Recovery week seems so negative *added FTP post #43

I’ve followed TR workouts for over 2 years now and each time I come to a recovery week I pretty much ignore it. I do the prescribed workouts but try to make up for it on the other days by going hell for leather.

This time on the low volume build phase I’ve decided to try to actually do a recovery week.

I’ve followed the programme (not sure 60-65% FTP counts as recovery but I’m doing it) and I’m having days off and really slow 50% FTP rides.

Heres the rub… psychologically I feel terrible, lazy and low because I don’t feel productive. Weight creeps up by kgs in a week and another measure I like (Strava fitness score) is dropping off a cliff. All in all its miserable.

My question therefore is will this be helpful when I get back proper next week?


Those are normal sensations during a normal recovery week (feeling terrible etc).

However, if you are going hell for leather during the recovery week, then I’d say that’s not a recovery week, and perhaps you didn’t even need a recovery week in the first place. If you’re doing LV, then perhaps that’s no longer enough stimulus for you.


Yup same here, really struggling this week with my down time. Its normal and needed, I like how much more after it i feel for the next block come the weekend


I do 6 rides a week so add three extra to the Low volume. On my ‘own’ rides I do tend to do as fast as possible and give myself a lot of training stimulus. I don’t think I’d want to up to medium volume as that freedom would be taken away from me more.

Sounds like you’re riding hard about 6 days a week normally to maximise training stimulus, but without getting tired enough to need rest. That just doesn’t make sense. Even if you started doing this from being extremely fresh, it sounds like a fast-pass to burnout.

Also worrying about keeping metrics elevated is the kind of behaviour I’d associate with someone who is on the path to burnout. As far as I can tell, Strava fitness score is based on your time/watts/RPE and is just an inaccurate version of TSS.

It’s a mystery to me why you don’t get fatigued at that volume and intensity unless your FTP is set far too low.


The fact you feel that way should tell you a lot about the need for that week I’d say. Sounds woo, but if your body is trying to shut down and recover like that, it’s had a proper beating in the previous weeks.

I used to have a guide somewhere that was my gospel for taking recovery weeks seriously. Showed how long it took for each type of workout to benefit you.


Long endurance ride - 14 days

Used to make me think yeah, can’t wait for recovery week to absorb all that and come back stronger. Couldn’t find it there just now unfortunately, shame.

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Thanks for your thoughts… Despite using TR for a couple of years and really only cycling for 3, I consider myself a total novice. I do the ramp tests as well as I can, I can finish almost all workouts (but don’t find them easy by any means) so I think that my FTP is about right.

Perhaps my idea of hell for leather is an over estimation. I would really welcome some more thoughts if you’d take a look at my Strava and give me some more insight?

If you share a link to your TR calendar, I sure some of the resident experts will have a look.

I’m at about the same stage as you - relative novice in terms of years, still trying to soak up as much knowledge as I can about training/physiology


I hope this is a link to my calendar - TrainerRoad and if anyone can help I’d be thrilled. Perhaps I’m doing stuff wrong?

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Looking at the way you’re nailing those workouts, often completing quite tough ones on back-to-back days, together with the amount of apparent TSS you’re accumulating, it’s very possible that as @4ibanez mentioned earlier your FTP number is set (much) too low, ie. the ramp test results you’ve been getting aren’t reflective of your actual ability.


I’ve only ever done Ramp tests and have always found myself able to complete the workouts. How come then the ramp test is perhaps always underestimating my FTP? Saying that though I’m not sure I could sustain my FTP for an hour… that would make it about right? Gosh it’s tough being such a novice in these sorts of things… how do I know what I should do? What I should change?

This is because ramp test is measuring Map Power, when your FTP is on a higher side of fractional utilization of VO2 max ramp test can underestimate your FTP, even quite a lot (my biggest difference was 15W between long test and vo2 max). Not to mention it is highly dependant on what kind of training you are doing.

Glancing your calendar the workouts in isolation are quite normal but you can stack 3 hard days in the row with IF>0.85-0.9 and this should be VERY hard. I know I would be destroyed. But maybe there is an typical issue with shorter intervals and that’s way you feel a lot more fresh after them or you respond very well to training and you have simply ability to absorb more of it.

What would I do is to test your FTP by longer test like Kolie Moore test and check how it differs from ramp test, even for fun to check things out. Especially when you are new to training your gains can be very rapid and something I could do year ago now would not be sustainable as simply I do not gain rapidly almost every workout (example - 3 weeks threshold blocks led to 10-15W gains for 3 straight blocks so by definition every next workout in the block was way easier and I have done it without proper recovery weeks). Now It would be not possible even my TSS are higher and every aspect on the bike has improved massively - simply the gains are harder to achieve and my body is not responding so rapidly to training.

Edit: When doing proper recovery week I feel horrible and lazy. I like to introduce 1 harder workout like tempo or SST just to keep my mental game up and to bot create cozy, recovery blanket around myself. The next week after pure recovery always feels horrible and I always hesitate about harder workouts - because easy week feels sooo much more comfortable. Not to mention the hunger during recovery weeks :slight_smile:


Is there a workout on TR for this Kolie More test? I’ve had a look around the net and as I dont understand the jargon etc I dont know what I should do.

There are some ready made workouts in “Team Gold”. You need to join the team to get access. You can join on the TR website, there is a teams entry in the left menu. Try doing the workout in non-erg mode.

Team Gold

This is a link to the Kolie Moore ftp thread

I am in the tail end of a recovery week and the sensations I am getting is that I am getting slower and out of shape, but you have to tell yourself that is not whats happening and your body needs the rest. As the weather turns nice and I turn down two long weekend rides because the rest means more in the long term


@jarsson nailed it IMO.

As for the Kolie Moore test there’s a forum thread about it. But in short:

  • warm up
  • ride at ~95% of what you think your FTP is for 5-10 mins
  • Gradually ramp up to 100% of what you think your FTP is.
  • Go til you blow - you’re looking to hold power (including the 95% part) for a total of around 40 mins or longer

It helps if you’re familiar with riding at threshold (e.g. sustained intervals). After 15-20 mins or so, it starts to become clear if you’re above/below threshold (ask yourself ‘Could I sustain this for another 20-30 mins?’), and adjust your power accordingly. My internal monologue is something like: ‘This is hard-ish, but I can hold it at this power for a good while yet. But if you asked me to increase by 10w I’d only be able to keep going another 5 mins.’

I think it would be best to avoid the ERG workout linked above, just because it sets an arbitrary target of 102% of your current TR FTP - it’s more important you go by how it feels to you.

IME is takes a little practice, to get used to the protocol. Don’t get psyched out by it, if nothing else it’s a very good threshold workout.

This has gone a long way from “my recovery weeks feel crappy”! :slight_smile:


Alternatively get better at performing ramp tests by doing more of them? As often repeated on the podcast, we’re good at what we do and the ramp test is the most convenient assessment.


How about if MAP isn’t important to your goals? I don’t see how or why training specifically to be good at the ramp test would make someone a better rider in the real world. That would probably just make their SST and threshold workouts harder than they should be

Is the ramp test really that convenient when the assessment replaces what could be an otherwise productive workout? If it turns out the OP’s real FTP/MLSS is 75% of MAP, then that’s great, but no harm in experimenting. Especially as something seems to not be right at the moment.


Exactly, the answers took a detour to different FTP testing protocols. Given the ease with which intensity can be adjusted in workouts (and ftp manually adjusted too) it seems a tangental argument to the original post.

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If I can glean any information to make my training overall more productive then I’m happy…