Recovery Week - How much?

Hello,

I am getting close to recovery week and I just started using intervals.icu to track my fatigue/fitness (Trying high volume and wanted to make sure I’m not overreaching). What kind of form should I be looking to achieve and hold over the recovery week? Should I try to become fresh (~10% form)?

I know that the plans were designed with recovery in mind. I just want to make sure Im fully recovered because this is my first time with this consistent volume.

Thanks,

Nathan

I think rest week will be highly personal. If it’s your first time with HV, why not stick to the plan, and if you’re not starting to feel better by say Thursday/Friday, then reduce workout length of the remaining workouts or take a couple days off completely.

I would definitely go by how you feel rather than having stats dictate things.

I remember listening to one of the ask a cycling coach podcasts where coach Chad does not recommend using any metrics to track your fatigue or form as they are not very accurate. What plans have you been following?

I’ve heard this on the podcast as well. Seems like it’s the only group that I’ve found saying this, wouldn’t mind hearing it from other coaches and why.

From my workout history in the base period, the first workout after an easy week I’m usually in the 0 to 10 range as far as TSB (fatigue) goes. In a period similar to a specialty phase my TSB will be a little higher, say 20 on the same day I mentioned. CTL (fitness) drops around 5 over the easy week in the base period but I don’t pay as much attention to that, kinda just is what it is.

Broadly speaking (non specific answer/advice):

If you’re following a prescribed training plan (from TR or anywhere really) I’d suggest following the plan. See how it treats you. You basically have no reason to adjust their recommendations at this point.

After you’ve finished the plan you should look back and see what adjustments you feel would help you in future plans.

Specific answer to your question

I target around 55-65% of TSS during a recovery week as that’s what works best for me. I also regularly do 2:1 work:recovery ratio on weeks instead of 3:1 or 4:1. Everyone is different, but that is my n=1 experience

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Yeah I’d just do the programmed recovery week and pay close attention to how you feel- at least then you have some experience to make changes later on if you feel it’s necessary. Hard to know how your body will respond to something if you haven’t done it yet, so you might as well start somewhere.

I find metrics for fatigue/form interesting from a curiosity standpoint, but they don’t tend to reflect how I recover or perform very accurately, so I don’t use them prescriptively.

I am a huge nerd and love metrics and data.

However, I switch that off mentally on my rest weeks.

For instance today I went on a bike ride as it is my rest week. I kept my phone and computer in my pocket and just rode nice and easy and got back home when I got back. I was going for an hour ride but ended up only doing 35 minutes. I smashed it really well the last block and found it more important to take a break from all my stats.

I plan on taking it easy until I feel like I’m ready to get back out there and smash another training block. I’ve been doing this more holistic approach to recovery weeks and I really feel it’s the way to go. I like to wait until I’m really ripping and rearing to go before worrying about metrics and what fatigue percentage to target.

That said, keep tracking everything and see how that amount of recovery worked for you when you analyze your training block.

(Again this is my opinion man) My primary concern is that these metrics are just moving averages or weighted moving averages. Your body is not a moving average. It doesn’t always respond as you are going to hope when using a modeling. You aren’t recovered… until you are recovered.

When you get bored of doing endurance only rides, then you know you’re about done and ready for some intensity.

For me, that was day six last recovery period. I was part way through Boarstone, bailed, and did my ramp test right then. Finished with Pettit to get my two hours in, and started my next base plan the next day.