Should your recovery week workouts progress as well?

A simple question. Should an athlete whose endurance PL is, for example, 6, or 8, be prescribed a recovery week with endurance workouts at 3.0PL?

At the moment AT isn’t adapting any workouts in the recovery week - less of an issue if you’re fitter (you get proportionally more rest) but perhaps more dangerous this means they might mean less rest the less fit you are?

Recovery week isn’t about “productive” workouts, it’s about recovering, so IMO your TSS, Volume, Intensity should all be lower and focused on “Achievable” endurance / active recovery workouts. Along with getting good rest and eating well.

I’m in one of these weeks right now, middle of a sustained power build block, and my highest volume since August. My Endurance PL is a 5.9 right now (And probably actually higher than that, but I’ve been focusing more on Threshold, Sweet Spot, and V02) and my workouts this week are 3.0, 3.1, 3.2. Normally I also load an outdoor or longer endurance ride plus lifting on top of my normal workouts, but all those get a break this week too.

Honest answer, I feel like it’s good timing and the recovery week is exactly what I need…


I think you’ve missed my point. I’m not trying to suggest that they should be strenuous, but that they should be personalised.

I.e. a 9.0pl rider might get 5.0 recovery, a 6.0 3.'s.

The point is - if you are only a pl3.0 rider what do you get in recovery? If it’s 3.0, are you actually recovering?

Well, I guess that’s the question, do you/we know that there is / isn’t some level of personalization?

I’ve never had a scenario where my recovery weeks weren’t below my normal endurance PL, but also haven’t kept notes on it.

At the same time though, just going to 3 x Endurance workouts with PL’s in the 3’s is still going to be a drop in intensity, volume, and TSS so there’s another argument that there’s not enough difference between the 3.0 and 1.0 Level that it really matters?

Just because you have whatever workouts on your calendar that Plan Builder or a manually dropped plan on your calendar… and aren’t getting adaptions to those workouts… does not mean anyone else will have the same workouts or experience.

TR & PB will apply workouts for a recovery week like any other work week, with respect to the rider’s PL’s and potentially responses to surveys for related workouts (usually Z2).

Since TR pretty much applies only Z2 workouts at the same or shorter duration to the work week workouts, there will be a definite reduction of intensity in nearly all cases (as compared to the higher intensity work ones). And depending on the plan in place, duration may well be cut a bit too. Broadly speaking, we see roughly a 50% cut in TSS compared to the prior week.

So, TR + AT + PB will yield different actual workout results for that recovery week, but it will be scaled to that person’s PL and recent work history.


Here’s another point of reference, looked back at some prior recovery weeks last year. Plan builder in the past has given me a 3,4,5 endurance in the same recovery week which would lead me to believe there is some difference and customization to it based on plan, factors, PL, etc.

Ok. The thing that is confusing me probably is that - no matter what happens to my PLs or my progress, the activities during a recovery week don’t appear to change.

Happy to delete if I’m misleading people!

You’re judging this on a single week experience or many times through the recovery week process with AT & such?

Keeping in mind that recovery weeks are Z2 focus, and there may be limited if any Z2 workouts depending on the volume and plan in use, I would not expect a ton of Z2 changes in a recovery week.

Tons of variables at play and it’s hard to do more than discuss broadly what I have seen in 2 years of AT use without diving back to the calendar. But a no point have I seen major changes in Z2 workouts in a week.

If someone was rating the first one of these workouts in a week as Hard, Very Hard or All Out, I’d likely expect AT to make some changes, but that’s speculation based upon what I get in other work weeks with intense workouts.

  • I don’t know if it’s misleading necessarily. But I caution people from taking a single example and projecting it as what everyone else will experience.

When in doubt, an email direct to TR is the best place to start IMO. They can review at a level we never can, and sometimes uncover edge case issues that need to be addressed.