Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > Road Cycling
Reload this Page >

How do you guys balance riding with rest days?

Notices
Road Cycling “It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle.” -- Ernest Hemingway

How do you guys balance riding with rest days?

Old 05-18-20, 10:13 AM
  #26  
Metallifan33
Senior Member
 
Metallifan33's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2019
Location: Phoenix, AZ
Posts: 244

Bikes: Trek Domane SL 5

Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 206 Post(s)
Liked 102 Times in 48 Posts
Originally Posted by channelz28 View Post
Wow, ok. Got it. No rest days it is. I guess I'll just power through the soreness. Those of you who ride everyday, do your legs acclimate and the soreness goes away after a while? or if it hurts do you just do an easy day?

I like the ideas of digital nannies, though I would need some equipment I guess. I don't even have a bike computer.
So I wish I could ride everyday (and I think I'll get there). I started riding because I kept getting hurt running. One thing I've learnt is the guys who ride everyday don't go 100% (or even 80 to 90% every day). For beginners like me, it's very hard to gauge how much stress you're putting on your body shortly after the beginning phase. This is because once your cardiovascular system get's somewhat in shape, you think you can go harder/longer than your muscles can take. Going at 75% feels like a waste of time... and I never realized how hard it was (after 40 minutes of light riding) to not go as hard as I can for even a few minutes.
I started getting flu-like symptoms a couple of weeks ago on a regular basis (like once or twice a week for a few weeks). I honestly thought I was getting sick on a day (especially with all this CV madness), would get freaked out, and rest up. The next day I was fine. This happened a few times until I found out it was my body being fatigued from riding too much (and not getting enough sleep). I started reading up and listening to a few podcasts (TrainerRoad seems pretty informative... keeping in mind they do run a business... but they still have some good information).
One of the things you can do is start monitoring your resting heart rate on a daily basis. If all things are kept equal (which is rarely the case, but if you understand the concept, it is useful), you can watch your RHR and if it's higher than normal, you need a rest/recovery day.
There is something called a Training Stress Score, which quantifies the level of stress you put on your body from working out. You can use that (along with a few other metrics) to figure out how hard you can go on a weekly basis and this may help get you to a place where you can ride as often as you like.
The point of all of this is we are bad judges of perceived exertion. Some of us are lucky and have genes (or enough experience) that let us ride 5 hours, drink a few beers, and go back out the next day... most of us don't .
Short term fatigue is easy to sense; long term fatigue is not (if you aren't familiar with what to look for).
I'm coming off 3 days' rest because my knee was "burning" wtf? (turns out it's something called patellofemoral pain syndrome... in my case from overdoing it).
Oh well, in the end, I can say this... no matter how many rest days I need, cycling is still a lot less damaging than running (and more fun).
Metallifan33 is offline  
Likes For Metallifan33:
Old 05-18-20, 10:50 AM
  #27  
surak
Senior Member
 
surak's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2017
Location: Seattle
Posts: 1,583

Bikes: Specialized Roubaix, Canyon Inflite AL SLX, Priority Continuum Onyx, Santana Vision, Kent Dual-Drive Tandem

Mentioned: 19 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 685 Post(s)
Liked 523 Times in 301 Posts
You don't have to ride every day, but you should expect to be sore and still ride through it sometimes. You have to push your body harder if you want to get fitter, but resting is how your body actually adapts.
​​​​​
surak is offline  
Old 05-18-20, 10:59 AM
  #28  
Bah Humbug
serious cyclist
 
Bah Humbug's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Austin
Posts: 17,468

Bikes: S1, R2, P2

Mentioned: 115 Post(s)
Tagged: 1 Thread(s)
Quoted: 6902 Post(s)
Liked 2,160 Times in 1,155 Posts
Originally Posted by channelz28 View Post
Wow, ok. Got it. No rest days it is. I guess I'll just power through the soreness. Those of you who ride everyday, do your legs acclimate and the soreness goes away after a while? or if it hurts do you just do an easy day?

