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Does muscle soreness have anything to do with the need to recover?

Yesterday I had an interval session 3x10 km. at TT speed.

During warm-up I could feel that my vastus medialis was sitll a little bit sore. But after warm-up, it got better.

The day prior to that I had a rest day and sunday had a long ride in Zone 1 and saturday was a 3 hr. hilly "race like" session.

I finished the intervals with no problems, but was wondering, if I should have scaled back when I felt that my muscles hadn't completely recovered?

Joe Friel

Jasper's--it is very difficult to offer sound advice on what constitutes the need for a recovery ride. I've seen athletes have sore muscles during a taper-peak period for no apparent reason. Unfortunately, it's not a pure science. It's still an art. These sorts of decisions must be made on the fly. When in doubt, however, it is best to be conservative, meaning take a day of recovery.


Thanks. It makes sense.

What's the general advice on recovery-rides? Here I'm thinking as in the easiest Zone 1 or below intensity.

Are there any evidence that recovery rides are better than simply staying off the bike completely?

I ask because on rest days in the great Tours, you always see the riders out on their bikes for a short while. They never just rest.

Joe Friel

Kasperbs--The newer one is to at or the lower one's fitness the more benefit from a day off instead of a ride. For those who are highly fit an easy ride is more beneficial, generally, than a day off.


Do you have any experience with HRV readings, such as iThlete, OmegaWave or BioForce?

Thanks for the great blog!


Miguel In Du Rain


On recovery, or rest for that matter I'd be interested for your view on a hot topic in English Cricket right now.

James Anderson is one of the best fast bowlers in the world. He has been rested for a 5 day match against the West Indies when the 3 match series has already been secured. It will enable another young bowler the chance to gain much needed experience and is a move I support.

There is great debate about whether he should be rested or not. James is 29 years old and typically fast bowlers remain at their best until around 33/34 when their pace starts to fall. Is there empirical evidence (say on baseball pitchers as the most comparable physical action which would be well researched) that suggests reduced workload has prolonged a players career?

Joe Friel

Miguel--Afraid I can't be of any help here. I've never seen anything on rest and pitchers' longevity.

Joe Friel

Michael, I don't. Sorry I can't be of help here.


Hi Joe,

Great series of post on recovery. Is it ok if I ask you something about the week leading up to a A-priority race on Sunday?

In your training bible, it says the week should be done as a race like workout on tuesday (M2, M3, A2) for 3/4 duration as race and Wednesday, a long E2 ride the same duration as the race. However, in your blog post on such weeks, you advocated doing 5*1.5mins race pace efforts on Monday, 4*1.5mins on tuesday, 3*1.5mins Wednesday etc. Which should I follow?

Thanks in advance, Joe!


Joe Friel

Boon--I think you're confusing what I said about training in a peak week as opposed to a race week. Race week is the 90 sec intervals.

joseph friel

i went to syracuse in 1986 from ireland, an pitch a ball for the syracuse team .and my is joseph friel from derry city in the north of ireland.if you rember this guy from ireland feel free to email me thanks at.joeamber@btinternet.com

Joe Friel

Joseph--I hope you don't have the problem of being called "Joel" by most people. :)

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