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Old 03-22-11, 10:23 AM   #1
TromboneAl
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How Important Are Muscle Group Rest Days?

Although I exercise 6 days/week, I rarely do the same type of exercise two days in a row (that is, I alternate between running, riding, walking, weight lifting, etc.).

But now that I'm training for a century, and the weather is often iffy, I will probably need to do some back to back long rides.

Am I shooting myself in the foot, not giving my biking muscles a chance to rest??

For example, I did a 63 mile ride yesterday, and today my foot, butt, neck, and muscles are sore, but it's sunny now, and it will rain tomorrow. Do I ride?
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Old 03-22-11, 10:34 AM   #2
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It's not bad for you to ride two days in a row (or more), but just don't do a lot of high-intensity days back to back (or in a row). Low intensity recovery rides are very helpful, and from what I've read (and experienced), slow recovery rides are much better for you (well, at least for me) than not riding.

Now, regarding the other cross-training and how to fit that all in, you'll have to wait for another reply because I don't do any other (walking, weight lifting, etc.) exercise.

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Old 03-22-11, 10:43 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TromboneAl View Post
Although I exercise 6 days/week, I rarely do the same type of exercise two days in a row (that is, I alternate between running, riding, walking, weight lifting, etc.).

But now that I'm training for a century, and the weather is often iffy, I will probably need to do some back to back long rides.

Am I shooting myself in the foot, not giving my biking muscles a chance to rest??

For example, I did a 63 mile ride yesterday, and today my foot, butt, neck, and muscles are sore, but it's sunny now, and it will rain tomorrow. Do I ride?
You sound like my twin, (6 days a week)!!.. also, I don't hit the same muscle groups the next day either. Also, I have found out, that the resting day, really puts you back strong for the next. Two days, IMO, even stronger..

IMO, I would give a two day rest before the big one..Just some light stretching, pushups and situps. IMO, you will be at your strongest on the 3rd day...

BTW, when I was running long distances, I used to 5 miles on Monday, weight train on Tuesday, 5 miles on Wednesday, weight train on Thursday, rest on Friday, come Saturday or Sunday, I was good for 4 hours running..

You get props for the 6 day bit!! That kind of routine becomes a HABIT, coupled with a HIGH, and the pay off is HUGE AFTER 65...
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Old 03-22-11, 11:07 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TromboneAl View Post
Although I exercise 6 days/week, I rarely do the same type of exercise two days in a row (that is, I alternate between running, riding, walking, weight lifting, etc.).

But now that I'm training for a century, and the weather is often iffy, I will probably need to do some back to back long rides.

Am I shooting myself in the foot, not giving my biking muscles a chance to rest??

For example, I did a 63 mile ride yesterday, and today my foot, butt, neck, and muscles are sore, but it's sunny now, and it will rain tomorrow. Do I ride?
I would ride today while the weather is favorable.... just easy and moderate distance. Rest on a rain day tomorrow. IMHO complete recovery is very important and there should be times of the year for getting more complete rest. Your century is a one-day event, so long rides are important to get ready but you probably don't need too many of those in a row. Preparing for a tour of several long rides in a row might be another matter. I agree with getting two days of near complete rest before your century.
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Old 03-22-11, 12:09 PM   #5
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I'm convinced that rest days are essential. The body will rebuild on rest days, without this rebuilding the risk of injury increases substantially. The body also burns calories while rebuilding muscle tissue.

I’d rather have a vigorous work-out every other day and rest, than to try to work-out everyday.
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Old 03-22-11, 12:09 PM   #6
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If the 63 miler was a fair amount more than you are used to it might seem prudent to keep today down to a relaxed 30 or so like RickOCRR says. But, in general, as long as you are not sprinting or otherwise maxing out your muscles shouldn't it be fine to do multiple 50/60 mile rides? Lots of people ride cross country averaging 70 miles or more per day at a moderate pace.
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Old 03-22-11, 01:26 PM   #7
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I have a coach, and the first thing she did was insist on my having recovery days, and periodic recovery weeks where the overall load is lighter. Here are examples of a heavy week and a recovery week. The data provided is Hours, Miles (Mi), and the "Training Stress Score (TSS)" which is an indication of the intensity of the workout:

Heavy Week:
Mon: 1:00, 14mi, 22TSS
Tue: 1:35, 25mi, 67TSS
Wed: 1:08, 18mi, 61TSS (Crit Race)
Thu: Recovery
Fri: 1:55, 27mi, 104TSS (Hill repeats)
Sat: 1:43, 34mi, 119TSS (Tour de Cure Ride Marshalling)
Sun: 4:08, 69mi, 190TSS (Pre-ride upcoming race course)

Followed by this recovery week:
Mon: 1:05, 16mi, 26TSS (Active Recovery)
Tue: 1:30, 24mi, 46TSS (Active Recovery)
Wed: Recovery
Thu: 1:30, 24mi, 56TSS (Active Recovery)
Fri: Recovery
Sat: 4:30, 83mi, 269TSS (50mi hi-intensity; 30mi easy)

Generally for me, any high intensity workout is followed by either full recovery or active recovery, And a series of intense weeks is followed by a light week. Strength workouts (weights and core exercises) are done on recovery or active recovery days, when I fit them in at all :-/
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Old 03-22-11, 02:25 PM   #8
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Thanks for the advice. I looked into the concept of a recovery ride, and I finally got it: Like a poor man's massage.

So I went on an easy 20 mile flat ride today under sunny skies:

http://connect.garmin.com/activity/74538010
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Old 03-22-11, 02:37 PM   #9
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Thanks for the advice. I looked into the concept of a recovery ride, and I finally got it: Like a poor man's massage.

So I went on an easy 20 mile flat ride today under sunny skies:
Yep, from your Garmin file, that's a recovery ride alright. Took me awhile to really understand just how easy I should be taking it, but when I did, I could tell the difference right away. I keep the cadence up, and the gear so low the moderately fast cadence (~95) doesn't get my heart going.
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Old 03-22-11, 02:58 PM   #10
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You can also just go for a walk. The idea is to keep the blood flowing with
exerting heavily.
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