Too Much Recovery

Does anyone do less than the prescribed recovery week in the middle of and / or between plans or training blocks? If so, what do you do and why?

I’m in the middle of Short Power Build and am experimenting with doing some sweet spot rides on Tuesday, Thursday, and maybe one more this weekend. Tuesday I did 2 x 30 / 10 at 90% (which may have been a little much) and today I did 3 x 15 / 15 @ 90% (seemed about right).

During previous recovery weeks I definitely felt the fatigue dissipate, but I found it hard to resume intense training again. I also found that my RPE is a little lower when I have a slight amount of fatigue. Maybe during a full recovery week (which is really eight days) I “forget” how to suffer?

I’ve also seen major drops in fitness during those full recovery weeks. I recognize all of the caveats of a Performance Management Chart and that CTL does not tell the whole story, including FTP changes, but combined with the difficulties of resuming intense workouts I’m experimenting a little.

Anyway, just curious what your experiences are. Thanks in advance!

Minor note: End of August I switched from SSBHV to SSBMV due to work obligations.

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My opinion is that a seven day recovery block is probably on the longer side of what someone might need. A working professional with a family and other life stress might benefit from the full seven days, while a high level amateur or professional might only need two or three days as their recovery “week”, TR probably uses a full week by default because it fits nicely into the three weeks on one week off program, and it’s better to error on the side of too much recovery than not enough during a recovery week.

I have always viewed recovery weeks with the following mentality: reduced Volume, intensity stays high. I’ll typically take the full 7 days as TR plans prescribe, but I do add a little (stress on the word little) of intensity. I’ll keep Tuesday & Wednesday as an easy ride, but on Thursday & Saturday I’ll do a -4 or -5 version of a previous or subsequently prescribed workout. I’m not looking to build fitness on these days, rather, just touch the energy systems, and like you set prevent myself from forgetting how to suffer. Recovery week favorites: are Gendarme -4,-5,-6 or even opener workouts (Truuli, etc.)

My humble opinion, if you care, 2 x 30 & 3 x 15 SS is too much during a recovery week.


For context, I’m a 16 yo kid who does high volume +outside rides and 2 gym sessions a week, so take this with some salt. I do the entire recovery weeks because I have found that all the recovery comes at the end of the week. All the painkillers seem to wear off by Saturday of the recovery week and my legs seem super sore all the sudden. I do the same volume and scrap all structure and just do skill work and aerobic (Z2/Z3) stuff. If you feel burnt out of structure from the 3 previous weeks then just revert to having fun and keeping your aerobic system upkept. As Amber says on the podcast, you really want to “stoke” the fire physically and mentally by the end of the week. Also, make sure your fresh and motivated for the ramp test after the recovery week.


I agree. Many times if I need 7 days of recovery than I probably went a bit too deep during the previous weeks. I recently start experimenting with doing my recovery week Monday-Friday and then ramping back into training over the weekend. Maybe also doing my FTP test on that Sunday if I’m retesting.


@SRLECEY, 3 x 30 @ 90% was definitely too much for the recovery week. Thank you for the specific workout recommendations, too - love it when that happens!

@Dschlag, good call on “having fun.” I might weave in a group ride or something this weekend.

@mwglow15, I did the same during my last two recovery weeks - took the ramp test on Sunday.

Some people need recovery weeks, some don’t, it can depend on a lot of things like training load and where in the cycle you are. Also, just a couple of easy days will suffice, yet again, depending on the individual.

Remember that you get faster when you’re recovering, not when you’re actually riding.

Be very cautious with reducing recovery weeks or with adding high intensity work into the middle of a recovery week

Generally, what @SRLECEY has described is how most people define a taper week, not a recovery week. Maintaining intensity but reducing volume is a great way to stay fresh rolling into a peak, not a great way to see adaptations in the middle of a base or build block. You really do want the time away from intensity so your body can adapt

Therefore, if you want to shorten your recovery time from 7 days to 5 or 3 and you find your body responds well to that - go for it. But I’d recommend you avoid adding the intensity in and keeping the duration the same. True recovery weeks and training adaptation requires the lack of intensity.


I don’t disagree with you, @trpnhntr, this maintain intensity/ reduce volume can be used as a framework for a taper week. But, a recovery week isn’t all that different, as you want to get to your next block feeling fresh, but not flat.

I absolutely have found it’s a very fine line here… I’ve definitely added too much intensity in my reco weeks (either by structured workouts, or group rides, long rides, etc.) and was behind the 8 ball in subsequent loading weeks. If I feel any fatigue at all, the intensity is the first to go.

My n+1 is that just a few short high intensity intervals at the tail end of a recovery week keep that mental familiarity with suffering. Also, after 4 or 5 easy days, 120% FTP for 30 seconds at a time feels like a cake walk. Before it starts to hurt, the interval is over, and before the fatigue from 30/30’s start to build up, the workout it over, and you walk away feeling like you’re stronger than ever.

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I swing back and forth with this topic, almost every time I have a recovery week scheduled.

I’ve tried omitting it completely, shortening it, adjusting it, executing it perfectly to plan - I’m never happy, lol.

Most of the time it’s my crappy knees that need some rest more than anything.

I’m supposed to be halfway through mid-block recovery week just now and I’ve decided 2 full days off the bike + 1 pettit session yesterday will have to do. Ramp Test today then back at it tomorrow.

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Thanks, and good luck on your ramp test.