Recovery week- feeling tired

I have completed sweet spot base 2- low volume and currently on the last day of the recovery week. I followed Hunter Allen’s advice on recovery week which is to take 3 days off the bike. My TSS for each week during SSB low volume 2 is 547,579,679,685 and 743 respectively and the TSS for the recovery week is 187. I started the recovery week with 2 days off the bike and I started to feel fresh initially but then I started to feel tired overall. For instance, today I did a 1 hour zwift group ride(B pace) and my average heartrate was 131bpm. My HR during zone 2 and tempo today was mostly around 125- 140 overall when it usually was between 130 and 150bpm. I really felt like closing my eyes during the ride.
FYI, my max HR is 206bpm.

Comparing my recovery week after SSB LV 1, it was 8 hours long and had a TSS of 328. I didn’t feel this tired during the recovery week last time.

Is it ok to feel this tired during a recovery week? I sleep 8 to 10 hours, don’t drink alcohol and only have a treat meal once a week(even during recovery weeks). In today’s ride, my HR at zone 2 has reduced. Is it because am I tired?

Edit: I felt more fresh during the last week of SSB LV 2 compared to the recovery week and I get on the bike 6 times a week(except this recovery week) and have one rest day

Super common. Your body is trying to recover from the prior weeks of stress.


Very much normal.

The more consecutive days of training you have, the worse you’re going to feel on your day off.
Just embrace and roll with it. :slight_smile:


Reduced HR in zone 2 could mean you are recovering and getting ‘stronger’. I guess you’ll find out when you next take a FTP test.

I usually feel worse during a recovery week than I do during the last week or two of a training block. When I actually get rest and recovery all the aches and tiredness becomes more noticeable. Then I go and smash a FTP test and see the benefits of recovery.

Beat to the submit, doh!


Thanks guys! I am glad to hear that this is normal. Can’t say for sure that I am getting fitter without testing as Craig said but I don’t feel this tired during a day off in any of the loading weeks.

What they said. Also check what you are eating. Don’t over eat on rest week.

740 TSS on SSB LV???

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Not quite. A rest week is where you let your mind and body recover. That includes eating foods that make you feel good. There is absolutely nothing wrong with overeating during the rest week, particularly if you have a hard block coming up.

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Yeah that’s one philosophy. The old school rule was that you ‘blocked’. The rational was that your energy systems are too busy managing and storing the extra calories and consequently the recovery is inhibited. Seen bro science on both. Real science seems equivocal and depends on the macro splits and deltas. But eating for a 700tss week on 150tss one will kill ya either way.

Even if (hypothetically of course) ate 700tss of food, how would that kill you ?

If you’re in a Build phase, where you’re mentally depleted, restricting yourself on the amount of food is the last thing you want to be doing.

Naturally, I am not talking about the diet and a lifestyle of your typical slob, but letting yourself loose for one week is not going to have a detrimental effect.

“Eat, sleep, have beer or 5 and chill. I’ll speak to you next Monday.”

Not talking about restricting calories. Just not exceeding by much. I have gone into many an A race with good training and a good taper. Only to have heavy legs. Old boys I talked to about this all said the same thing. I over ate on the taper. Sure old school stuff was sometimes nonsensical, sometimes not.

It is normal - it takes until Friday before I feel fresh - that said I would never take 3 days off the bike especially if your TSS is up in the 600-700 TSS (although how you get that off LV unless you have done lots of outdoor riding I don’t know) as the drop in TSS to less than 200 is extreme. Also the rides should be zone 2/active recovery so I wouldn’t jump into any Zwift groups where there may be the temptation to push it - I do workouts like Pettit, Baxter, Andrews etc - all the prescribed endurance ones or just go outside in the sunshine if the weather is good and cruise round in the small chainring at less than 120bpm

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We’re definitely not talking about taper here, just a regular rest week. :slight_smile:

Same idea: You under recover due to poor nutrition management. The analogy that was bandied about was flooding the carburetor. If anyone still uses those…??
750 to 190 is a big swing.

Works for me but we all have to find our own way. I always track intake on rest and taper more rigorously now. With focus on protein intake. YMMV.

Well the OP doesn’t drink… a rest week where he is already feeling peaky sounds like the perfect place to start!

The TSS for SSBLV2 week 5 is only 291, so you’re definitely supplementing low volume with a ton of additional intensity, making it an upper mid-volume plan. Perhaps you need to supplement your your recovery week if you have shown you can sustain a challenging mid-volume plan. Otherwise, if you are over-reaching with the additional intensity, perhaps you need to dial back the extra rides.

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Yes, 700+ TSS on a low volume plan. I do a lot of group rides(on zwift obviously) including a 4 hour weekend endurance ride(indoors with a virtual group). Sometimes I ride on the nearby rails to trails with my mountain bike. I use the same power meter (vector 3s) on my mountain bike so I can keep track of my wattage. I also haven’t restricted calories in my recovery week and I don’t count calories at all. I just make sure that I eat healthy for the most part. I usually eat sole or cod and a lot of eggs so that should contribute to my protein intake.

I tried high volume plans before and I couldn’t stick to it. I then started to loose motivation. I chose low volume plans because I can easily stick to them while enjoying the social aspect of cycling(group rides) on top of that. I remember that it was talked in the podcast saying that “the best training plan is the one which you can stick to consistently”.

@russell.r.sage yes I am adding a lot of endurance rides. I genuinely enjoy group rides and I join group rides which suit my pace. I rarely join fast paced group rides. Shouldn’t a recovery week be a drastic decline in volume and intensity? Why should I supplement my recovery week with additional volume?

Coming to my ramp test results,

At the start of SSB LV 2 - 293W
Now, at the start of General Build LV - 286W. I did completely empty the tank. My last effort was 1 minute @ 398w. I heard that fitness progression is never linear but I do notice improvements in other areas. After base training I am able to ride at tempo and upper zone 2 for a pretty long time. My heart rate is also lower during upper tempo and sweetspot which is a big difference and makes me last longer on those climbs.

:ok_hand:t2: On the protein. Check your calendar then. When I lost it a few months back I went back through my calendar and it became obvious I had overcooked my previous recovery periods. So I had never really dumped the fatigue. I was either recovery riding at too high intensities or I ploughed through the week with too many endurance rides. Sounds like your schedule may be open to the same sort of thing.

Haven’t really done a lot of riding in my recovery week. I took 3 days off. Anyways I am ok with 286W for now and will see if the upcoming workouts are challenging.

Anyone else think this final week of a plan being called “recovery week” is a complete misnomer? It’s a week of endurance riding, recovery for me is Lazy Mountain -1 and similar or days off.
I accept you are recovering from a final hard week of a plan but it sure isn’t recovery in the true sense.

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Well, most recovery weeks are set about half the TSS from the prior week. The workouts may not be official Recovery level from a power Zone perspective, but the load reduction is significant in most plans.

And contrary to common expectations, we often feel quite bad during some or all of the recovery week (covered in several posts). It’s not necessarily because of the Endurance level workouts, but more from the fact that our bodies are attempting to absorb the strain from the prior Work weeks and adapt during this lower load week.