I like the ideas of digital nannies, though I would need some equipment I guess. I don't even have a bike computer.
Sometimes when you’re really sore, an easy ride/ run/ walk/ whatever makes you feel better for the next day. Sitting on the couch until you feel better will make it take longer, possibly long enough that you don’t make long-term improvement. However, pushing yourself to go as hard as you can while you’re really sore can push you way into the negative.
Bah Humbug is offline  
Likes For Bah Humbug:
Old 05-18-20, 12:09 PM
  #29  
bruce19
Senior Member
 
bruce19's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Lebanon (Liberty Hill), CT
Posts: 7,918

Bikes: CAAD 12, MASI Gran Criterium S, Colnago World Cup CX & Guru steel

Mentioned: 4 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1491 Post(s)
Liked 921 Times in 548 Posts
Originally Posted by noodle soup View Post
What is a “rest day”

I ride everyday, but not every ride is a hammer-fest.
A rest day is 4 bourbons instead of 2. Oh, and pizza.
bruce19 is offline  
Likes For bruce19:
Old 05-20-20, 03:10 PM
  #30  
channelz28
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 89
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 24 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 4 Times in 1 Post
Thanks for all the opinions. I actually took 2 days in a row off due to rain, then went for a long ride yesterday. I felt unbelievable, significantly fresher than I have since I started. I went up hills faster than I ever have and didn't even push myself that hard. And I'm barely sore today. I guess that's one way to learn that rest days are necessary in my current position!
channelz28 is offline  
Likes For channelz28:
Old 05-20-20, 03:14 PM
  #31  
zatopek
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Damascus, MD, USA
Posts: 1,279

Bikes: Neilpryde Nazare, Storck Scenero G3, Colnago Extreme Power, CAAD 10, Bowman Palace R, Strong Custom Foco Steel, BMC SLR01, BMC ALR01

Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 90 Post(s)
Liked 106 Times in 46 Posts
What is this “rest day” of which you speak?
zatopek is offline  
Old 05-20-20, 06:07 PM
  #32  
colnago62
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2014
Posts: 2,421
Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 735 Post(s)
Liked 404 Times in 225 Posts
You have to do what works best for you. Try riding everyday with some short super easy days. If after a few weeks, you find yourself too fatigued, try adding a rest day completely off the bike.
colnago62 is offline  
Old 05-20-20, 06:34 PM
  #33  
Seattle Forrest
Senior Member
 
Seattle Forrest's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Seattle, WA
Posts: 22,128
Mentioned: 78 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 15210 Post(s)
Liked 6,381 Times in 3,617 Posts
Originally Posted by bruce19 View Post
A rest day is 4 bourbons instead of 2. Oh, and pizza.
When I lived in Connecticut, I loved pizza. Now I barely ever eat the stuff. People out here think I'm a snob about it, how much better could New York (and surrounding) pizza really be than microwaved cardboard?

But the Mexican food makes up for it, especially the tacos.
Seattle Forrest is offline  
Likes For Seattle Forrest:
Old 05-20-20, 06:40 PM
  #34  
Bah Humbug
serious cyclist
 
Bah Humbug's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Austin
Posts: 17,468

Bikes: S1, R2, P2

Mentioned: 115 Post(s)
Tagged: 1 Thread(s)
Quoted: 6902 Post(s)
Liked 2,160 Times in 1,155 Posts
Originally Posted by Seattle Forrest View Post
When I lived in Connecticut, I loved pizza. Now I barely ever eat the stuff. People out here think I'm a snob about it, how much better could New York (and surrounding) pizza really be than microwaved cardboard?

But the Mexican food makes up for it, especially the tacos.
That's funny, because Connecticut pizza is cardboard with tomato paste scraped on it. I literally didn't understand why people thought pizza was good until moving to Albany.

