Almost four months. I believe that's the longest time I've ever gone without posting to my blog in more than six years. Several readers have emailed asking if everything is ok. I really appreciate their concern. Yes, everything is going well. I've just been unbelievably busy, especially with travel around the world and speaking engagements. But I'm trying to get back to posting more frequently, if not in depth on a topic (there are several such things I would like to eventually tell you about but they will have to wait until thngs slow down a bit). But I get occasional interesting questions from athletes and coaches which I answer individually, but think it may be good to post them here somtimes, also. I received the following one today that gets at a crucial aspect of training which athletes can sometimes not fully understand. Here's the question and my answer (the writer's name is omitted since I don't have permission to use it).
I have a 16-year-old that is competing at national level in cycling in the UK. He is a junior rider next season and will be competing in national road races of 100-120km. He is about to embark on a period of rest and recovery. His training volume has been typically 10hrs per week. He weighs 52kilos and has a threshold of around 270 watts (1hr).
A three week rest period seems typical (from blogs and word of mouth). I have no doubt he will be climbing the walls after this period! It seems like an incredibly long period to stay off the bike. Would 2 weeks be insufficient? If so, why. Do you agree with a period of 3 weeks for young athletes? Is it more important for young athletes over older athletes to take this kind of rest?