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Plan rest days?

Old 01-11-20, 02:50 AM
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RocHed11
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Plan rest days?

Hey all, just got my bike 4 days ago, I haven't ridden in about 25 years but it's time to start being active again. I'm 63 with 2 stents and have ridden 3 of the 4 days. It rained the other day. I have a hybrid bike and I'm really liking it. I've started out pretty unambitious. 1 mile first day, 2 then 3 and tomorrow I plan to do 4 miles.
The question I have is should I plan rest days and a what intervals? I have no pain or soreness in legs and the saddle has felt the best on the 3 mile ride. My goal at this point is to do 5 miles then stay there for a couple weeks then gradually start to increase to ten miles,,,repeat ,,,etc. Is it beneficial to rest? My instincts tell me it should be but I would like your thoughts,, Thanks in advance!!

TB
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Old 01-11-20, 01:11 PM
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IME it's beneficial to rest when you feel tired from riding. That said, not always. Sometimes it's beneficial to ride when you feel tired from riding. It's not too difficult to figure out which is which. Right now, you're gradually increasing the distance you're riding. Maybe you have a plan in mind for that. So you go out riding, wanting to ride some certain number of increased miles, but partway through, you feel like you can't pedal as hard as you did the last time. You're going slower and nothing to be done about it. In that case, pedal on home comfortably and take the next day off. Otherwise, keep going.

The usual advice on incrementing ride length is to keep track of your weekly miles. Try to increase your weekly total by ~10%/week. However, like compound interest, after some number of weeks you'll find this gets out of hand. So then cut it down to 5%. Another thing most folks do is to ride one longer ride each week, usually a weekend day, and then shorter rides the rest of the week. After a while, you can keep pushing the weekend ride to get longer, keeping the weekday rides about the same.
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Old 01-11-20, 01:33 PM
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Thank you for your response. That sounds good. Thanks again!!
T
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Old 01-11-20, 03:17 PM
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The theory is that the body gets stronger during rest and recovery between workouts. So, no rest, no improvement.

Works for me. At 62 I wasn't making much progress after two years of riding almost every day, around 20-40 miles, and doing one or two interval sessions a week.

By August 2019 I decided to modify my training. I switched to 4 days a week, resting between each. If I did a casual group ride, I'd ride farther before and after to make it a Zone 2 ride, and skip one of my usual solo workout rides.

And I switched from spinning around 90-100 rpm to mashing harder gears at 60-70 rpm. That resulted in significant improvements for me. My heart rate was no longer pegged for the same speed on familiar routes. Once I hit 160 bpm I'm pretty close to maxing out, and that happened often on fast group rides when I tried to spin 90-100 rpm. But when I switched to slower cadence and bigger gears my HR stays around 140-150, I don't get winded, I recover quicker and don't feel exhausted afterward.

But I approached the cadence change very gradually and methodically, adding some basic calisthenics including squats and lunges, to strengthen the knee joint. I worked mostly solo until I was sure I could handle the modified cadence in group rides.

But when I first resumed cycling in 2015 I hadn't been on a bike or worked out at all for almost 30 years. I was in terrible physical condition, although I wasn't much overweight. I'd been hit by a car in 2001, breaking my back and neck in six places. Walked with a cane until 2014. So it took a long time to recover just very basic fitness when I resumed cycling in 2015. I rode maybe 1-3 miles a day for awhile, and often had to stop every 400 yards to catch my breath. Took me a month before I could ride 10 miles, and even then I had to stop often to rest. I probably averaged 8 mph that first year back in the saddle. Improvements came more quickly by the second year. Anyone who's starting out with at least some basic fitness should be able to progress faster than I did.