Wait, which part of CT were you in?
Bah Humbug is offline  
Old 05-20-20, 06:44 PM
  #35  
Seattle Forrest
Senior Member
 
Seattle Forrest's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Seattle, WA
Posts: 22,128
Mentioned: 78 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 15210 Post(s)
Liked 6,381 Times in 3,617 Posts
Lebanon, Columbia, and Hampton. Kind of in the middle. But a lot of family in Stamford, and the pizza got better on that end. And then more family in Long Island, don't get me started.
Seattle Forrest is offline  
Old 05-20-20, 06:49 PM
  #36  
semroc
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2020
Posts: 94
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 24 Post(s)
Liked 69 Times in 25 Posts
Getting a massage or self-massage the quads might help.
semroc is offline  
Old 05-20-20, 07:34 PM
  #37  
bruce19
Senior Member
 
bruce19's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Lebanon (Liberty Hill), CT
Posts: 7,918

Bikes: CAAD 12, MASI Gran Criterium S, Colnago World Cup CX & Guru steel

Mentioned: 4 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1491 Post(s)
Liked 921 Times in 548 Posts
Originally Posted by Seattle Forrest View Post
When I lived in Connecticut, I loved pizza. Now I barely ever eat the stuff. People out here think I'm a snob about it, how much better could New York (and surrounding) pizza really be than microwaved cardboard?

But the Mexican food makes up for it, especially the tacos.
I grew up in the shadow of NYC when there were still neighborhoods of Italian immigrants. My mother was Italian and I lived in one of those neighborhoods. Unless you go to places like Boston, Providence and New Haven...New England is a pizza void. Around here the people think Greek Pizza is actually pizza. Proud to be a pizza snob.
bruce19 is offline  
Likes For bruce19:
Old 05-20-20, 07:36 PM
  #38  
bruce19
Senior Member
 
bruce19's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Lebanon (Liberty Hill), CT
Posts: 7,918

Bikes: CAAD 12, MASI Gran Criterium S, Colnago World Cup CX & Guru steel

Mentioned: 4 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1491 Post(s)
Liked 921 Times in 548 Posts
Originally Posted by Seattle Forrest View Post
Lebanon, Columbia, and Hampton. Kind of in the middle. But a lot of family in Stamford, and the pizza got better on that end. And then more family in Long Island, don't get me started.
Lebanon? I live within a stone's throw of Uncle D's and across the street from the Liberty Hill Plant Farm. Love Lebanon.
bruce19 is offline  
Old 05-21-20, 01:47 AM
  #39  
SethAZ 
Senior Member
 
SethAZ's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2013
Posts: 1,394

Bikes: 2018 Lynskey R260, 2005 Diamondback 29er, 2003 Trek 2300

Mentioned: 18 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 564 Post(s)
Liked 333 Times in 181 Posts
Originally Posted by channelz28 View Post
I've been a bike commuter most of my life, 50-100 miles a week, so I'm not new to biking. Since Covid hit, I started taking up riding for exercise as my other activities got shut down and I don't have much else to do. I find when I ride really hard, which is most of the time, I'm almost too sore to ride again the next day. Sometimes for 2 days even. I'm not trying to get faster particularly, I just feel like if I'm out for exercise, I might as well go as hard as I can. I've been riding about 200 miles a week, but I'm not sure if riding while I'm really sore is doing more harm than good. I've tried to take it easy on some days, but it's almost impossible. I also get bored.
I've worked out how different heart rate zones affect me in terms of need for recovery, and plan accordingly. If I plan on riding several days in a row I'll just maintain a heart rate that I know is sustainable several days in a row. If I want to do a particularly long or high-effort ride I just plan it in, and will often time it so the highest effort ride is the day before my rest day. When I'm in high exercise mode I always plan in one day completely off per week. That's usually been Sunday, but now that I'm cycling again Sundays are just about the best cycling days, so the rest day will usually be Monday. If you don't have a heart rate monitor it might help you to aquire one, and learn to map what you experience in terms of performance and recovery needed to heart rate zone it was in. If you're not used to governing your level of effort by reference to something like heart rate it could take some getting used to, but I've been doing it for a long time and it's trivial for me now.
SethAZ is offline  
Likes For SethAZ:
Old 05-21-20, 05:13 AM
  #40  
ZHVelo
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2020
Location: Zurich, Switzerland
Posts: 633
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 381 Post(s)
Liked 156 Times in 112 Posts
I do also tend to ride recovery on days that are 'rest' days, but depending on how I feel, how stressful work was, I might just decide to be lazy and just stay home. Is that really a problem for people to not go out and ride?
ZHVelo is offline  
Old 05-21-20, 09:55 AM
  #41  
jackb
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Missoula, Montana
Posts: 592

