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Are rest-days included in your cycling plans?

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Are rest-days included in your cycling plans?

Old 07-16-17, 06:22 AM
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Are rest-days included in your cycling plans?

I'm beginning to question if rest-days are important. I ride between 75 and 125 miles a week. Most rides are 20 miles during the workweek or 50 miles on the weekend.

I usually rest for 48 hours after a 50 miles ride. I've convinced myself that the legs need recovery time. I've never had an over-use injury, so the need for rest is more theoretical than practical.

Do rest days improve performance?
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Old 07-16-17, 06:30 AM
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I include rest days, and by rest days, I mean that I walk.
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Old 07-16-17, 06:46 AM
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I try to have rest days and did regularly until recently. After resuming cycling a couple years ago I usually rode 3-4 times a week.

But despite emphasizing short high intensity intervals since June I'm finding myself more energized and wanting to ride every day if there's time.

Now the tricky bit is remembering to include easier recovery rides between the harder sessions.

Not complaining. Just surprised.
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Old 07-16-17, 06:56 AM
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Originally Posted by Barrettscv View Post
Do rest days improve performance?
Yes, in a structured program where high intensity effort intervals for power & speed are included Recovery is required as well as the hard work to improve performance. This can be active recovery where a spin in Zone 1-2 follows the previous day's high intensity work and at least one day off the bike every week is part of my routine.

Going out day after day at the same intensity will produce the same fitness, not improving performance and fitness.

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Old 07-16-17, 06:59 AM
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From my experience, it depends on what you mean.

If you're training for a big race/ride, the conventional wisdom is that you train hard, with each training ride harder than the one before it. But some time period before the event itself, you "taper" and ride much less and at a relaxed pace or not at all. For an event like the HooDoo 500 or the 508, you taper for several days ... even a week.

Does it work? I think so. In my experience, by the time the event has finally arrived, you're like a bull, hoofing the ground and raring to go.

At the same time, in that period before you taper, conventional wisdom ... especially for us old folks ... is to get out and ride, even after a tough day in the saddle. Many do a "recovery" ride ... basically a soft pedaling affair. My experience is that recovery rides work too ... they keep you limber and stave off stiffening up.

I think a good swim or a walk would be as effective or more, though. YMMV, of course.
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Old 07-16-17, 07:14 AM
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I only ride on weekdays, so yes I get a 72 hour period (Friday lunchtime to Monday lunchtime) where I don't. But I still use my treadmill on weekends - I don't take any rest days from that unless I'm completely exhausted or oversleep to the point that there is simply no time.
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Old 07-16-17, 07:32 AM
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Exercise tears down muscle.

Muscle rebuilds during recovery.

Rest days are essential to proper recovery.

An easy, zone 1 ride is good on a rest day. Most people overdo recovery rides.


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Old 07-16-17, 09:05 AM
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Of course. Riding hard every day is counterproductive. It's a recipe for plateuaing at best, burnout at worst.
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Old 07-16-17, 12:31 PM
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I'm trying for a new mileage record this year, and I ride 4 to 6 days in a row. I look at a rest day or days like taking the time to sharpen an axe or file the chain on my chain saw. When I get back in the saddle after a day or two of rest, my psyche and body are renewed and ready to go. If I ride too many days in a row, mind and body seem to suffer, and it isn't as much fun.
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Old 07-16-17, 12:35 PM
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Originally Posted by doctor j View Post
I'm trying for a new mileage record this year, and I ride 4 to 6 days in a row. I look at a rest day or days like taking the time to sharpen an axe or file the chain on my chain saw. When I get back in the saddle after a day or two of rest, my psyche and body are renewed and ready to go. If I ride too many days in a row, mind and body seem to suffer, and it isn't as much fun.
What is you goal if you want to share?
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Old 07-16-17, 01:13 PM
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Originally Posted by TimothyH View Post
Most people overdo recovery rides.
Man, you said it. I usually treat Sat/Sun as recovery as I ride with my wife-- but she wasn't feeling up to it today, so it ended up as an hour of 80% intensity, with 1,300ft of climbing in the first 9 miles.

