Every good training plan has to include some recovery workouts. It’s all too common for riders who don’t have them written out to push too hard on recovery days. Recovery workouts are not extra complicated, so they are a good starting point for learning how to write an individual workout. Let’s take a look at an example recovery workout.

Share:

Training stress score

Before we go into the example, it’s important to understand what the Training Stress Score (TSS) is. The formula for it was developed by Andrew Coggan from TrainingPeaks and it assigns a number to the amount of stress that a given ride puts on your body. It is calculated using normalized power, intensity factor, and ride duration; you can look up the equation at their website if interested. The main point to take away is that TSS helps you keep a balance between intensity and recovery within your training plan. Here is a description of what the numbers represent.

© Gorilla / DPphoto / Profimedia

Less than 150 – Low stress. Recovery from this ride will be finished by the next day.
150 to 300 – Medium stress. You may still feel tired the next day.
300 to 450 – High stress. You may still feel tired even after two days.
More than 450 – Very high stress. This ride will likely make you feel tired for several days.

TrainingPeaks doesn’t only give you TSS. It’s a great tool for creating a database of workouts overall. But there are other tools out there, and you can also just write your workouts down by hand in your training log. Just choose whichever way works for you.

Goal for the recovery workout

Always start with writing out the goal or the purpose of the workout you will be creating. In general, recovery workouts should allow your body to adapt and super-compensate the muscular and mental stress of all your recent training. It also helps prevent injury, avoid over-training, and allows you to maintain the regularity of your training schedule without adding stress. Recovery rides can include a small amount of intensity if you feel the need to wake your legs up. The following ride will be an example of that.

Description

Our example recovery ride will be 1 hour in duration with a TSS of only 49. The intensity of each workout can be expressed in maximum heart rate (Max HR), threshold heart rate (Threshold HR), or functional threshold power (FTP). We will give all three numbers in our example workout, but you should write yours using the method you are used to.

© Gorilla / DPphoto / Profimedia

Build-up – 10 min. building up to 50-70% Max HR / 60-70% Threshold HR / 50-60% FTP
Ramp – 4 min. at 70% Max HR / 75% Threshold HR / 70% FTP, 3 min. at 75% Max HR / 80% Threshold HR / 75% FTP, 2 min. at 80% Max HR / 85% Threshold HR / 80% FTP, 1 min. at 85% Max HR / 90% Threshold HR / 90% FTP
Easy spin – 10 min. at 55-70% Max HR / 60-70% Threshold HR / 50-60% FTP
Ramp – 4 min. at 70% Max HR / 75% Threshold HR / 70% FTP, 3 min. at 75% Max HR / 80% Threshold HR / 75% FTP, 2 min. at 80% Max HR / 85% Threshold HR / 80% FTP, 1 min. at 85% Max HR / 90% Threshold HR / 90% FTP
Cooldown – 20 min. at 55-70% Max HR / 60-70% Threshold HR / 50-60% FTP

Workout name

Having a functional naming system is a big help as your workout database gets bigger. Try to develop your own system that will give you the info you need. This workout could be called “1-hour easy spin with mid-intensity ramps”. Next time we will look at two examples of endurance building workouts.

Next up in Build Your Own Cycling Training Plan series

This website uses cookies

More information on processing of your personal data through cookies and more information about your rights may be found in the Information about processing of personal data through cookies and other web technologies. Below you may grant your consent to processing of your personal data also for statistics and analysis of user behaviour.