I was chatting with a fellow cyclist on my ride yesterday and we talked about a few things, and one of those topics was recovery. He was relating how much faster he was after he started working with that coach and that coach gave him a full recovery week each month. So after three weeks of good, solid training the fourth week would be really easy with days off or easy recovery rides. (As a coach, I smiled.) The 3+1 is a very common model in periodization schemes (fits into our 4-week month, works well with the M-F 8-5 workers, and a lot of athletes can handle it), but not everyone will fit in the 3+1 scheme. How do you know what works for you, as maybe you need recovery before three weeks as is common for athletes above 50. Let’s take a look at some signs that might indicate you are ready for a recovery period.
- High resting heart rate (don’t measure your resting heart rate? You should!)
- Unable to reach prescribed training zones (power and/or heart rate) or low heart rate/power at high perceived exertions.
- Easily fatigued on what should be a moderate effort (when you can’t keep up with the group and they aren’t going very fast!)
- More mood extremes – are you feeling more grumpy lately?
- Lack of motivation to train.