How do you guys get rid of long term fatigue? Do a couple of weeks of Z2 only solve most problems or do you take 1 or 2 weeks off the bike entirely?
I’ve been cycling for a year now and using Trainerroad since January. I have not taken a real break since last October and I’ve been doing 1 or 2 100km+ group rides per week and a lot of volume on the trainer during the lockdown. 2 weeks ago a flat tubular made me crash during a sweeping corner on a descent. I was lucky enough to get up with just road rash and lots of broken lycra.
For the last 2 weeks I’ve been training indoors, but no matter how light I take it my legs feel tired and slightly achy. I’m starting to think that the problem is accumulated fatigue. How do you experienced riders deal with it? Can you get rid of accumulated fatigue without loosing too much of your hard earned fitness?
You need a break so take a week off. Once you get back on the bike you will notice that your heart rate is slightly higher than what it used to be but be assured that you can easily regain that fitness you lost. One week is not a long enough time to loose all of your fitness.
FWIW, I find that after a week off of the bike (not a recovery week, but 7-9 days of no riding at all) I need a transition back into more intense training. I usually repeat the prior week’s training or do one week of SweetSpot, then pick up the plan again.
Thank you for the advice.
I thought that Z2 riding (since this is what we do on recovery weeks) could help me to get back on track without making too much of a dent on the little gains I made during the last 3 months… But since I’ve been struggling to improve maybe it’s time for a proper reset.
I’ll stay off the bike from today and let you know how it goes
I’ve been struggling with this myself lately. The biggest issue I have with following the “take a week off” is that exercise, especially cycling, is a pretty important source of stress / mental health relief for me.
I’ve been toying with the idea of trying out a few weeks of the MAF approach (nutshell: keep all your work at HR below 180 - age). My thought is that with that low intensity I’ll still get the stress relief and I’ll reach more complete recovery eventually as well.
I agree with the general sentiment – take a week or two off of the bike and when you get back on it transition gradually back into high intensity stuff. You may even consider taking a longer break – perhaps two weeks of ZERO riding and then a couple weeks of low intensity riding.
Due to the nature of this year (and for my family and I – it is more than the pandemic) my motivation to ride is low often missing weeks and the weeks I do ride – I’m riding about 1/2 my normal volume. I’ve also been mostly avoiding high-intensity too. I just tested last weekend (an hour on-road test) and came out with a better result than I anticipated. So I don’t believe you will lose as much as you think you will and anything you do lose you will regain quickly.
Also, burnout is a real thing and something to avoid.
I’m in a similar situation - i had a knee problem that started to get worse as I was about to go on holidays.
I took a week off, then reassessed - did one ride on holidays, the knee was still not great. Ended up taking the rest of the 2 weeks off, just to ensure I get back on track.
Result: drop of 6% in FTP. There is no way around it, fitness does disappear. But if you’ve been consistent before that, you should bounce back in no time.
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