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Hi. Most people know that when you lift weights, you should allow your muscles to rest and recover between workouts. In the same way, when I jog, I allow my legs to rest after running by taking a day off. But what about biking?

Biking is a non-impact sport. But still, should you allow your body to recover from biking workouts to remain fresh and strong, and avoid staleness? For example, I have ridden hard five days in a row now. Should I take a day off? And if so, what is a good ratio between riding consecutive days and taking a day off?
 

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Just Riding Along
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Rest is important..

Most fitness guides I read recommend regular rest days during training. A little research will turn up some better advice than I could provide. I suggest the other RBR as a good place to start.

My rest days come on weekends as family activities and a home renovation project pretty effectively trump cycling for now. They seem to work.

I find that my Monday morning commute rides are my strongest. I doubt the reason is my burning desire to get to work.
 

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gastarbeiter
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ditto on rest being important.

that said, if you're fit, and training for something like a stage race, then it's an idea to do something like a 3 day block where you stress your system, then follow with rest.

at this point of the season i'm resting four days a week (+/- 2 active rest days on the bike, and +/- 2 days off the bike depending on my schedule).
 

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In Joe Friel's book, he says that an easy recovery ride (short and EASY) is better recovery for experienced riders than a day totally off. I've come to believe in that. But for inexperienced riders, he says, a day off is probably better. I think I agree with that, too.
Rest is essential. Recovery weeks are pretty important, too, where you cut down on volume and intensity for an entire week.
 

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I have found this season that taking Sunday's totally off really increases my strength on Mondays and Tuesdays, my two fast days for the week. I do some structured sprint intervals on Monday, and on Tuesday, we have the World Championships, each week.

This week is different. I did a moderate 2 hour ride on Sat morning. Felt pretty good, felt good after. Then, did some hard yard work, including swinging an axe, and I am completely stiff from it.

My Monday ride was difficult, due to stiffness, and I don't expect tonight to be a lot better.

So, rest is important. But it has to be REST. Replacing the cycling with another intense activity, such as running, swimming, or playing Paul Bunyon, won't be good rest.
 

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Depends on your program

the sky above said:
Hi. Most people know that when you lift weights, you should allow your muscles to rest and recover between workouts. In the same way, when I jog, I allow my legs to rest after running by taking a day off. But what about biking?
If you are doing high intensity workouts and/or just getting into the sport, then rest days should figure in. Obviously, that doesn't mean substituting some other high intensity effort. However, if you aren't digging any holes and exhausting yourself, then all you need are some easier days. As noted by bill, for experienced riders, an easy spin day is a better "recovery" than sitting around working the remote control.
 

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Milk Thief
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I find that if the body is sore/tired OR the mind is stressed then an EASY recovery ride is best. If I am stressed both mentaly and physically, then I need to relax, read and not ride untill I have had enough good sleep to wake up feeling like a million dollars. A person can only take a certian ammount of total stress ( Mental stress + Physical stress= Total stress). If you pay attantion, you will learn to tell when not to push your body any further. Just remember the only lesson I learned in colleage, "Your body WILL take what it needs if you don't GIVE it what it needs". The difference is that you have some control over when and how you give your body what it needs, but when it takes it you will have no option but to deal with whatever the results are, convenient or not.
 

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Cannot bench own weight
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My problem is that my "rest" rides always end up too hard. I seem to always ride at that point where your body feels like it is working. I really should get an HRM to help facilitate recovery. Just yesterday I did a ride after a hard weekend, and my legs felt dead the whole time, yet I still pushed it anytime I could.

No wonder I get burned out by October.
 

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Milk Thief
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Einstruzende said:
My problem is that my "rest" rides always end up too hard. I seem to always ride at that point where your body feels like it is working. I really should get an HRM to help facilitate recovery. Just yesterday I did a ride after a hard weekend, and my legs felt dead the whole time, yet I still pushed it anytime I could.

No wonder I get burned out by October.
I started using the HRM when I commute for that very reason. I try to commute at recovery pace and the HRM helps slow me down enough so that I can save my energy for my workout rides. Recovery pace p!sses me off once in a while though. I get frustrated turning a 50 min. commute into an 80 min. commute. I have cut down the "cheating" on my recovery rides to only about 1 time in 6. Sometimes a sunny day just says GO!
 
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