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  1. #1
    Junior Member pranavnegandhi's Avatar
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    Rest periods in a training program

    I have been lurking on this forum for some time now. I got onto the cycle last November after close to 20 years and have been bitten by the bug. I commute to work everyday by bicycle, use it to run errands on weekends, and even go on a 10-12 km circuit most days of the week.

    I have been suffering from aches in my right knee for several years, due to weakened quad muscles and was hoping that working out on the bicycle would help relieve the pain. My fitness had improved dramatically during the first few weeks, but during December the ache in my knees was becoming unbearable. I was thinking of giving up cycling, or at least reducing it for a while.

    Then I took a week off and went on a break out of town, during which time I didn't cycle at all.

    After returning, I went off again to ride one morning and surprised myself by finishing the 10 km round in half the time as usual. And this is not a one-off thing. I have kept up with this pace for several days in a row. Even my regular commute to work seems to go faster, and leaves me less out of breath than before.

    Has anyone here experienced such a thing? Is it a good idea to incorporate some kind of rest period into a training program? I want to prepare for a 150 km ride to the next city and am considering pointers for my training program. Any advice would be helpful.

  2. #2
    Throw the stick!!!! LowCel's Avatar
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    Most coaches have riders riding hard (and or long) for three weeks then they have them take a rest week on the fourth week. I generally do 12 hours or so during my regular weeks then the rest weeks will be about eight hours, however they will be much, much easier and about three hours of that will be gym time. My rides, with the exception of the weekend rides, will be at about 50% of my threshold wattage, so very easy during the rest week.
    I may be fat but I'm slow enough to make up for it.

  3. #3
    Splicer of Molecules Nickel's Avatar
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    Just a piggyback onto an already existing thread. I am in the rest week of my Base 2 and my first event is in 5 weeks, a century in a very hilly gravel 'race' ('race' because I'll be just happy to finish).

    Is it still okay to do a long ride (60-70mi) as long as I keep it in Z1/2? I will be aiming for flat terrain as well. I want to keep building up my saddle time for this event.

    My impression is that the rest week is resting from intensity and that is fine to ride at an easy pace. (?)

  4. #4
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    There are 2 divergent streams of thought that I've seen on "scheduling" rest. The traditional approach is 3-4 weeks on (relatively hard training), then a rest week where you cut volume and intensity. The other approach is to take rest breaks when life forces you too because of family commitments, etc. Both have their advocates, and both can work.

    The downside to scheduling rest is you may not need it (i.e., you can handle more training load), and in one study (can't rememebr the source) is riders expect rest so you pschologically program them when again they don't need it.

    Conversely, the downside to not scheduling rest is the potential to over-reach (some may say over-train) or psychologically burn out.

    Given that your volume appears to be relatively low, it's hard to say whether scheduling rest would help you physiologically, but it might help you physically.

    Last, it sounds to me like you need a competent bicicycle fitter to check your bike fit, or a doctor to get to the root of your knee pain. You may be riding faster because your knee feels good (due to the rest you took) for the moment. But as you ramp volume, your pain, if not addressed, most likely will return (IMO).

  5. #5
    Pokes On Spokes JPradun's Avatar
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    A scheduled rest week is wasted training time...
    The quest for success: Collegiate Nationals:
    http://iliveonnitro.blogspot.com
    (Updated daily 3/26-4/4-: North Carolina training camp)

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