I’ve been following a Plan-Builder plan in prep for endurance mountain bike races on September 5th (6 hours) and September 12th (about 5 hours). The plan is great and I’ve been getting stronger and stronger. But I went too deep this past weekend and have been exhausted and unusually sore this week. Should I: take a few days off? Go easy this week? Stick with my plan but try to recover more? I don’t want to lose any fitness but don’t want to dig a hole I can’t climb out of. Thanks!
If you’re asking the question, rest is always my answer. If you view racing as a lifelong hobby, then don’t sweat about the minute changes in ability that happen over days and weeks. Think months, years and the big picture. Some days you’ll race a bit off form, others you’ll be bang on it. Bet some of your best results come from the ‘off days’.
Even just skipping one workout and really focusing on recovery can make a huge impact on your workouts that follow. On your rest days, keep in mind the things that influence recovery the most, such as life stress, sleep patterns, and nutrition. They can seem so minimal, and yet have the largest impact on your training.
There are also some great tips on our blog about Rest Week Nutrition and Recovery, but ultimately, I think you’d be best served to take an extra rest day, really focus on rest, recovery, and nutrition to reset a little. If you’re still run down, then you could revisit your plan and schedule a proper rest week and restructure a bit!
Exactly what I was going to post.
Thanks for the advice - really appreciate it!!
I do agree with @grawp. I think if you ask yourself “Do I need a rest?” the answer is always “yes”. Your brain somehow sends you a mental message that you are about to burnout and you need to recover.
Yep - if you ever even start thinking the question then REST is the answer…for me it should be more often even when I am not thinking it!
Thanks! I need to be reminded of that often!