Off Season Training: Part 5-Recovery Weeks
This is part 5 in a series of how I've been training on the Morris Plan
Every 3 weeks now I do a planned recovery week. Sometimes I might do 2 weeks ON followed by a 5 day recovery if I find that I just can't tolerate 3 weeks blocks.
What is recovery? Recovery is where you get stronger. You don't get strong on hard rides. You get torn down. Your body heals and then supercompensates and then you come back stronger.
It always kills me when someone is getting ready for a race and is doing a lot of hard riding a few days before the race in preparation. It's not till after the hard riding the you get stronger.
You just can't slam yourself and expect to get better w/o some built in rest time.
Rest can mean different things. Laying on the couch is a good example. Or it can mean some 1 hr easy easy spins. But there is a downside to rest too. The factory starts to shut down. The cobwebs start to add up
I've found that for each day I take totally off the bike, it takes at least 1-2 full days to get the legs back underneath me. But given regular everyday life, it works out to just take time off the bike and then know that it is going to take even more time for the legs to come back , but that they will come back and they will come back on ready to rock.
Here is a typical recovery period. Again it will be different for every individual. For a tour rider the recovery rides could be 4 hrs. For me it is 50mins on the trainer or even taking a walk around the block.
Notice the 5x1 min intervals at SMSP. Those are done at a high power setting. These help your legs keep some of that snap and keep the pipes primed. One set of 5x1 isn't going to kill you and it will help you when you start the next training block.
The 1-2 hr rides during this phase are done at Zone 1-2.
Here are the zones which are based on a % of your sustainable power or your sustainable power heart rate
Zone 1: 65%-75%
Zone 2: 76-85
Zone 3: 86-95
Zone 4: 96-105
Zone 5: > 105%
One thing I've found interesting is that during this recovery phase the Zone 2 rides actually hurt a little. It is harder than I really want to be going, but in the relative scheme of things it is pretty low intensity compared to what has been done in the regular training block.
It is good that I have to force myself to do them in Zone 2 because it helps keeps the legs from shutting down too much during the recovery phase. If I wasn't watching the power output on the trainer, I'd probably be doing them at Zone (-)10 which yes would help my recovery but would also contribute to the dull legs when I start the next phase.