RLGL: Red days -> Can I do a recovery ride? What TSS

I am trying to make the best compromise between my goal of doing long outdoor rides and that of getting faster using trainer-road. I am on a work trip and I rode 130km to get here yesterday. RLGL rewarded me with a Red day today and a Red tomorrow. Tomorrow’s red turned Yellow after pushing the slider all the way to the right. The thing is that I am in a place where I can do nice rides that I won’t have the opportunity to do when at home, so I am trying to find out what I can do without harming my improvement.

My question is whether it is ok to do recovery rides without pushing hard on a rest day? And should those rides be very short, or can they be a few hours long? My training plan has me on a 6.30 hour week but I tend to ride 10-12 hours per week when I combine my plan + outdoor rides.



Hey there,

Totally understand the desire to do some extra riding if you’re somewhere where the riding is good!

I wouldn’t, however, adjust the Training Approach slider unnecessarily in an attempt to “game” the system to give you permission to ride more. If you got served a red day initially, it’s likely because AT is trying to warn you from doing too much too quickly.

If you do think that taking a more aggressive Training Approach is right for you, though, you could do a recovery ride on a yellow day. A recovery ride should be short, though – usually about an hour or less of easy Zone 1 spinning. If you were to ride for a few hours, it wouldn’t be a recovery ride any longer!

Remember that red/yellow days are trying to let you know that your training volume/stress is ramping up too quickly, which could lead to excess fatigue that would harm your overall plan. Even if you might feel decent in the short term, in one/two/three weeks, that extra training stress can really add up and derail your plan. Consistency over time is one of the biggest keys to getting faster, so just keep that in mind when making adjustments to your plan!

You can do whatever you want. If you’re in a nice area, just ride. A few days of higher TSS should be fine.


If an opportunity like that presents itself and it won’t interfere with an important goal of yours (like your A race if you have one), I’d just have fun. The last time I did that was when I went to Chile for a work trip. I planned in one day for a once-in-a-lifetime ride in the Andes. It was worth it. Oh, and I got to squeeze in a bike ride in the Atacama desert, too, on a super crappy bike. Yet, it was one of the most memorable bike rides of my life.

If you want to strictly adhere to the training plan and AT’s recommendations, I would say a recovery ride is a ride that is <= 1 hour long and has an IF somewhere between 0.50 and 0.57. It should be easy, the purpose is not to gain endurance, but to spin your legs, get the blood flowing.

After this trip is over, if you think you may deeply regret/resent not taking advantage of this opportunity, I’d go with my gut. Just as over doing it can derail a training plan, so can a loss of moral and a desire to stick with it.


I would ride

I might ride a bit easier to see the new sights and enjoy the new roads rather than do a workout

But I would ride

Listen to your body……no training program knows how you feel.

If you legs feel up for it, ride. Take advantage of opportunities like this. There is no need to tie yourself unnecessarily to any training program. If you feel tired, don’t ride. Or, if you start the ride thinking you feel pretty good, but realize your legs are :poop:, turn around and go back to your hotel.

According to AT’s recommendation would a recovery ride be compatible with a red day? Or only with a yellow day?

Yellow tells me to do “endurance of rest” so how is “endurance” defined?

There is only one answer here: ride your bike!

There is nothing better than exploring a new place. Why not treat this week like a mini-training camp, do some epic rides and enjoy it? Yeah you’ll be tired and stretch yourself (after all you are doubling your weekly volume), just be sure to take a recovery week that includes a day off (or a two) when you get back.

In the end you’ll be more motivated to get on your bike to train, have some new endurance gains with minimal or no impact to long term training. That said, do not skip your recovery when you get back home. Your motivation will be high and you’ll be tempted to keep going. Take the recovery and enjoy your adaptions!

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As pretty much everyone above has said, go ride!
I did this exact thing yesterday, an easy ride (1hr) on a red day, was nice to spin easy gears in the sunshine, admire the beautiful scenery etc., without worrying about watts etc Felt great.

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AT maximizes for training outcomes, not enjoyment. If you are in a nice place that offers nice (off)roads, why not enjoy that. It’d be a healthier version of going out drinking with your buddies.

Is the fatigue (= hangover/tiredness) worth it? If you think yes, then do it!

Endurance is Z1 and Z2, although most people would do endurance rides in Z2 at 0.6–0.7 IF (60–70 % FTP if you are going relatively steady). Recovery rides are Z1, in practice 0.5–0.58 IF.


Taking your questions out of context…

Yes, as long as you’re not super wrecked a recovery ride should be fine. But a total off day should be in your plan at least every 2 weeks but once a week is better.

A few hour long ride is not a recovery ride. Under an hour and barely pedaling is a recovery ride. Any harder or longer and it’s just an ‘endurance’ ride. Most of my recovery rides are under an hour and between like 0.30 and 0.45 IF. You should almost be coasting more than you’re pedaling.

Now in context…be smart about it but I’d get out and ride. If it’s like a bucket list location, then I’d be fine pushing the distance/time. But if it’s just a slightly nicer place than home then I’d still keep it under wraps but get out and ride a bit.

I like the analogy above about going out drinking with friends. Going out for a friend’s bachelor party? Then go for it, have fun, and the hangover is probably worth it. Not good for your health but the good times were probably a net positive. Is it just a decent beer garden with some sun? Then maybe have a couple drinks but it’s not worth it to go all out.