Taking an extra rest day!

Does anyone struggle with making the decision to take an extra rest day? How do you REALLY know when its time to take that extra day? Im in the middle of a build block and my body is sore all over and I really struggled to complete my last workout. Not sure if this is just my body adjusting to the new training stress or if this soreness is appropriate to press on through! After my Monday rest day im just not feeling ready for that next tough workout!

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Listen to your body!

I think everyone struggles with this when they start, the faster you learn to listen to your body and make mindful decisions about training, the better off you will be.

Take the rest day and don’t look back.


I rest more when my sleep is affected, if I get moody and negative (more than usual), if I just don’t want to ride, if HR is difficult to elevate. As for power Coggan and Allen have written a lot about when to stop intervals in their book. I hesitate to write but, for me it’s gotten a little dumbed down as I can’t remember all the details they recommend: I abandon VO2 intervals if it’s really hard to stay within 50W and HR is low and I just can’t sustain ragged breath intensity. IIRC they recommend some guidance at the 3rd interval but, I forget and it’s more a whole session feel now. Same with threshold but, maybe 30W and a lowish HR…I can tell very soon into a threshold interval if it’s not going to end well. Most of the time.

Anyways, in general, I think most non-pro full time working/family people over do it and would benefit from listening to their bodies more. Especially middle aged+ people. We’ve become overwhelmed with information and technology but, getting worse at analyzing what to do. I think most people think they need to do something because other people are doing it or it’s prescribed.


After over a decade of dedicated training I’ve finally come to understand that taking an extra rest day is the best training you can do that day. If you’re asking yourself whether you need a rest day then you generally do.


My rest days still usually involve being active; riding, running, something. But I always take it easy if my body tells me I am tired. I have no issues skipping workouts or pushing them back a day until I feel better.

Wise words!

My head constantly reminds me of this, and then my heart tells me ‘more is more’ and another 2-3 hr ride outside in the good weather can’t hurt :rofl:

These days, as I’m doing a little more consistent intensity each week than usual and as I’ve tipped over 50, I try and quiet the voices telling me to ride more. Doesn’t always work though…


I always get on the turbo or go out and see how I feel…warm up and start the session. If you’re not feeling it you can pull the plug and just spin or get off the bike. I find it’s amazing how you feel ok ONCE you’ve warmed up :laughing:

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I’m on my 4th test day in a row. It’s more of a mental break for me.

I think too many people forget about the mental aspect. I love riding and it helps keep me sane but it can also be a drag mentally always feeling like I have to push myself and ride more and more. I’ve been waking up at 4:30am to ride for the past year and it’s extremely difficult.


IMO, on the extra rest day not the day itself the most important thing, but the good, long sleep.

If you are struggling don’t be afraid to abandon a workout. If it’s not happening in the morning, I’ll often delay a workout till the afternoon or evening. If it’s not happening in the afternoon or evening I’ll delay it till the next morning.

It is better to be slightly under trained and keen, rather than slightly overtrained and jaded.

Consistency over time is a foundation of your fitness. If you are struggling it won’t be long before your consistency goes out the window. An extra rest day but you’re consistent and execute the workouts well is far better in my opinion.

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After reading that Olympic speed skaters training log, I started taking 2 full days off in a row. I’ve been doing it for about 4 months now and it works well. I don’t train nearly as much as him but the 2 full days off are good for family reasons and getting mentally fresh to train again. I train about 8-10hpw

After two Arizona Summers, I can totally understand how draining this is. Ha. I love my trainer for those days when I just REALLY need to sleep in!

I’m not a ‘pro’ or even a real competitor, so take my ‘method’ with what it needs I guess…

I have decided to do a rest day when I am just wasted. I have literally gotten ont he bike and started riding and just said ‘Nope!’, and quit. I’ve ridden hard, gotten off, wondered why the hell I just did that, and taken a day off. I have gotten to the point where my bottom says ‘HELL NO!’, and it’s rest day.

Other times I’ve done a more structured approach to rest days. Now, I take a day off the bike, and do weights and walking. I just can’t ‘do nothing’ unless I’m on vacation, sick, under orders from the wife, or my muscles just say no. Occasionally I do need a few days off. You take what you need. I’m not a fan of ‘rest day on the bike’, but have done ‘slow days’ before.

This can be the most difficult part. I’ve had workouts where the first two intervals felt really difficult and the last two I felt the strongest.

After a couple of years of training in at the point where a combination of how I feel when I get up and HR during intervals can tell me if it’s just warm up or if I should just get off the bike.

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Took an extra rest day doing a light Z1 spin before starting 3rd week of build.
Legs felt ok but resting hr was still bit high. Felt a bit guilty resting but totally smashed the workout today.
Felt strong and fresh and hit 5x4min power pr by 13w.
The extra rest really paid off.

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Take the rest day, come back with extra freshness, target that hard workout and nail it. People that don’t subscribe to rest are only fooling themselves and are likely borderline addicts. Now, don’t let the pedulum swing in the direction I have, 4 rest days a week are too many. :laughing: