekend rides.

This stuff is so individual that I think it really comes down to trial and error and experience. Nobody knows how you feel, but that sounds like a lot of stress without enough recovery. You might also do a sanity check on your FTP. 4 hours at .92IF would indicate that your sandbagging your FTP by a good bit. Is that from an AI FTP estimate or test of some kind? I have found that AI FTP will pick up on my hard 4-5 hour efforts and will typically suggest an FTP about 1.15x the normalized 4 hour power (which make the effort about .85IF).

I’m 50+ and I respond well to big days and big recovery (if that makes sense). When training hard, my saturdays are typically 5+ hours and 300+TSS, but I’ll take Sunday and Monday completely off the bike. I make Tues/Thurs my interval days and those take priority over everything else. Proper recovery and I won’t do anything the rest of the week that reduces the quality of those workouts. That typically means skipping the fun local hilly group ride Wednesday night in favor of a short Z2 ride. For Saturday, I’ll allow myself some fun group ride “junk” miles and get my quality work in by riding a couple hours prior and also home from the ride. As I get closer to my event, I’ll typically switch to solo Saturday’s to better mimic my event.

this ^^^

yes, something like that.

@MarkM13 this is out of the FasCat playbook, something like making it endurance pace and ending up around .7 to .8 IF, and weekend1 you might do 175TSS (about 3.5-4 hours), and then weekend2 is 200TSS, then weekend3 is 225TSS. Again its individual and depends on other riding you are doing.

Wow!! Lots of thoughtful suggestions; thanks.
The area I ride in is constantly up and down with lots of 14% grades. Often getting up them requires annerobic power outputs no matter what.

I too have been wondering if my FTP is too low. I used AIFTP two weeks ago. I think I’ll do a ramp test after the next week.

Thanks again,


What gearing are you running?

33x33 on Sunday, one of a couple 20% for 20-second climbs in Folsom…

I’d recommend at least two days of recovery after a such long and hard workout. Even on Wednesday I wouldn’t be surprised if you’d have to make the workout a bit easier. Basically, in this case long and hard efforts are the most event-specific workouts and the rest of the week should be filled with recovery amd maintenance work.

34x28 on a 10 spd 2012 SRAM Red drivetrain.

It’s as low as I can go on this setup. Although I’m tempted to see if the derailure will take a 32