Totally failed a workout

Coming off the heels of a 5-day vacation where I did little to no exercise (visiting family, eating too much home cooked food and driving around) This morning I was scheduled to do Anticosti, which I did pretty well at except for the middle of the 2nd block where my legs said “no more” I could have kept going but the burning in my legs were too much and my cadence was suffering.

I assume this was due to taking an almost week long break with terrible nutrition? Should I re-attempt this workout tomorrow or just ditch it and do the next one in the plan?

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ditch it and move on to the next one. Not too surprising to be without legs on the first ride after a break.


And don’t sweat it too!! It happens! Move on, carb up, and hit the next one!


This could open up an interesting discussion.

If you have several days off, is it worth scheduling a workout the day before the next one in your plan just as a shake-out? A little bit like doing openers the day before a race.

I guess one of 30 minute ones working whatever energy systems you’ll need the next day would do the trick.

I think this is a bit like putting the cart before the horse. One, this is an individual thing and perhaps not even consistent for the same person from break to break. But second, I’d argue we’re losing the plot if we’re discussing training for the training. Failing the workout isn’t an issue that we have to mitigate.

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i was just on a bit of a vacation off the bike (I did sneak in a couple of 90min peloton rides at disney CA, which were horrible with no fans going btw), but I was effectively not training July 2-12. I wanted to dive into a new block to start prepping for CX season but my past experience with time off hasn’t been great so my plan coming into this past week was to just do z2, I did 90mins Wed and then the same 2hr workout Thurs-Sun, I think the following HR trend speaks for itself lol

So I’m definitely in on just doing some z2 stuff for a few days following a longer than usual layoff to get re-normalized. The hard work starts tomorrow


I guess my question would be why? Do you think that by postponing the hard work and doing Z2 to prepare for the hard work that you will then catch up to the level and surpass where you would be if you didn’t do that OR are you doing it so you don’t have a failed workout on your calendar. I suppose the answer to that question may differ depending on if you have an event you are training for or not. For example, my A event is September 3rd. I only have 7 weeks left to get ready. I do have a few days at the beach planned during that 7 weeks, but if I take a few days to ease back into training, I’m going to lose more than just the few days at the beach. However, on the flip side, if you don’t have an event and are essentially training “forever,” then probably not much harm in losing a week of hard work.

Definetly individual. I start feeling sluggish/flat really quickly with complete rest so I’d definetly be struggling with intensity after 5 days off, but I have friends who can spend a couple of days on the couch and come back super fresh and ready to go. Significantly altering your daily routines can have some weird effects as well.

Anecdotally, I’ve found a longer warmup and/or some higher cadence spin-ups seem to help with that first tough workout back, as well as a bit of extra caffeine.

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The warmup is definitely under-rated, particularly with Trainerroad workouts because the warm up is usually like 3-10 minutes. If you ever jump into a pace partner workout on zwift you know how you feel at minute 0 is much different than how you feel at minute 20. After warming up I feel the RPE is MUCH lower. For TrainerRoad workouts I always ADD at least 10-15 minutes to the warmup for any hard intervals. And I’ll also take a caffeine pill or two.

Another thought is that you may want to have some extra sugar close by for the workout. Part of the reason you may be sluggish is because your energy stores are lowered because you haven’t had consistent workouts leading your body to not hold onto the glycogen levels it did when you were working out consistently.


True, but I’d rather not fail than fail, and if I had the time the day before to sharpen up, I guess - why not? It’s gotta be better to get the expected TiZ on the planned workout than not. Plus there’s that good old psychological benefit of not failing.

Obviously, it’s only going to be a very occasional thing. I’m not suggesting doing it every Sunday before my VO2 Max ride on Monday.

And, of course, everyone’s mileage will vary.


If caffeine isn’t the answer, I don’t want to know what the question was.

I wouldn’t worry about it, unless it becomes a regular occurrence

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Haha, i actually do that. My RPE is always super high right after a day off so i’ve never liked the traditiona! plan structure of having your toughest workout after a rest day.

On that note, i think it’s unlikely you’ve lost measurable fitness with 5 days off, so it’s mostly jusr a question of lowering RPE to make that first workout more maneagable. That said I personally wouldn’t think a few days of z2 is necessary for that kind of break (unless you want to of course!) IME you just need a day or so to remind the legs how to go round and round. :joy:

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So after ditching the workout on Monday I did Upper Park on Wednesday which I did ok with, but struggled through some of the high FTP parts (Current FTP is a laughable 225) Combination of burning legs and high heart rate.

Today I did Izaak Walton -2 and I got about 13 minutes in before my legs were burning too much to ignore, I had to stop the workout. My nutrition didn’t really change, eating more fish than meats, have a protein shake 2x a day, no junk foods. water, coffee, mostly. I did recently change jobs so due to a new schedule I’m training early in the morning about 30-45 minutes after I get up, compared to after work.