Too much rest mid phase?

Hi all

No doubt highly individual but I wondered if anyone had similar experiences.

I’ve always completed 99% of my workouts just fine. Some are easy and some I struggle through but I almost always complete them. Recently, though, I’ve twice experimented with having 2 or 3 days off in a row. These days off are taken at the “end” of my week. On both these occasions, the following workout has been pretty catastrophic. Complete failure of the workout about half way through with no hope of salvaging much. After a couple of back pedals and attempts to get back in to the work, even at a reduced intensity, I just call it a day and hop off the trainer.

I know I often perform better with a bit of fatigue but I was surprised to find that additional rest seemed not just not beneficial but actually detrimental

Anyone else have a similar experience?

My legs usually feel like garbage after 2 rest days. If I have a scenario where I’m facing 2 days off I’ll try and dial up something like dans or taku before my next workout to remind the legs how to turn

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Glad to hear I’m not the only one. I forgot to mention that I commute 20 miles a day too so it kinda makes sense that a 2 day rest would be a bit of a shock

Same experience here. I’m 57 and so have wondered if it has to due with age (older athletes losing fitness/stamina more quickly).

I’m 30, just for context. I wouldn’t imagine at 57, or any age, that you would lose fitness over 2 days.

There is likely no fitness loss but rather a bit of "flatness’ in the legs/body. Usually a lite workout the day before getting after it or a extended warm up will get you back to speed.

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Ha, I wouldn’t have imagined it when I was 30 either, but here I am. :slight_smile: Seriously though, you’re prob right - but sure feels like a fitness decrease.

I can’t do 2 days off in a row either. 1 day rest I feel great, 2 legs feel dead. I’ll try either to avoid taking 2 days completely off if possible, throwing in an easy ride in between or like pcort doing something like Dans after 2 days rest.

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yes! This is really common amongst athletes, having a flat or dead feeling after a rest week, even if they incorporate some Opener type rides to stay sharp.

IMO A good idea when coming back from rest is a loosely scheduled ride with some efforts of varying durations to get the body going again. If I set specific interval targets, they can be hard to hit the first day back and mentally that sucks to experience.

Hope you’re feeling snappier on your next ride! Cheers!


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I agree and have experienced something similar after the 3 day Z2 workouts at the end of a session, but what I found is I did not carb up enough before the intense workout at the beginning of the new workout session because I would eat as if I were going to be doing a Z2 workout (doh). In other words I got laxed.

I always have a 2 day break between my Saturday and Tuesday workout, so for me it was not a loss in performance, just not feeding the motor properly after those Z2 workouts before the Tuesday intense workout. It boiled down to me not feeding the motor before a tough workout or only feeding the motor based on a Z2 ride.

I am 43, and I find 2 days off in a row at times invaluable. I will generally start every recovery week with two days off, then play it by ear based off how my body feels. The only time I have taken 2 days off in a row mid phase, was because I miserably failed a workout. I felt like I had over-fatigued myself due to an impromptu long ride the week prior. In that case, taking two days off seemed to reset the system and I was able to train again as normal.

I’m 56 (57 in June). I do TR T/Th/Sa and weight train M-F. My leg day usually is Tuesday which I do in the am and I ride TR in the late afternoon. I really look forward to the 2 days off with TR I have on Sunday and Monday. The Saturday TR is getting tough at 1.5 hours as I get deeper into the regimen. Overall though I have been able to push through it up to this point and I know I don’t plan on changing that. More mental than anything else IMHO. FWIW I am entering week 11 and in Base II after finishing Base I.

Don’t know the physiological reasons but I’ve often found the same. My non scientific take on it is that if you give your body a couple of easy days it starts going into a deeper recovery/taper phase which then takes a while to get through and come out the other side. One day is fine, it’s still primed for a big workout, a couple of days and it thinks “here’s a chance to properly shed some fatigue”.

Similar thing used to happen to me every Christmas when I was in my 20s. November-December was always crazy busy at work, plus it was party time. My body soaked it all up and dealt with burning the candle at both ends. And then within 24 hours of leaving work on the 23rd I was virtually guaranteed to get sick and spend most of the festive period recovering. Maybe linked to cortisol levels or something, when they dip the body takes it as a sign to stand down and kick into recovering from the stress (work/partying/training) you’ve been throwing at it.

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Interesting insight, thanks! I have to say that, so far, it doesn’t seem to have negatively affected my ramp tests. They obviously come after an easy week, but I always perform well. Maybe because they’re intense but only short duration?

that’s great they don’t interfere…i actually haven’t done the ramp. how long does it usually take you? is the same duration for all, or keep increasing until your 1m maxes out? (looking for exact details but don’t see them)

The ramp test will continue to increase until you stop pedaling. So it could go on for 30 min of your ftp setting going in is too low or 10 min if it’s set too high. But at 19:30 is when you ‘beat’ the FTP that you go into the test with. That 19:30 includes the whole ride not just the ramp.

roger that; yeah that makes sense about shorter duration and it working out for you. i seem to struggle after rest for anything over 10m…sometimes even over 8!

keep crushing it!!