Recovery Week Exhaustion?

While I’ve been “training” for a few years now, this is the first time I actually completely stuck to a training plan all the way through. I was very consistent with my workouts and apart from one minor illness which necessitated a slight change, the only other change I made was to do a ramp test mid way and increase my FTP significantly in accordance with the results.

In addition, I’ve been lifting heavily 3-4x a week with a focus on major compound lifts (clean and press, squat, deadlift, bench, etc). Typically 5x5 at greater than 85% on my major lifts.

I completed SSB 1 Mid Volume and I’m now in the middle of my recovery week. I haven’t lifted yet this week, I’ve done nothing at all but Pettit and skipped a 30 minute Taku today.

I feel like a train hit me. My legs are achey, I’m sleeping TONS, and yet I’m still exhausted. I’m not sick and my diet is pretty good. Work stress is neither more nor less than norm for me (relatively high all the time). Family stress is neither more nor less either. Is this normal for a “recovery week”? I expected I’d be tired going into it, but I feel like if I had pushed through and did a few more serious workouts I’d have put myself in a seriously dark hole. Am I just expecting too much recovery too quickly? Its only Tuesday but given that all I’ve done since Saturday is Pettit I am still feeling like I ran a marathon. What gives?

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Wow. SSB MV and you’re lifting 3-4x a week? That is just a ton of load on your legs.

I lifted 2x per week through SSB LV1 – squats, lunges, etc. – but had to stop it once I got to SSB LV2 and am doing some maintenance 1x per week. I just couldn’t take the load. My #1 priority was increased FTP, and priority #1A is weight loss/weight optimization, #2 was overall fitness – and my on bike workouts were suffering badly. I couldn’t keep the intensity up the more weeks I got into the lifting.

I’m 44 and not sure of your age, and don’t know your individual recovery needs – but that seems like a ton of training load on your legs…and sooner or later that bill is going to come due.

I don’t have much advice – I would just say that what you’re experiencing should not be unexpected. Also, ask you what your priorities are, and adjust accordingly. See how it is when you come of recovery week.

I am now jogging 2x a week and keeping up with my push-ups, pull-ups, core work – because whole body health is always important – and I can space the jogs out to the point that it doesn’t impact my on-bike work too much. But, I would doubt that many people on this board are combining the amount of weight lifting with the amount of cycling training you are doing.

Would love to hear how you continue to progress. Good luck!

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Often it takes until Thursday or Friday of a recovery week in the plans before I began to feel like I am on the upswing. I think part of it is physical and part of it is mental. You get a break and your mind finally tells your body it’s okay to feel tired versus telling your body to push thru one more week or one more workout. Go easy this week. Eat well. Sleep well. You will start to feel better and by Tuesday of next week, you will be ready to get back to work again.

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This is normal, just because you are not on the bike hard doesn’t mean your body is not adapting. Often I find “recovery” weeks the hardest in terms of toll that it takes on my body. You just come off the highest stress week of the plan which you have been working through (it sounds like) consistently. Your body is in need of rest and fuel.

I always find my hunger is increased and like you I end up worn out and sleeping a ton. takes the full work week before I even want to contemplate really getting on the bike with any sort of intensity. But usually by the following Sunday I am ready for ramp test.

TLDR: this is normal.


Thanks – I’ve trained myself into a hole before but I’ve never been truly consistent in following a structured plan. This is the first time for me, and while it could’ve been even better it was still fairly good in terms of adherence to plan and completion of workouts. My last workout was Galena +1 (the 3x20 Sweet Spot workout) and I just wanted to die afterwards. I finished it, but since then I’ve just been a wandering, acheing, eating zombie.