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  1. #1
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    What is a Rest Week?

    Basicially, I am riding 3 (sometimes 4) times a week. Two of the rides are "interval" workouts and the third is a longer aerobic ride. I am trying to do this for 3 weeks and then the fourth week is a "rest week" but I am unclear as to how much less I should be doing for that rest week.

    Should I ride the same number of times but cut the volume down by some %? OR should I keep the volume the same and reduce the intensity?

    I like to keep it simple...not a racer or anything..

    Thanks in advance.

  2. #2
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    I reduce my intensity. My volume is rarely high to begin with.

  3. #3
    These Guys Eat Oreos Creatre's Avatar
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    I believe the common way is to cut back your volume, and keep the intensity. So if you are riding 4 times a week, then cut back to 3 times and on your long ride cut that back some as well, but keep up the intensity you would usually do your workouts.
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    It is my understanding it is a combination of the two. Cut volume and intensity. I don't bother with volume due to the before mentioned lack of said volume.
    Anyhow, I am currently in unstructured pre base random riding. AKA having fun.

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    These Guys Eat Oreos Creatre's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DataJunkie View Post
    It is my understanding it is a combination of the two. Cut volume and intensity. I don't bother with volume due to the before mentioned lack of said volume.
    Anyhow, I am currently in unstructured pre base random riding. AKA having fun.
    Yeah I guess it kind of depends on the current training schedule. The point of a rest week is to not create too much more training stress, but to allow your body to recover when it may not have been able to recover in the few weeks past. So I could see cutting back some on intensity.

    I think everyone is going to have a bit different view on rest weeks, basically just do whatever you feel like you need in order to let your body to recuperate from the weeks past without losing too much fitness you have built up.
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  6. #6
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    To quote Friel "You only get stronger when you rest"
    If you follow his methods you would schedule every 4th week if you are younger or every 3rd week if you are older as a rest week. This would cut your training volume by approximately half while keeping your intensity up.

    For me my rest weeks vary by season. If I am in the winter base miles I'll go skiing instead of my long ride one weekend, but keep my Tuesday / Thursday rides scheduled. During Build and Race periods I will keep my weekend rides intense but a little shorter and I may do one less interval set mid week.

    In short, just listen to your body. Your rest week is a chance for your tissues to rebuild and gain strength (overcompensation). Pushing to hard during your rest week can change quickly from overcompensation (getting stronger) to overtraining (getting weaker).

    --Colin

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    Packfodding 3 caloso's Avatar
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    On a rest week, the only riding I do is commuting. A very easy 8 mile round trip. Maybe ride with the kids to soccer. No lycra, no HRM.
    Cyclists of the world, unite! You have nothing to lube but your chains!

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    Quote Originally Posted by colinmcnamara View Post
    To quote Friel "You only get stronger when you rest"
    Sadly the science disagrees. All training adaptations that result from training are the result of overload and will occur whether the athlete rests or keeps training at a high level. All rest does is reduce residual fatigue so that performance isn't limited. Too many riders have been led astray not reaching their potential by the concept that rest is necessary for improvement. See, for example, the discussion of the performance manager in Allen and Coggan or any of the long discussions on the subject on the Wattage list at Google.

    Or consider this article http://www.roble.net/marquis/coaching/rushall7.html

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    Science does not disagree that periodization of overload followed by a reduced training load is a path towards results.

    If you read my post I am not suggesting that the rest week is taken off the bike, however that workload is reduced to allow for consolidation of gains in the previous training cycle.

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    Quote Originally Posted by colinmcnamara View Post
    Science does not disagree that periodization of overload followed by a reduced training load is a path towards results.
    And if I referred to periodization in any way, you might have a point. But didn't you write,
    Quote Originally Posted by colinmcnamara View Post
    To quote Friel "You only get stronger when you rest"
    which is all I referred to?

    So do you or do you not believe that training adaptations are delayed until a period of rest?

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    Generally replying to a post is replying to the post, not one line out of the post. If we are in agreement then there is no point having an internet argument.

    If you want to argue I am sure we can talk about helmet usage, hipsters on fixed gear, or doping in the pro peleton.

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    Quote Originally Posted by colinmcnamara View Post
    Generally replying to a post is replying to the post, not one line out of the post.
    Again, if I had quoted your entire post you might have a point, but I deliberately only quoted part of it.