Bikes: Trek Domane 5SL Disc; REI Maza,ma; Specialized Langster, Kona, Honzo

Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 101 Post(s)
Liked 69 Times in 35 Posts
Riding frequency largely depends on age. When I was a young man I could ride longer distances almost everyday without a problem, but now at 72 I do need rest days. I try to ride at least 20 miles every other day, but the weather here in Montana frequently stops me from following that schedule. So I ride when I can, but rarely over 20 miles and rarely on consecutive days. Once summer arrives, if it ever does, I'll get in some 30-40 mile rides, but I need warm, comfortable weather for that. Three rides a week are comfortable for me. I should ad that these are leisurely rides, no 20mph averages or really anything close to that. In fact, I no longer read the average speed on my cycle computer.
jackb is offline  
Old 05-21-20, 06:10 PM
  #42  
sanmateoclimber
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2019
Posts: 74
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 43 Post(s)
Liked 32 Times in 24 Posts
Originally Posted by channelz28 View Post
Wow, ok. Got it. No rest days it is. I guess I'll just power through the soreness. Those of you who ride everyday, do your legs acclimate and the soreness goes away after a while? or if it hurts do you just do an easy day?
This is not a one-size fits all conclusion, obviously. I'm not as hardcore as a lot of the seasoned guys on this forum (but hey, I'm working on it,) and it definitely doesn't work this way for me yet. I try to spend ten hours riding per week, with an average of like 150 miles and maybe 12K feet of climbing. I usually space this out over five days with two rest days. When I'm able to maintain a really consistent schedule (thanks, covid-19!,) I aim for a weekly cycle of three days on, rest, two days on, rest. I'm 34, and I've been on a road bike for only about 2.5 years now (though I was hauling myself around a fair bit on my hybrid for a few years before that.)

This seems like a good volume and appropriate amount of rest for me to keep steadily improving without overdoing it. Usually on my third day in a row of riding, I'm notably less fresh than day one-- though this is muuuuch less of a problem than it used to be, and improving all the time. Today is actually my rest day and I could totally go rip off a ride, but I'd rather rest up so I can go out there and push harder on Friday.

Your mileage, inexorably, will vary.
sanmateoclimber is offline  
Old 05-21-20, 06:22 PM
  #43  
fstshrk
Senior Member
 
fstshrk's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: WA State
Posts: 1,843
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 20 Post(s)
Liked 5 Times in 3 Posts
Originally Posted by DrIsotope View Post
My motto is "set targets, not goals." If my goal for the day was something like 30 miles or 1,500ft of elevation, I'll easily go out and do 40 miles with 2,300ft and feel like I did great, because I killed both of those goals. Then I pay for it the next day. So I set a target of 30 miles-- and try as hard as I can to pull back into the driveway right when the miles tick over from 29.9 to 30.0. You don't necessarily have to limit your intensity, if you limit the duration. You just need to cut back on one or the other.

Moderation is hard-- I need as many digital nannies as possible to keep me from overdoing it. I give myself arbitrary kJ limits, max HR limits, mileage or elevation targets, etc. Keeps it interesting.
I have been mixing rowing (Concept2), running and biking. It has been amazing for my fitness. Much stronger climber, and don't give a sh*T about power, HR or anything else anymore.
fstshrk is offline  
Old 05-21-20, 11:08 PM
  #44  
channelz28
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 89
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 24 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 4 Times in 1 Post
Originally Posted by guadzilla View Post
Wait, what... no! That's not what they said.
Originally Posted by zatopek View Post
What is this “rest day” of which you speak?
See? See???
channelz28 is offline  
Old 05-21-20, 11:09 PM
  #45  
Seattle Forrest
Senior Member
 
Seattle Forrest's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Seattle, WA
Posts: 22,128
Mentioned: 78 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 15210 Post(s)
Liked 6,381 Times in 3,617 Posts
Originally Posted by bruce19 View Post
Lebanon? I live within a stone's throw of Uncle D's and across the street from the Liberty Hill Plant Farm. Love Lebanon.
I was in the first class to start and graduate from Lyman. I used to live on Gates Road. I'd ride mediocre kid bikes past this spot we called Seven Ponds, aka Bogg ... Lane I think? Pretty farmland with rolling hills, not too far from the town green. I haven't been back in a long, long time.
Seattle Forrest is offline  
Old 05-21-20, 11:15 PM
  #46  
Seattle Forrest
Senior Member
 