I'll recover another day, I guess.
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Old 07-16-17, 03:14 PM
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I Should Haven Taken Some Rest Days

I spent several weeks riding almost everyday. Lots of miles, lots of hills, riding hard. I was training for an epic ride and training in epic amounts. The concepts of overtraining, of needing time for muscles to recover and rebuild, were abstractions to me.

Those concepts aren't abstractions anymore. I've been on crutches for three weeks with a seriously injured foot because I skipped rest days.
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Old 07-16-17, 03:17 PM
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I'll ride 2-3 days then a day off. Weather and work schedule dependent. If I ride 2 hard and long days on the weekend, I might take Monday off, but if the weather looks iffy for mid week I'll continue to ride and do a bike commute, knowing the rainy or hot days will be my break, so it's not structured.

I also will increase mileage a bit every week for about 5-6 weeks then do an easy week with more days off.
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Old 07-16-17, 03:55 PM
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If I do, what is for me a hard ride, the following day or two I do an easy spin around the local state park. There is such a great variety of responses to exercise that I don't see how a formula can apply to all. Elite, world class athletes are not only stronger than everyone else, they recover faster than everyone else and as a consequence can train harder. Even elite athletes, say tennis players who are not engaged in a contact sport, over many years can suffer cumulative injuries. Tennis playere begin playing at age 7 so so. It is not really surprising that by 25 they begin to have physical problems.

A recent example is Andy Murray, a Scot who hovered on the edge of a top ten ranking, finally won Wimbledon after he got healthy. Roger Federer had nagging injuries and seemed to be at the end of his career. As evidenced by today's Wimbledon final, he is back on his game.

It seems to me, this training and recovery issue has a short term component, days or weeks, and a long term component, weeks or years. As recreational athletes we are most likely on the short term end of the issue. We probably just need to be wary if we ride hard or hard and long and be on the lookout for signs of overtraining.
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Old 07-16-17, 04:22 PM
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Originally Posted by 10 Wheels View Post
What is you goal if you want to share?
s

Last year, my first full calendar year of retirement, I rode 7,406 miles, and that was a record for me. I'd like to surpass that by a reasonable amount this year. Thus far, I'm ahead of where I was last year at this time. I'm trying my best to stay healthy as I'll need to be on the bike a lot in order to stay ahead and gain a little more.

I'm a little squeamish about publishing my goal because I'm afraid of jinxing it
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Old 07-16-17, 04:42 PM
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Originally Posted by berner View Post
It seems to me, this training and recovery issue has a short term component, days or weeks, and a long term component, weeks or years. As recreational athletes we are most likely on the short term end of the issue. We probably just need to be wary if we ride hard or hard and long and be on the lookout for signs of overtraining.
A well designed and executed cycling program contains Base Miles sufficient to build endurance, works on refining pedaling technique and provides sufficient time to adapt to the machine. Then, and only then, ramping up loads to work on Power & Speed can commence with suitable Recovery.

This is the traditional old school method that cycling clubs have followed for generations with the goal of getting results in competition and sufficient endurance, power & speed for century riders to cover terrain & distance without injury at a right smart pace. Following a seasonal structured program year after year (decade after decade) while incorporating modern high intensity/recovery methodology can keep a 50+ rider fit, strong and fast enough to do challenging routes at pace in a time constrained life.

It need not be all brutal mechanistic joy-less pain, unless you want it to be.
I sing stupid songs in an off-key tenor on LD/FG rides while my riding partner offers an endless supply of awful knock-knock jokes.
Endurance, Power, Speed and Silly all take work.

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Old 07-16-17, 04:44 PM
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I believe that if you are in good shape, and don't dig into your reserves, rest days are less important.

My wife and I did a ride on fully loaded touring bikes, I was 64 and my wife in her mid-fifties. We averaged over 50 miles a day for 74 consecutive days including only one rest day. We were in excellent physical condition with a base of about 1500 miles of training rides, regular weight work, and swimming prior to the start of the trip. The training rides, really pushing, are where the rest days come into play.

