Year Round riding

How much of a break to people take? I find after about 4-5 months of religiously following TR I either get a cold or life gets in the way and I slip from the plan for a few weeks (but continue other less structured work).

Do people plan time off/breaks during the season just to help you keep focused?

I’m not a racer, but generally do a few sportives a year. My main focus is on fast midweek club runs in the Summer months (no drop social rides, but very competitive up the hills).

I generally start with TR around November time, train exclusively indoors until around March when I mix in the odd outside ride. Then when it gets to May I just ride how I feel like and do any sportives I have in August/Sep. After that I usually have a month off the bike (or maybe a ride per week) to give myself some proper rest.

This year all that’s gone completely out of the window and I’ve been on TR since January with the exception of a cycling camp in Mallorca that I managed to sneak in just before Covid hit.

I’d generally noodle around, throw a few weeks of mixing it up with running again, a few weeks bike commuting, and club spins, but I don’t really take a full break off the bike.

My second A event in October is, as things stand, going ahead but who knows? I’m close to calling my now rescheduled to September “Spring” A event, due to it hard to see me being comfortable travelling to Britain, even if that is allowed from Ireland by then.

Hard to even think of an off season when the rest of this season is still so up in the air to be honest!

Hi
I used to take November Off. Last Year I took October off and went hill walking in Nepal. I then Retired from work.
I Have trained from December right through till now 5 days a week.(70 watt increase in FTP) The plan is to keep this up till November. But not take it total off, drop down to LV and 60-70% intensity stuff. May take a week off to go on holiday to south of Spain if Covid allows without self isolating when we get back home.
I Guess not working allows me to just and only think about training. I do not have other stresses in life, well not true… We all have some. Time to take the sick 14 year old dog to the vet :frowning: :cold_sweat:

I take at least two weeks off the bike in October or November depending on what whitetails are doing. Don’t ride the bike, look at it, think about it, or anything else for that period. It’s as much mental as it is physical for me.

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that less structured work is probably good; it’s a good idea to “just ride” for a few days after a couple blocks, I’d even say every 6-8 weeks.

A lot of us get “just ride” time from racing, which isn’t doing intervals but keeps the fitness up, or take smaller 2-3 day breaks to break up the stress from doing work (intervals).

everyone is different though, so just make sure it feels fun and that you’re mentally hungry to ride! if there’s that feeling “I don’t want to ride”, you know it’s time to take a couple days off.

Brendan

Yes everyone is different. I pretty much train 5 times a week since I subscribed, get my monies worth :wink: Sometimes I take a break from TR and do the Zwift academy. I don’t aim for events, just for fitness and too keep weight off, though now and again I like to do a long ride >200km outside. It’s just nice to have the fitness for when that takes my fancy. Eventually I’ll feel fit enough for a decent long adventure.


Do have the odd family holiday when I don’t have access to the bike, so I would say I take a week or two off a year.

For anyone that “just ride” after a block, do you take a recovery week after that before ramp testing, or do you just go straight into a ramp?

I follow the recovery weeks in the plan but personally find a week too long and have started cutting them a bit shorter, 4 to 5 days of recovery with some openers stops the legs totally turning off but gives them plenty of rest.

Also if I’m feeling fatigued or have fitted in another type of ride during a block, I have no problem pushing all my workouts a couple of days ahead or replacing the workout. Last block finished Tuesday and due to other activities this recovery week it has extended until today. Tomorrow I’ll either do an opener or the Ramp, see how the legs have recovered. If its an opener, Ramp will follow on Wednesday.

You won’t allow your body to absorb the work, adapt and strengthen, if you jump straight into a ramp after a block. If you read the forums, I think the opinion is you should always have some sort of recovery.

I find that I have to listen to my body now I’m older, know when it’s really tired and be flexible with rest when required. The calendar makes that really easy.