If I still rode only casually, a few miles at a time, I could probably ride almost every day. And I'll probably get back to a more casual approach eventually. For now I'm motivated to maximize my fitness for the rapidly closing time window remaining.
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Old 01-11-20, 03:23 PM
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Originally Posted by canklecat View Post
The theory is that the body gets stronger during rest and recovery between workouts. So, no rest, no improvement.
Of course, even riding eight hours a day leaves 16 hours of rest for the body to recover. I've never seen any source showing adaptations from training are limited by recovery time (as opposed to fatigue limiting the performance expressed by those adaptations).
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Old 01-11-20, 04:44 PM
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Originally Posted by asgelle View Post
Of course, even riding eight hours a day leaves 16 hours of rest for the body to recover. I've never seen any source showing adaptations from training are limited by recovery time (as opposed to fatigue limiting the performance expressed by those adaptations).
I find your phrasing a bit obscure. I think you're saying that for example: Some particular series of intervals will increase FTP or speed on the flat or at least the potential for that. That's the adaptation. However if one doesn't get enough recovery, one will not be able to ride at that higher FTP or speed on the flat until one is adequately recovered. Do I have that right? If so, correct IME.
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Old 01-11-20, 04:59 PM
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Originally Posted by Carbonfiberboy View Post
I find your phrasing a bit obscure. I think you're saying that for example: Some particular series of intervals will increase FTP or speed on the flat or at least the potential for that. That's the adaptation. However if one doesn't get enough recovery, one will not be able to ride at that higher FTP or speed on the flat until one is adequately recovered. Do I have that right? If so, correct IME.
Sorry I wasn't clear, but yes, that is what I was trying to say.

And to expand a little, a question I have is this. Let's say I do a workout that would lead to a certain adaptation and if I wait to stress that system until that adaptation is fully realized, it would create a benefit of magnitude 1. How would the magnitude of the benefit for doing the next workout before I'm fully adapted compare to doing it fully adapted (assuming I'm rested enough to perform the effort)? In other words if the first workout create a benefit of 1, would doing a second workout soon after create a benefit of 2, more than 2, less than 2?

Last edited by asgelle; 01-11-20 at 06:56 PM.
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Old 01-11-20, 06:42 PM
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Thanks guys for the replies. I have to tell you they mostly went right over my head. LOL . asgelle are you some sort of theoretical mathematician or physicist? It wouldn't surprise me. Since I've only returned to riding 5 days ago I'll let my legs decide on when to stop, slow down or keep going or to rest. I imagine in a while, I'll have a little more understanding of what I should do. Thanks again for the replies!1

T
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Old 01-11-20, 09:15 PM
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Originally Posted by RocHed11 View Post
Thanks guys for the replies. I have to tell you they mostly went right over my head. LOL . asgelle are you some sort of theoretical mathematician or physicist? It wouldn't surprise me. Since I've only returned to riding 5 days ago I'll let my legs decide on when to stop, slow down or keep going or to rest. I imagine in a while, I'll have a little more understanding of what I should do. Thanks again for the replies!1

T
Yeah, bookmark and come back a reread this thread in a couple months. It'll make sense then. Maybe. Hopefully more folks will chime in.
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Old 01-12-20, 12:06 AM
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Originally Posted by asgelle View Post
Sorry I wasn't clear, but yes, that is what I was trying to say.

