Your training plan is in full swing now, you’ve spent about 11 hours in the saddle so far and done a lot of cross-training. Fatigue could be setting in and that’s why this week will be all about recovery. It’s important to have regular lighter weeks in your training plan to give your body time to catch up. We will also take a look at recovery nutrition and mobility work to go along with it.
Week 5 – Recovery
Every five weeks or so it’s beneficial to take the foot off the gas. It allows your body to recover and get stronger and it also helps prevent overtraining. Tuesday will be a 60-minute talking pace (TP) ride with a 20-minute moderate pace (MP) push in the middle like last week. But you will only do 30-45 minutes at talking pace (TP) on Thursday and 60 minutes on Sunday. You can use the remaining time to do some mobility as described below and focus on nutrition so that you’re fresh and full of energy for week 6.
Get in the habit of planning a good meal after your rides, especially after longer and harder ones. If you give your body enough carbohydrates and protein in a ratio of 3:1, it will replenish glycogen and repair muscles much faster. For example, about 250 g of rice with 120 g of chicken, 1 banana with 500 ml of whole milk, or a sandwich filled with a can of tuna all make good ratios. If you want to know everything important about recovery nutrition, check out our series on the topic here.
Mobility and active recovery training
It’s good to do some mobility regularly, but it’s especially important when you’re trying to recover. It could be in a form of a massage, or you could focus on your tense areas with specific exercises. Here are a few tips for stretches that could form a basis for this type of routine.
A light week is also great for bike maintenance. It’s time to resolve any issues you’ve been postponing and then give your bike a good wash. Check out our article to see how to do it safely. You’ll also prolong the life of your chain if you lube it regularly, here is how to do it right.