    So, as I understand it, your view is that if someone makes an incorrect, misleading statement which might cause harm to someone that we should let it go as long as enough of the post is correct? O.K. I disagree.

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    OK. I am mid forties and going to try the 2 week on and 1 week rest. My rest week will be something like doing "half" of my interval classes and my weekend long ride shorter and easier.

    Last year I rode straight thru the fall winter and my FTP did drop and had some other overtraining issues.

    Thanks for everyone's input.

  14. #14
    pan y agua merlinextraligh's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jyjyjy81 View Post
    OK. I am mid forties and going to try the 2 week on and 1 week rest. My rest week will be something like doing "half" of my interval classes and my weekend long ride shorter and easier.

    Last year I rode straight thru the fall winter and my FTP did drop and had some other overtraining issues.

    Thanks for everyone's input.
    Dude, you're in your 40's, your "on" weeks are 3 rides a week. You don't need that much rest.
    You could fall off a cliff and die.
    You could get lost and die.
    You could hit a tree and die.
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  15. #15
    I need speed AzTallRider's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by merlinextraligh View Post
    Dude, you're in your 40's, your "on" weeks are 3 rides a week. You don't need that much rest.
    +1

    I'm about to turn 56. I do a 30 mile round trip commute, 3-4 days a week depending on my need to drive, that I use either for zone 4-5 intervals or a steady-state pace (top of zone 2 or just into zone 4). I do a ~50 mile fast club ride each Saturday that takes everything out of me; I have to prep well and carb-load to have any chance of keeping up. If I can, I do an easy Sunday recovery ride. I'm most of the way through Friel's Total Heart Rate Training, and see none of the over-training symptoms he describes. So long as I eat right (I wasn't eating enough for quite awhile, and that had me fatigued), I feel I can keep this regimen going without rest weeks. Frankly, having to do a "rest week" would really piss me off.

    To try and summarize the little argument that occurred in this thread, Friel uses a "flirt with over-training to really stress your body, but rest (rest days and rest weeks) to make sure it doesn't cause real over-training" approach, while the linked article suggests close monitoring of each exercise to detect reduced performance, and backing off on that exercise to avoid overtraining. Both are trying to keep you "on the edge" of overtraining.

    One of Friel's points when he says "you only get stronger when you rest", is that it is during your sleep (according to him - I have no indpendent knowledge) that human growth hormone is released, which is a necessary part of building your strength. It also has to do with periodization: going beyond what you could maintain day-after-day, then backing off to recover.

    Do I have it right?
    "If you're riding less than 18 MPH up a 2% grade please tell people Coggan is coaching you."

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by merlinextraligh View Post
    Dude, you're in your 40's, your "on" weeks are 3 rides a week. You don't need that much rest.
    +1. Rest weeks are for a periodic break when you're training 6 or 7 days a week. No disrespect, but with your schedule rest weeks won't make you faster or stem the drop of your FTP.

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    Quote Originally Posted by asgelle View Post
    Again, if I had quoted your entire post you might have a point, but I deliberately only quoted part of it.

    So, as I understand it, your view is that if someone makes an incorrect, misleading statement which might cause harm to someone that we should let it go as long as enough of the post is correct? O.K. I disagree.
    Whatever, you win. Congratulations you are king of the internet.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by asgelle View Post
    Sadly the science disagrees. All training adaptations that result from training are the result of overload and will occur whether the athlete rests or keeps training at a high level. All rest does is reduce residual fatigue so that performance isn't limited.
    You don't sleep?

  19. #19
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    You schedule a rest week where you sleep for seven days straight?

  20. #20
    just another gosling Carbonfiberboy's Avatar
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    When I'm training hard, my ideal is to reduce volume by about 40% every 4th week. That includes reducing the volume of intense workouts. However . . . what I really do is stick in a rest day or two when I feel too tired to ride. I take a rest day when I don't feel like riding, because if I don't feel like riding, something is wrong. Plus I take the 4th week easier. My ideal is 6 days/week. I'm 65 and have been doing it this way for about the past 10 years. It's more fun and I'm faster when I'm slightly undertrained than when I'm overtrained. So I make sure to stay on that side of the knife edge.

    However . . . I never skip my Sunday group ride!

  21. #21
    Senior Member Bleep's Avatar
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    Rest weeks for me are same times and days just half speed just to get the muscles movin

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