Rest periods other than 1 week

I imagine that this question has been asked, but i could not find a discussion dealing with it, so here goes. We use weeks as a time interval to organize our lives, including our training, for obvious and sensible reasons. But what actual rest period would be of maximum benefit to most people? I understand that we are all different, but the issue of individual differences also applies to everyone using 1 week periods as their rest period. When (on average) have the adaptations that are supposed to occur during a rest period mostly occurred? 5 days? 9 days? Or is it so inexact that it really makes no difference?




To be a little more specific and helpful, 1 metric week.


Maybe related, but the general term for what you are describing is “Recovery Week”, not “Rest Week”:

  • Recovery = active rides/workouts, usually shorter duration at low intensity (Endurance level or easier).
  • Rest = no active workouts at any level.

That said, here is one related discussion and some other links that might be useful:


I’ve needed 1 week completely off then another week after a 24 hour, 42,380ft elevation ride. Otherwise, a week works for me if I’m finishing a 5+ week build.

These days, I’m more like to do 3 week builds then take 3-4 days completely off.

Not sure how many people will get this reference, but I appreciate it


The meaning of life

1 Like

3 - 5 days.

A week is over kill for a vast majority especially if its one in four, and that ends up being 8 days as a lot of people start their week with a rest day.


Adaptations are constantly happening. You shed fatigue in a recovery week and then are maybe able to make more watts after the last training block.

One can just feel one’s way through this. I know I need a rest week when my legs are heavy just walking around and walking up the stairs in the house. I take some days off and do some super easy rides and I feel that fatigue lifting day by day.

RIght you are - i meant recovery week.

For me, it’s a function of how deep the hole is I’ve been digging. My body seems to respond well from really ramping the volume the last week of a block (to the point where I’m feeling overtrained a bit, starting to have sleep challenges, etc.), but then taking it very easy for at least a week after. If you are following a plan, then follow it as long as you are feeling ok, but listen to your body and adjust as needed. If you don’t have critical events coming up, experiment and try some things. In a normal cycle, I’ll do 3 weeks on and then have 6 days of rest/endurance rides before my next hard ride. I don’t do the “super-loading” cycle until near my event, but then take a rest week and then 3 weeks of lower volume/taper into the event. Legs feel like caged animals at that point wanting more volume/intensity.

4 days.

Day off
Day off
Easy Z2, maybe stretch the legs a little to see where we are
Back into it


I pretty much do exactly the same as you.

Over the years I’ve found that following the exact TR recovery weeks workouts has me feeling very flat at the beginning of the next block. I pretty consistently do the following now:

Monday: Lazy Mountain
Tuesday: Off or very light weight training session
Wednesday: Homer’s nose
Thursday: Off or very light weight training session
Friday: Back at it with a mostly endurance 2ish hr ride on a mostly flat route, but do not care if I’m out of zone 2 from time to time. I’ll do something like Townsend -1 if I feel like I still need another easier ride though.
Saturday: TR interval session or outside with good climbs.

I always do Mon and Wed on the trainer as it’s the best way to guarantee I don’t go out of zone and those rides are truly recovery or easy rides.


As I’ve said before, recovery rides are the number 1 use case for sticking your trainer in ERG mode. :+1:


definitely individualized but I’d add that many athletes feel ready to get back to training after 3 days, but then are actually still somewhat under recovered (we feel ready because our last reference point is being tired at the end of the block…we can easily forget what true freshness is)…so I ask that they go a full 5 days (not off, but very focused on recovery) and it usually works very well. then back to training on the weekend.

just keep tracking your feelings over the rest weeks and you’ll find the right fit for you!



Thats what I tend to do as available time on the weekend seems like a waste otherwise. As I said 7 days (traditional week) becomes 8 if Monday is normally a rest day and that seems way too much recovery.

7-8 days recovery on a low volume plan or even mid volume plan :exploding_head: every 4th week seems :crazy_face:

1 Like

In fairness to TR, my recovery weeks normally schedule something with a few sprints towards the end of the week anyway. But at the following weekend, I normally do whatever I would be doing - race season, an opener and a race; or off season club or gravel spin. There’s enough intensity to unblock the legs for week 1 of the next block.

agreed, 8 is very long!

I personally find that by the following weekend I am ready to go. Plus, from a psychological standpoint, it is really nice to have a week where I am not focused on getting in my workouts and instead can really focus on my family and work for 5 straight days.

As others have stated, I think the length and intensity of the block leading into the recovery period also plays an impact. Everyone is different though, so I would experiment with it.

I’d like to take a recovery year, or 10.