We had some rest days built into our schedule, but did not need them. We also had an added incentive of completing the ride on time because we were both still working, and needed to get back to work at the time we had agreed to with our employers.

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Old 07-16-17, 04:46 PM
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Bandera, I bow before your wisdom.
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Old 07-16-17, 04:55 PM
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Originally Posted by Barrettscv View Post
I'm beginning to question if rest-days are important. I ride between 75 and 125 miles a week. Most rides are 20 miles during the workweek or 50 miles on the weekend.

I usually rest for 48 hours after a 50 miles ride. I've convinced myself that the legs need recovery time. I've never had an over-use injury, so the need for rest is more theoretical than practical.

Do rest days improve performance?
I ride about the same / week as you. Recovery days are a necessity for me at my age, though they become less frequent through the season.
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Old 07-16-17, 05:12 PM
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Originally Posted by berner View Post
Bandera, I bow before your wisdom.
Your points are well taken regarding Recovery and Injury, especially for 50+ riders.
Every morning I ache, every ride is on the edge of injury even just plootering about.
Not that that's big news on this sub-forum.

Without sufficient base miles taking on big loads and long miles injury is more likely, and recovery low/slow. Best to avoid that injury.
When Power or Speed intervals are taken on even w/ a good base be aware of the loads and back off/quit if something feels bad.
Every day on every ride ask yourself if today's schedule is right for how your body feels.
Sore knee? Go roll around and feel if it loosens up before hitting a power workout, if not: recovery ride Zone 1-2 or take the day Off.
Feel good? Get on with it.

A properly executed program takes into account life and it's vicissitudes while listening to what your body says, not dogmatically following The Schedule but getting the work done as required/possible.

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Old 07-16-17, 09:39 PM
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I work out 5 days per week, usually Friday-Sunday, and Tuesday-Wednesday. The 'rest' days are during the week so I'm usually on my feet walking around jobsites.
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Old 07-17-17, 06:27 AM
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Originally Posted by DrIsotope View Post
Man, you said it. I usually treat Sat/Sun as recovery as I ride with my wife-- but she wasn't feeling up to it today, so it ended up as an hour of 80% intensity, with 1,300ft of climbing in the first 9 miles.

I'll recover another day, I guess.
Yeah, zone 1 is out the window as soon as some guy on a tri bike passes. Then I'm on his wheel and the fuse is lit.

Monday is my rest day. I usually cut the grass, maybe walk to the store, etc.
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Old 07-17-17, 07:34 AM
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Sorta. My plan is to commute 5 days/wk. Then ride one day on the weekend. One day off the bike on the weekend. Don't always make the 5 days/wk. Sometimes other stuff interferes with weekend rides.
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Old 07-17-17, 11:07 AM
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Definitely. I try to ride 5 days/week. Ideally, I ride Saturday-Sunday and Tuesday-Thursday, with rest days on Monday and Friday.

Very easy recovery rides can count as a rest day, if you are disciplined enough to keep the short and easy. I did a tough ride yesterday (Sunday) with lots of climbing, and my plan for today is to do 10-15 miles spinning in the small chain ring with my HR never out of zone 2. This is just to get the stiffness out of my legs. If I don't do this, my legs will feel heavy and stiff on the first 10 miles of tomorrow's ride
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Old 07-17-17, 11:17 AM
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Originally Posted by Bandera View Post
Going out day after day at the same intensity will produce the same fitness, not improving performance and fitness.
While that is the conventional wisdom, I ride by heart rate to "monitor" my intensity. I picked/found a heart rate that I want to ride at and stick to that... Doing so this year, I've increased my cadence (from under 70 to high 80s/low 90s), speed (from 8-10 mph to 14-16mph over 50 mile+ rides) and endurance (from whining abut 10 mile rides to completing a 600km ride under max allowable time).

Obviously YMMV.

But, to the OP's question, yes, rest days are beneficial. But as others have noted, rest doesn't mean no riding....just not intense effort riding.
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