I know it’s a topic that’s been beaten to death, but I wanted to re-open discussion on recovery weeks. Currently I’m finishing up week 5 of SSBHV2, and am considering making some alterations to the proposed recovery week next week. Here’s a rough example, which would inject a little more intensity in order to achieve approximately the same total TSS as the standard all-Z2 recovery week, only in slightly fewer hours. Essentially a closer approach to that one might take during a taper week by lowering volume but maintaining some intensity.
I seem to recall Pete mentioning on one of the recent podcasts that he has found through trial and error that he often needs to inject some kind of calculated intensity into recovery weeks, otherwise his legs don’t seem to come around until 1-2 weeks into the next block. My (limited) experience has been much the same. That 1-2 week period of riding back into your legs might be manageable in a 6 week base block, but seems less than ideal for a 4 week build block. I also recall that in the past Chad has mentioned that a full 7-8 days of light recovery is likely overkill for most, though obviously it’s better to err on the side of overdoing it when it comes to recovery.
As someone who is relatively new to structured training and cycling in general, I’m curious to know what has worked well and what hasn’t worked well for others who have played around with altering the standard recovery weeks. If you have found success this way, which workouts are your go-to for injecting some moderate intensity into a recovery week (i.e. what kind of IF have you found works best without overdoing it)? Of course when you boil it down, like many things bike related this is largely individual, and will depend on a plethora of factors (age, experience, whether you’re coming off a block of base/sweetspot vs VO2 work, etc.), and that’s not even touching on the need for a brake to recharge mentally as well.
For context, I finished SSBHV1 with a TSB of -11.8, and after the rest week following SSBHV1 I had drifted up close to 20 TSB. I have found I’m one of those people who feels best hovering around that 10 to -10 range. Should I try to target a TSB closer to that upper bound of 10 coming off the recovery week this time around? Just looking to find the sweetspot between reaping the adaptations that come with rest/recovery, while also ensuring that I’m keeping the legs fresh enough without the risk of overdoing it.