Recovery weeks on low volume plans

Just throwing this out there as an idea and to generate discussion…
On a low volume plan are recovery weeks needed/too long?
I can only do the LV plans due to family and time constraints. I think body could handle MV plans but life doesn’t allow it. Therefore considering if I really need the recovery weeks in full then I already have 4 rest days a week anyway.

Maybe do a semi-recovery week instead with instead of 3 easier rides, doing 1-2 harder ones and 1-2 easier rides (maybe front loading week with harder workouts to leave as 3-4 days at end of week with just 1 easy workout and 2-3 full rest days.)

I just feel that I’ve stagnated a bit lately (my FTP last summer was 275w and now 280w so pretty mich identical…but have lost about 7kg) and wondered if only doing ‘semi-recovery’ weeks might be a good way to increase training load.

I guess only answer is to try and see!!!


I have tried but it broke me up after two cycles.
So rest week is for rest and I suggest keeping it that way.
But if you want to try by all means try it and see if it works for you.

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I started TR in Sept w/ SSBLV1+2, specifically because it was my first crack at actual structured training w/ actual structured workouts. I removed all the recovery weeks as well as adding in a couple Endurance rides per week. Worked out fine. Point is, nothing is laid in stone. Experiment to see what happens, just be reasonable. You could probably do 4 rides a week almost indefinitely but to boost your FTP you’d also have to boost your volume and/or intensity. Once you start doing that then the need for a recovery week becomes greater. Good luck!

No way I’d quit on recovery weeks if on MV or HV, but I think likely possible on LV, especially as I’m only 36. Am going to try I think and see what happens - going to just do one easy ride in a recovery week and one sweet spot and one v02. See if I can break plateau I’m on.

You lost 7kgs, you are not plateaued at the moment. Your w/kg has gone up even if raw watts hasn’t. You can estimate what sort of ftp increase you would have needed to get to your current w/kg to put it in perspective.


If you are on LV because of time rather than the effort involved then it does not seem unreasonable if you have a lighter week occasionally but it does not have to be a full blown recovery.

As @Bioteknik says you are generating more power anyway so you have effectively increased your FTP.


Supporting @Bioteknik and @John_Hallas. Unless you only ride flat crits and TTs, then W/kg is what’s important. It can be tough on your body to loose weight and gain FTP at the same time.

If you feel you can do more, then there’s usually a +1 version of the workout, or you can use the workout creator. I asked a question about this in an other tread, and the answer I got was that: as long as you can hit the next subscribed workout on target, feel free to add TSS by increasing interval length etc.

My advice: let work by work and you may work harder, but also let rest be rest. You build fitness during the resting not the working.