Time off structured training? Absolutely. I’ll typically have at least a month where I’m still riding my bike most days but not following any plan other than doing what feels good that day. I also hardly ever “religiously follow” a TR or any other plan. Will usually have a core of 3-4 structured workouts per week based on either a MV or HV plan, with 2-3 unstructured or less structured rides, group rides or races. Those rides will still fit roughly into a bucket (recovery ride, endurance ride, hard group ride/race, etc) but I won’t be worrying about specific wattages or durations during them. That approach works better for me than going all in on a TR plan, since group rides and races are what I enjoy most about cycling and what motivates me, but you can’t make them overly structured. If I was 100% structured I doubt I’d make it as long as 4-5 months before losing focus.

Time off the bike completely? Not so much, maybe a few weeks a year if on a holiday or work trip where cycling isn’t an option but I’ll be doing some other exercise instead.

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I ride year round, but not always on structure. Aug-Sept-Oct-Nov are for enjoying the nice weather and great bike rides. I’ve down-prioritized racing but used structured training for 8-9 months in order to be fit and quick for the fun rides.

Also lift weights year round. During structured bike training, I cut out the leg work but continue the upper body routine 2-3x per week. Then fall / winter add back in leg days. Will also do some pieces on the C2 rower in winter just to mix it up.

In total it works out to about 8 months a year of “serious” bike training with structure. Average about 10-12 hours a week of workout time.

Probably old-school, but am a fan of having a long period 3-4 months which is fun and less structured on the bike. I’ve done many all in race seasons, made it to 4.25 w/kg, etc. Nowadays more interested in really enjoying a great workout, great rides, keeping up strength with weights, etc.

FWIW… If I was still all in on race season, I would still use the Aug-Nov time period to ease back on structure and just get a ton of time in the Z2 / LT1 range. Then roll into more structure and be ready for the early April races.

FWIW, and maybe not what you are asking… Have seen folks do very well with 3 year macro-cycles. Basically you train structured for 2 seasons culminating in a big goal and then take a season of less structure to recover physically and mentally. For amateurs, particularly older amateurs, this seems to work very well. Guys doing it will “peak” for changes in age groups. For example targeting max fitness the year they can bump up to 45, 50 or 55 chasing state and national titles. Takes commitment, discipline and a long view, but works extremely well.

-Mark

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Typically I’ll take three breaks during my season.

I start structure for the upcoming season in October and I’ll take a week off at the end of January. My first calendar races are usually in February. That breaks keeps me mentally and physically sharp.

Then I’m fortunate enough to enjoy a week long cycling holiday around the end of April or early May. That’s completely unstructured. Just ride with whoever shows up at the jump off point and enjoy the coffee stops.

Back to it for the middle of May right up to the middle of September. I do find this a stretch and I listen closely to my body. I’m not afraid to adjust a TR session or skip a ride completely if something doesn’t seem right.

This year my goal event is in October so I’ve adjusted my plan(s) to enable me to push things out a little further.

I do TR to keep up with the others in the club - started using it to get faster and fitter as I got more into road cycling (always MTB’d off and on) and to do long adventures with a few friends - usually weekend long coast to coasts etc or MTB adventures.
I train low volume as with two kids there’s always issues that crop up and if I do the low volume I can share outside rides with them, do the club Sunday rides and summer TT evenings. I like to work through a TR block all the time but if we’re away on holiday or visiting our folks I don’t stress (too much) and I’ll ride outside all year round either road or MTB. If a block takes a week or two longer so be it.
As I’m on low volume I don’t often feel the need to take a break/long break other than the recovery weeks but a two week holiday and mixing up the bikes is enough to keep me interested.
I have had major chest infections that have laid me out when I’ve not listened to my body and carried on pushing through a block. Used to get more colds too - so started to look at nutrition and sleep and getting more sleep I found to be key for me.
As I don’t have a season I don’t plan breaks but they seem to naturally occur and I go with them rather than stress and I ride all year round - winter, cold and mucky club rides are some of the best times I had on a bike.

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