And to expand a little, a question I have is this. Let's say I do a workout that would lead to a certain adaptation and if I wait to stress that system until that adaptation is fully realized, it would create a benefit of magnitude 1. How would the magnitude of the benefit for doing the next workout before I'm fully adapted compare to doing it fully adapted (assuming I'm rested enough to perform the effort)? In other words if the first workout create a benefit of 1, would doing a second workout soon after create a benefit of 2, more than 2, less than 2?
I think it depends on the intensity and what else one does during the 2 weeks surrounding the experiment. I don't think there's a simple answer. And "soon after" is too vague. But we'd all love to know your experimental results!
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Old 01-12-20, 03:45 AM
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Everybody starts off like gangbusters in the beginning then burnout and stop riding altogether. Better to start off slowly, and plan your rest days in advance. You most certainly will need them. Don't wait until you burnout.
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Old 01-13-20, 11:38 AM
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didn't read responses but don't plan days off. just take them when they occur (rain, appointment, etc.)
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Old 01-13-20, 02:40 PM
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You're early in the process. I would say that at this point it's probably best to listen to your body and if you're tired, take a day off. Once you progress to the point where you could ride every day, then think about scheduling in some off days, maybe once every 3 or 4 days.
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Old 01-13-20, 07:02 PM
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Listening to your body is a popular solution nowadays. Unfortunately the "body" is a reactive organism. By the time any evidence of stress shows up the problem has already occurred and the damage is done.A better solution would be prevention. That requires time, experience, and practice.
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Old 01-13-20, 07:05 PM
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Originally Posted by KraneXL View Post
A better solution would be prevention. That requires time, experience, and practice.
And exactly how does one perform this prevention without "listening to your body?"
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Old 01-13-20, 07:07 PM
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What kind of damage does one riding day too many do?
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Old 01-13-20, 07:08 PM
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Originally Posted by Seattle Forrest View Post
What kind of damage does one riding day too many do?
Burst capillaries?
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Old 01-13-20, 07:29 PM
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Originally Posted by asgelle View Post
And exactly how does one perform this prevention without "listening to your body?"
The experience of others who have already been down the road you're still traveling?
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Old 01-13-20, 07:33 PM
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Originally Posted by KraneXL View Post
The experience of others who have already been down the road you're still traveling?
If I understand you correctly, you're saying I can show my training plan to someone with enough experience and they'ill be able to say this is the point where I'll need to take a rest without any feedback from me as to how I'm feeling along the way?
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Old 01-13-20, 07:51 PM
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Originally Posted by asgelle View Post
If I understand you correctly, you're saying I can show my training plan to someone with enough experience and they'ill be able to say this is the point where I'll need to take a rest without any feedback from me as to how I'm feeling along the way?
Now you're putting words in my mouth. Who said anything about not getting feedback?

If any doctor gives you a solution without knowing anything about your personal history then he's a quack. Even with that information when you go to see your doctor does he always give you a perfect diagnosis every time? What you're getting is his knowledge and experience oftentimes with other patients similar to yourself.

Thing is, you don't have to be a doctor to acquire that information. Other healthcare practitioners as well as experienced athletes can provide important information as well. After all, isn't that the reason why you're a member to this website?
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Old 01-13-20, 07:56 PM
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Originally Posted by KraneXL View Post
Now you're putting words in my mouth. Who said anything about not getting feedback?
Isn't that exactly what you're saying here:
Originally Posted by KraneXL View Post
Listening to your body is a popular solution nowadays. Unfortunately the "body" is a reactive organism. By the time any evidence of stress shows up the problem has already occurred and the damage is done. A better solution would be prevention. That requires time, experience, and practice.
Since you propose a better solution, I read this as in contrast to "listening to your body," i.e., feedback.
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Old 01-13-20, 08:05 PM
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Originally Posted by asgelle View Post
Isn't that exactly what you're saying here:

Since you propose a better solution, I read this as in contrast to "listening to your body," i.e., feedback.
Listening to you body is something you do on your own. Giving "feedback" is something done in association with a doctor or healthcare practitioner. I can't even begin to see how you would interpret them as the same. In any event, no, that's not what I'm saying.
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Old 01-13-20, 08:17 PM
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Originally Posted by KraneXL View Post
Listening to you body is something you do on your own. Giving "feedback" is something done in association with a doctor or healthcare practitioner. I can't even begin to see how you would interpret them as the same. In any event, no, that's not what I'm saying.
Well, then I have no idea what you’re talking about.
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Old 01-13-20, 08:42 PM
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Did you really think people need to see a doctor to find out if they're tired enough to rest for a day? What if your doctor can't see you until next week?
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Old 01-13-20, 09:09 PM
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Originally Posted by Seattle Forrest View Post
Did you really think people need to see a doctor to find out if they're tired enough to rest for a day? What if your doctor can't see you until next week?
Since KraneXL says by the time you can perceive a problem, the damage has already been done, I guess what they’re saying is you should schedule regular meetings with a professional before there are signs of excess fatigue. I wonder what markers would be used to identify that condition.
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