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Training & Nutrition Learn how to develop a training schedule that's good for you. What should you eat and drink on your ride? Learn everything you need to know about training and nutrition here.

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Old 04-14-14, 08:39 PM   #1
EnellCH
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How much rest should one plan for (the opposite of not riding enough..)

Hi,

I recently started to increase my time per week and milage significantly. Have been riding since 2009 fairly consistent, yet rarely much more than 25-25 miles once or twice per week. This year, i signed up for a 545 mile ride over 7 days, and figured I needed to step it up.

Over the past two months, I have gradually increased from ~50 miles per week to now close to 200 miles per week (work schedule allowing) with most weeks hitting at least 100miles.

Question: How much should one plan to rest and be off the bike? There are days now that riding feels more like a chore than fun (which is ok) and i am a little sore most all the time (not too bad though). Is 1-2 days rest per week enough?
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Old 04-14-14, 11:08 PM   #2
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Hi,

I recently started to increase my time per week and milage significantly. Have been riding since 2009 fairly consistent, yet rarely much more than 25-25 miles once or twice per week. This year, i signed up for a 545 mile ride over 7 days, and figured I needed to step it up.

Over the past two months, I have gradually increased from ~50 miles per week to now close to 200 miles per week (work schedule allowing) with most weeks hitting at least 100miles.

Question: How much should one plan to rest and be off the bike? There are days now that riding feels more like a chore than fun (which is ok) and i am a little sore most all the time (not too bad though). Is 1-2 days rest per week enough?
It depends on how old you are, whether you are male vs female, overall amount of training experience, and your individual physiology. I am 47, female, riding just over a year and also recently (for the past month) riding 200 mi/week. I am rarely sore except after a very hard ride. I typically ride 4-5 days per week, do yoga one day, some weeks swim a mile, one day per week no activity beyond maybe taking a walk. I also train 3 weeks, then take a training break, etc. My current training plan began Nov 17 and ends in 2 more weeks, about 22 weeks overall.

If you're feeling like riding is a chore and also feeling sore I would suggest changing something. You need training breaks if you don't have them scheduled already. If you do have them in your program, you might need more recovery/rest days per week. Maybe more long rides to make your mile goals and more days off. Also look at any crosstraining and consider if that might be leaving you sore- things like weight lifting or running.

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Old 04-15-14, 10:03 AM   #3
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Training load is a function of duration and intensity. Assuming you kept the same intensity and increased the training duration from 50 to 200 miles per week in 2 months, IMO, that is a lot. If you increased your mileage by 10% per week, you would double your 50 miles to 110 miles in approximately 2 months. Of course, if you are riding really easy 50 miles and then increase it to 200 miles but still ride really easy, then the training will have a different affect on your body and that may be okay.

Pushing big gears for 200 miles is much harder on the muscles than spinning easy gears for 200 miles. So there are a lot of variables.

IMO, the best way is to listen to your body and rest more than you think you need. Most of gang that I run with does two to three weeks of building and then takes a rest week and embedded in the training weeks are rest days. Cross training, although it may be good for well being and overall fitness and health, adds training load and reduces the amount of cycling one can do.

Also, doing the same thing over an over again no matter how great it is, can become tedious unless one figures out ways to make it interesting. I mix it up a lot and I train at a cycling gym riding the rollers, I do group rides, I race and train at the track and I motor pace all on different bicycles. I am going on a 4 day tandem tour in May. However, the overarching variable to this mix is that I get enough recovery and rest.
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Last edited by Hermes; 04-15-14 at 10:13 AM.
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Old 04-15-14, 05:11 PM   #4
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Rest could mean a lot of things. It should mean a day on the couch with your legs up. Two of those would be helpful to everyone!
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Old 04-15-14, 07:16 PM   #5
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If you are sore most of the time you're probably not be getting enough protein or sleep, or both. And if you are motivated enough to do 200 miles a week, you might get more out of those rest days by doing short recovery rides.
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Old 04-15-14, 07:21 PM   #6
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Thank you all for advice! What constitutes a short recovery ride?
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Old 04-15-14, 07:50 PM   #7
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Thank you all for advice! What constitutes a short recovery ride?
Probably depends largely on your fitness level. For me 30 minutes at around 50-60% effort is enough to get blood in the muscles, reduce soreness, without creating any additional fatigue.
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Old 06-02-14, 11:42 AM   #8
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Question: How much should one plan to rest and be off the bike? Is 1-2 days rest per week enough?
As much as you need to. Depends on you. It could be enough. It could be not enough.
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Old 06-02-14, 11:46 AM   #9
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It depends on how much you're eating, how hard you're riding, and what you do in your off time.

200 miles per week really isn't that much. But if you only sleep 6 hours per night, undereat, and have a lot of physical stuff going on when you aren't on the bike, recovery will become an issue.

If you feel okay, keep riding because you aren't overtrained.
If you loathe the thought of getting on your bike, rethink why you're doing this event. Riding should be fun. As soon as I start dreading getting on my bike, I'll find something else to do.
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