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Tristan Bergh

Interesting to find in writing what I am finding in my own training. I went through a coached phase of rigidly structured HR-based training, with the bulk being 3 hr 60-75% of max HR rides and scheduled rest/recovery rides. I increasingly found myself riding longer than specified while adhering to the recovery schedule. Now I find myself naturally following the 'recovery on demand' cycles. These are converging on a light few days (coffee rides) for a 4 day cycle, while watching my body's sleep responses, waking HR and tellingly, my body's responses to my iron and B-12 supplements.

I would say that as I moved to elite level (I race in a Cat 1 team in South Africa) I have been training my ability to read my body and hence the ability to manage my recovery.


While still a novice, I concur with Tristan and had to insert some recovery just this week (scheduled as Build 1, week 3) after a race on Sunday taxed me more than I anticipated. So I'll resume higher intensity training when the legs feel better and augment next week's regularly scheduled R&R as needed.

Like Joe says, don't fill out your ATP in pen because it will undoubtedly change.


but how to know - without mistake - one needs to shedule a rest ???

It seems that this is the holy grail to training, if one could only rest when it is necessary and train (with the right dose) when possible, hmmm...

Is it not for that that one is using a certain sheme of periodisation, as that holy grail is so difficult to find ???


Hi Joe,
Nice topic! I work with a small group of athletes that I see 3-4xweek and have on occasion instructed them to take extra rest not in the training plan. They kind of hum and haw not sure if they should but when they do they say how much better they feel after resting. Now, question is; how do you get the really motivated athletes to actually listen to their bodies or you the coach? Or is it just a case of continuously educating them about the importance of rest and this recovery on demand?

Joe Friel

Rob--Yes, some athletes are resistant to training. Some are also resistant to coaching. If unsuccessful in changing their minds then it is probably best to part company since it would appear they are in reality self-coached.

Joe Friel

Pieter--It comes down to experience. There is no formula that works for everyone the same way. That's why this is primarily recommended for advanced/experienced athletes.


We did this all the time in swimming, pretty classic model for the larger clubs where we would have 60+ athletes in the pool at once.

You simply have your fast lanes and slow lanes. Once we noticed an athlete in the faster lane physically breakdown from the workload, they were moved over to the slower lanes to recover for a few days.

If you know your athletes well the signs that fatigue is kicking in are all pretty obvious (which isnt always easy with online based coaching). The harder part is taming the competitive juices and actually having athletes take true recovery. That was my biggest adjustment to the bike, learning what a true recovery workout actually is.

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