I've just done 3 hard weeks of workouts and have taken two recovery days off the bike. I finished the period feeling "comfortable" tired, if you know what I mean. Nothing like what overtraining sounds like. But feeling good having done a hard period, without pushing too much.
So yesterday I did a 2 hours L2 ride, I felt good at first but the last 1.5 hour I felt more tired than I would normally have done. I'm feeling fine today, so I'm not sick. I'm thinking the tiredness was caused by the two off days in a row.
Am I fully recovered? or am I still missing a bit of recovery? Do you think I would have benefited from doing a recovery ride on the second day?
Read some books about training - every one of them will tell you that rest and recovery is just as important as your hard efforts.
Three straight weeks of hard workouts without any recovery will cause overtraining, so you probably need a solid week of light rides - HR < 60% max would be good. Recovery is when your body builds itself back up from your hard efforts, which is how your get stronger/faster.
You're wasting your time and energy by working hard without including at least 2 recovery days a week into your routine.
Gary Fisher Procaliber, Colnago C50 Cross, Cannondale road bike
Everything that I understand is consistent to what SD790 has written. My training program is split between a training calender consisting- Build, recovery, peak and race weeks. I usually take about three weeks completely off the bike at various times of the year. One week after Cyclo-cross season. One week after Mt bike racing season and one additional week in the middle of my off season training program. You can check out more of my training on my blog. mikedmanthey.blogspot.com