From The Coaches: The Importance of Recovery & Rest

This remains the single biggest ‘alert’ for me after doing this stuff for a couple of years now - and it’s why i like having HR on the screen for workouts to help me be objective as well as how I ‘feel (RPE)’. Doing something about it is often hard, but it does work (listening to oneself)

HRV is one thing I’ve been keen on for a year, though I’m having real trouble trusting it on an iPhone use HRV4training. Sill looking for that elusive, easy to use, reliable(consistent) HRV monitoring device

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Hey Sir Martin,
Great points! We cannot dismiss the importance of the subjective aspect of training/recovery. And you’re spot on with the difficulty in listening to oneself. It’s hard to be your own coach
Also, the quality of HRV tools definitely vary from between brands.

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SIrShrek,
Thanks for the comments. It’s really amazing to see how a few minor changes in one’s life can make huge differences. Congrats on making those improvements. Keep up the good work!!!

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Question regarding active recovery, can we add a recovery ride to the plan as we wish? For example on the day that the plan has nothing on or on the day that feeling stiff.

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Sure, that’s exactly what the No Vid Recovery workout is designed for.

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So often, I screw up recovery weeks. I do well for the first few days and then - as I’m feeling good - I start over cooking the easy rides. I go just a bit harder or longer than I’m supposed to. Without fail, the next week ends up being a struggle to hit targets. I really need to be more disciplined and treat recovery as important as workouts.

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That is me to a “T”. This 2020 ToS, I followed the Post Plan…WOW. But it is so HARD NOT TO SUFFER​:rofl::volcano: My new 4DP numbers, say something else :+1::t_rex::+1:

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This is actually going to be the title of my autobiography!

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This is great information! I sometimes forget to work my training around my life. Things are very busy with work and two toddlers.

Thanks for the reminder!

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I find I often mistake recovery with doing nothing and eating everything I can see. Which is simultaneously bad for my mindset and my training. Habits of recovery like eating well and treating rest as being kind to the body are harder for me to establish than training hard. Hey ho. Live and learn - repeat.

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@ArcticJohnKoS So true. Mixing up recovery days with rest days is a big issue for me. Sometimes I feel bad if I ride on a recovery day even if it’s an easy one. Then I have to actively remind myself that a recovery ride is way better than doing nothing. True rest days, those days when you do absolutely nothing, are rather rare and I think you will know intuitively when you need them (or your body lets you know). So I guess what I want to say is that currently I keep riding (even if it’s <100watts) and only refrain from riding when my body clearly tells me not to. I just feel too bad not doing anything. Having said this, I hope I will learn one day not to feel bad on days when I am not riding. Any tips?

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I struggle following a plan because most of the time life doesn’t allow 2 or 3 weeks on with 1 week off. With 2 young kids, I often spend 2 or 3 days without riding.

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I recently switched from 3:1 to 2:1. I was getting midway through that third week and not knowing if I would be able to finish the week. Now I’m struggling with my recovery weeks—getting to Wednesday or Thursday and ramping back up. My numbers have been stagnant over the last couple of cycles and I suspect my (lack of) recovery is the reason. Hoping to do better this next time around.

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I was exactly the same. At 50-yo, that 3:1 was just taking too much to recover from. Mentally, I also find 2:1 much, much easier to handle.

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Might I suggest using your own name in your autobiography Sir @Cody.Moore :wink:

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Thanks for the post Sir @Coach.Spencer.R! As for keeping stress levels in check, one thing I have been doing consistently for the better part of a year and a half is spending at least a few minutes each day simply acknowledging the emotional impact that my life’s stresses have on me. It could be something as small as having to go to the grocery store (in the time of CoVid) to the daily stresses of navigating a family and the seemingly good stress of planning for, and nearing a major goal/event. I have found that ignoring the emotional impact (stuffing it down or attempting to minimize it) will, in my case anyway, lead to lower back pain/spasm that historically has laid me up for weeks at a time. Since doing this, I have not had a recurrence when in the past it would happen 2-3 times every year. It’s great to have a loving and understanding partner to bounce all of this emotional stuff off of as well. I’m very fortunate.

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I also have to immensely remind myself that recovery is essential. This spring I have had a lot of time on my hands, and as such, been training quite a lot. Not using a set program but going by feel, I now have 9 weeks of pretty intense work behind me, and as such, should probably have included one (or several) rest weeks, have been feeling quite strong until 3 consecutive hard days of long Vo2 max level intervals, which left me feeling quite cooked for some days and now having a rest week.

I have however raised my 20-min max from 285 to 335 W this year, and thus I attributed lower heart rates when training to simply improved form. How would one distinguish improved form and fatigue over long periods of time?

Attached is the workload mentioned, weekly total time around 14 hours.

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Hey @EJJensen,
Congratulations on your improvement on your 20 min max!
Distinguishing form from fatigue can be determined by subjective and objective measures outlined in the article. Ask yourself these questions:

  1. Does RPE ( rate of perceived exertion) reflect the training zone (heart rate or power)?
  2. What is the trend on morning resting heart rate or hrv?
  3. Are training power targets being consistently attained?
  4. What is the level of enthusiasm for training?

If you listen to your body’s signals, you’ll be golden. Realize oftentimes less is more. Hope that helps.

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@Coach.Spencer.R Hey Spencer! thanks a lot for bringing this up. I believe we, in general, are not well educated on the importance of rest, and tend to think that the more you push, the better. You guys are the experts, but this fact is quite misunderstood all around

I’ll keep an eye out to pick up a few tips along the way! :v:t5:

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I can totally relate to this. This week I promised myself a recovery week and yet again, by Wednesday, with legs feeling fresh, I pushed harder and harder on what should have been an easy ride.

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