Seattle Forrest's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Seattle, WA
Posts: 22,128
Mentioned: 78 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 15210 Post(s)
Liked 6,381 Times in 3,617 Posts
Originally Posted by SethAZ View Post
When I'm in high exercise mode I always plan in one day completely off per week. That's usually been Sunday, but now that I'm cycling again Sundays are just about the best cycling days, so the rest day will usually be Monday.
​​​​​​We call it Monday mountain hangover. Even if no alcohol was involved, too much exhaustion can give you the same symptoms.
Seattle Forrest is offline  
Likes For Seattle Forrest:
Old 05-22-20, 12:57 AM
  #47  
guadzilla
Pointy Helmet Tribe
 
guadzilla's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Offthebackistan
Posts: 4,327

Bikes: Venge, Shiv, Factor LS

Mentioned: 4 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 515 Post(s)
Liked 619 Times in 291 Posts
Originally Posted by channelz28 View Post
See? See???
Lol, ok, good point. But in any case, it seems that you have learned the value of rest days.

The TL;Dr is - riding lots creates stress on your muscles and cardiovascular system. Rest is when your body adapts to this stress and becomes stronger/fitter.

If you dont stress your systems enough, you dont create enough of a stimulus to adapt. If you dont get enough rest, you end up overtraining/being fatigued/not actually getting better. Need to balance both. Try and see what works for you and listen to your body.
guadzilla is offline  
Old 05-22-20, 01:43 AM
  #48  
ooga-booga
lead on, macduff!
 
ooga-booga's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: insane diego, california
Posts: 6,664

Bikes: 85 pinarello treviso steel, 88 nishiki olympic steel. 95 look kg 131 carbon, 11 trek madone 5.2 carbon

Mentioned: 25 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1118 Post(s)
Liked 1,499 Times in 825 Posts
just ride. your body will tell you whether to go slow or fast or some unstable incestuous blend. embrace it.
ooga-booga is online now  
Likes For ooga-booga:
Old 05-22-20, 03:36 AM
  #49  
Ghazmh
Senior Member
 
Ghazmh's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: The banks of the River Charles
Posts: 1,652

Bikes: 2020 Seven Evergreen, 2019 Honey Allroads Ti, 2018 Seven Redsky XX, 2017 Trek Boon 7, 2014 Trek 520, 2006 Gary Fisher Montare

Mentioned: 17 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 513 Post(s)
Liked 483 Times in 286 Posts
If I am feeling sore I can usually power through it. If I am fatigued, lethargic or drained then I take the day off. It depends on how much I have ridden in the days prior, my sleep quality and how busy I am with other obligations.
Ghazmh is offline  
Likes For Ghazmh:
Old 05-22-20, 04:53 AM
  #50  
bruce19
Senior Member
 
bruce19's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Lebanon (Liberty Hill), CT
Posts: 7,918

Bikes: CAAD 12, MASI Gran Criterium S, Colnago World Cup CX & Guru steel

Mentioned: 4 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1491 Post(s)
Liked 921 Times in 548 Posts
Originally Posted by Seattle Forrest View Post
I was in the first class to start and graduate from Lyman. I used to live on Gates Road. I'd ride mediocre kid bikes past this spot we called Seven Ponds, aka Bogg ... Lane I think? Pretty farmland with rolling hills, not too far from the town green. I haven't been back in a long, long time.
Bogg Lane is THE picturesque spot according to my cycling club. It's a part of a 31 mile loop my GF and I are doing today. I live in what was called the Kissman house across from the Liberty Hill Plant Farm. Built circa 1760. Back in the day it was also know as the Inn at Chestnut Hill. A couple of my friends live on Gates Farm Rd. FWIW, Lebanon is still beautiful. It has the highest % of it's land in agriculture of any town in CT.
bruce19 is offline  
Likes For bruce19:

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell My Personal Information -

Copyright © 2021 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.