Shortening recovery week

Small background info I’m 23 year old female. I’m at the end of SSB2 MV.

I’m thinking about doing a 20 min FTP test on Saturday during the rest week and replacing the ramp test in following week of sustained power build with a VO2 max workout. I’m doing the 20 min test because the last two times I did the ramp test i tested too low ( tested at around 190 w both times but did both SSB1 & 2 MV at 200w). Or should I just follow the plan?

Link to my trainerroad profile: https://www.trainerroad.com/app/career/proffinn

My Performance Management chart:

No reason for doing 8 days without intensity like trainerroad has set.

Do 3-4 easy days and make sure the overall week has lower than normal TSS and you should be fine.
In rest week i usually do short power watt test on friday and start ramping things back up on saturday.

6 Likes

once your CTL gets up around 60 dont forget to get some full rest in there so that your TSB isn’t negative alllll the time.

good luck!

2 Likes

I think there is obviously a reason it was designed that way. People are always trying to hack coach Chad’s plans with their “more is better” type of thinking.

Looking at the huge number of “I can’t complete a workout” or “sweet spot is killing me” threads I would err on the side of more rest, less intensity, and not trying to hack the plan. “More is better” usually doesn’t work well in training unless you are talking very low intensity rides.

I think people don’t realize that we super compensate when resting and doing low intensity work. Don’t short change your super compensation. That is the entire goal of training to get faster.

1 Like

This, 200%.

You need a recovery week, so you have a bigger chance of nailing the next block of training. This is especially true, once you start. stepping into Build phase, where you physical and mental load starts hitting the ceiling of what you are capable of.

Trust your coach. This is why you pay someone (TrainerRoad in this case) do set the workouts for you.

1 Like

I get what you guys are saying, but a 20 min FTP test at the tail end of a recovery week shouldn’t be an issue. Plus, some people like having a little bit of intensity during a recovery week.

OP, instead of replacing the ramp test (at least this time around), why don’t you take the 20min test Saturday and the ramp test Tuesday. Then you can compare the tests against each other. I am planning on doing something similar this week, but with Kolie Moore’s protocol.

1 Like

My answer to @Proffinn was that it is definitely possible to shorten recovery week. This has been discussed in here many times.
But ofcourse this is individual , some need more low intensity days than others. Depends on how deep youre into training after finishing blocks, also depends on overall life and how fast you recover. Some should not even do 3 week blocks but 2.

Trainerroad plans are great, but can be edited harder/easier to fit the individual. Not 1 way to rome :).
Only way to find out what fits is to test.
Have followed trainerroad prinsiple for yeaaars <3

I also thought about that. Maybe I will also do the ramp test see how it compares.

My logic is that I’m young and I will recover more quickly. So I think I’m going to do the test on Saturday and see how it goes.

Yea don’t worry too much, give it a go. You might not have the best 20min legs though after 4-5 easy days. I like better short power workouts on these days.

1 Like

A couple of the week tips for recovery weeks include statements like

Sometimes, mid-volume riders don’t need an entire week of recovery to perpetuate their upward performance trajectory. If you happen to be one of these athletes, feel free to make one of your weekend workouts, preferably Saturday’s, more intense than basic aerobic mileage.

OP, take it a day or two at a time and see how you’re feeling. Fatigue can creep up on you, heh. It looks like you nailed the last five weeks and then increased the intensity on Lamarck like an absolute beast, so if you’re ready to go by Saturday, smash it.

1 Like

Yes, there is, and it’s not what you are thinking. When you start a new phase, TR like you to perform a test. Most coaches would get you test 4-6 days into a rest week. TR can’t do that because the next phase needs a test at the start.

1 Like

How did it go? How did it feel during the 20 minute test?

I have gotten teh advice from coaches before, that when you think you have rested enough, make your first structured workout be neuromuscular, i.e. sprints. If you can produce the power, and keep on producing it through the workout, then you’re recovered enough.

So, nothing wrong with shortening a rest week if you’re rested enough (as long as you’re correct about that :)), and nothing wrong with adding more rest if you need more. Basically, trainerroad is not your coach; they are not and cannot tell you waht to do. They offer decently customizable but still canned training plans. The rest weeks is just an educated guess at how much rest you’ll need, and when you’ll need it. The TR guys would be the first to admit that you can (and should) learn how to adjust as you go.

That said, the risk of taking too little rest may outweigh the benefit of adding more trainings, but you’ll have to decide that for yourself.

I cut a recovery week short one time during one of my early run throughs. I will never do it again. Recovery weeks are where your body takes all the stress you threw at it, absorbs it like a sponge, then rebuilds your body stronger and faster.

I agree the recovery weeks are essential. However, I feel by Thursday and Friday I’m recovered. By the next Tuesday I feel really flat and sluggish and it takes me well into the first work week to feel normal again. I always feel like crap on the ramp test but work through it. Like someone said it’s about 8 days from the last hard workout so It’s not a surprise. I’ve heard a top coach say that depending on how the athlete is doing there is some flexibility in it. I say experiment with what works for you. For me I’d like to experiment with cutting it a bit short but not sure how it will work.

I didn’t feel like doing the 20 min FTP test but did the ramp test on Saturday during the rest week. Saw some gains, went from 191 w -> 200 w but since I had been training on 200 w already and felt it might be slightly too low I adjusted it too 205 and so far it has felt right maybe slightly too low but I’m gonna do few more workouts before I adjust it.

It worked for me but it might not work for everyone, you will only know by trying it out.

I don’t blame you at all. I just took monday through thursday very easy, then started training again today. That was plenty of rest for a rest week–my sleep, feelings of legs off the bike, hrv and resting heart rate all returned to normal–but i would NOT have felt like doing a 20 min test today.

If it was a taper week where i was still doing (a reduced amount of) high intensity workouts, then maybe. With a full “rest and rebuild” period, no way.

Yeah the only way to know is to experiment. I personally have, i think, after decades of endurance training, figured out my best technique for “rest weeking.” Take as many days as i need of only training very easy, with very easy meaning like 45% of FTP. I don’t care if it feels silly, I don’t care of plans say that i “should” be riding at 65% FTP, it’s irrelevant. I do super, super easy until things start to feel normal and I feel good walking up the stairs of my apartment, usually 3 to 4 days.

Then, when i feel like i’m ready (also look at hrv, hr, and sleep quality in particular; when i’m overreached and getting to the point of it no longer being productive, my sleep quality starts to plummet), I go out for a ride and do some sprints and see how it feels.

I find i can often do a shorter rest week than plans prescribe, but i gotta do it even easier.

2 Likes