How much to rest?

theBlob

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Sep 28, 2011
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#1
I commute about 40km on my commuting days.
and try to do a 100km plus ride on the weekends.

After last Sunday my legs were fairly hammered, today I did 70km and hammered them all the way again.

How much rest should I be giving myself?

I was thinking of repeating this mornings 55km Arakawa hammerfest again on Thursday.

Is it too much? Are there any rules for training and resting that yeild better results?

Please let me know your thoughts on this subject!
 

FarEast

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May 25, 2009
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#2
Well it all depends on what you are actually trying to achieve now doesn't it?

Without knowing your goals or objectives the question is pretty redundant.
 

kpykc

Speeding Up
Jun 13, 2007
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#3
Indeed, if you don't have a specific goal, just listen to your body, it will tell you if it doesn't like what you're doing to it :)
Do not only cycle everyday or your non-cycling muscles will degrade, which is not a very bad thing if it's what you want. Walk or run or swim too.
 

bloaker

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Nov 14, 2011
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#4
I struggle with resting when I am traqining for marathons. I usually run 4/5 days a week. I am always afraid of rest out of fear of 'breaking the habit' of excersize. And undoubtedly, I get sick every season due to being completely worn out. After a 5 day to week long break, I come back stronger than before. I taper down a couple weeks before a race for recovery. BUT....

The end goal is the point.

I ride my bicycle for fun. I run for punishment. :)

As previously stated by kpykc... justy listen to your body.

Everyone is a bit different.
 

GSAstuto

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Oct 11, 2009
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#5
FE is right on target. Serious cyclists generally consult with professional coaching staff to get an overall evaluation , then construct a training plan that works towards the goals and performance levels desired. Just following casual advise from a BBS is more or less the same as asking legal tips from the guy sitting in the dock next to you.

Most recreational cyclists will achieve roughly 80% or so of their max performance within a year of steady riding. The best thing they can do is just ride often and as much as possible without incurring stress injuries. To get the last 20% requires expertise, dedication and commitment to a plan. There is no 'quick fix' or 'twist the throttle further' method.

Also - as you rise higher in performance - and then begin racing or challenging other riders, a natural hierarchy and competition takes hold. So, the better you get, the less others will be inclined to impart their secrets, tips and strategy without some kind of ROI involved - i.e. Team member, Remuneration, etc.

There are many books available on cycling training and that's a good way to start. There are also local resources such as professional coaching, health evaluation centers, teams, available.

I think for those of us that 'paid the dues' , the process is more understandable. I see alot of riders today just wanting to tie on the best kit they can, spend a few months hammering, then become the next Cadel Evans, Cavendesh, etc. The reality couldn't be farther. Young riders not only develop their riding skills and habits, but must also earn respect in the group or peleton. Mainly by suffering the grunt activities like carrying everyone's water, washing bikes, gluing tires, cleaning the shop and leading out sprints until they puke. (Yes - you do puke). Not to mention ferrying orders up 18% climbs in 45 degree heat, then repeats. Sacrificing your wheels, and even bike if required.

So, if you are just looking to boost your own personal riding skills - then just ride. Hard and often. Your distance currently is very low daily compared a typical 'serious' amateur competitor. Boost that up to 600-800km / week and then you can talk about legs being 'hammered'.
 
Jan 14, 2007
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#6
If you have to commute and want more rest, leave earlier and ride slower.
If you're falling asleep or drowsy during the day when you should be wide awake, you probably need more rest.

Adjust the hammer dial to get more or less on your workouts.
Mix it up...

I used to ride every second day, but I tended to ride hard when I rode.
Ride hard rest hard.

And how many junk miles do you want to include in your weekly ride?
Junk miles shouldn't make you tired...like walking or taking the bus.

My 1 cent.
 

FarEast

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May 25, 2009
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#7
100% agree on the Junk miles - in fact its got to the point where I do all my race training indoors - just no way you can maintain a steady 300+ watts for 2 hours on the road.
 

theBlob

Bokeh master
Sep 28, 2011
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#8
Well I started riding just to get fit going to and from work, I found I had an affinity with it and then once my knees were sorted started doing mountain weekend rides, and extending my commute. I don't think I really do junk miles, the only junk miles I do are on weekends heading to the mountains. The group always seem to ride at around 30km/hr. Are they junk miles?

I don't really look at my commute as junk miles at this point, I have noticed that I can now push into the high 40s off the lights and hold around 40 for extended periods. Of course you have to stop again in a few minutes. But extending yourself to your limits is always valuable right?

Anyway my goals now are to get stronger and faster. While still keeping my riding to times at a family friendly level.

I rode my commute with the Arakawa TT loop included. I was tired before I left, and I just had no energy, trip average was down 2km/hr and couldn't push for any length of time... Today should have been a rest day. Is there any value in riding when you feel like this? Or would these be junk miles?

I think I may look at doing my 70k Arakawa commuting days twice per week, with rest days in between, and 1 long weekend ride, might be about perfect for improving to the point that I start to plateau in terms of speed and endurance. Then it will be time to look at a more serious structured training program.

Thanks for your replies
 

Aron B

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#9
To get back to the original question: in my opinion, when you do training less than say 5 times a week, you can't really do any wrong. Once you start working out every day, then you have to have a good exercise/rest schedule. There are caveats of course, for example if you start from zero then you must build up gradually.

Now whether it's efficient to do push yourself to the maximum every time you sit on a bike, that's a different story. Getting stronger and fitter is a combination of exertion and rest. Look up supercompensation. For cycling, ideally you do a combination of getting stronger (max speed) and endurance (cruise speed).

Still, if you have limited training time only a couple of times per week, full out is not so bad. Sometimes you feel strong, sometimes you don't. This happens, it's normal and nothing to worry about. I always say: complete the exercise even if you feel weak, that's where you make progress (not if you're ill or anything like that of course).

Surely, if you're doing competition you want to be strong right on time, and this can be done, but for commoners like us just ride and have fun. Only way to get better is to do more, I'm with Tim on this one.
 

GSAstuto

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#10
I think it's hard to keep commuting from becoming 'junk miles' simply because there is less flexibility inhow you ride them. Though, if you plan your commutes around your training schedule, then they can be beneficial in terms of recovery or focusing on other aspects of riding.

As for the transits - out and back on the Arakawa, there are alot of options, especially as a group, to make this a beneficial training portion. However, more often than not, people arejust trying to hang on to the group , sit in and conserve their energy so they can 'crush' on the hills or just out for a Sunday ride with their mates.

Again, it all comes down to a 'plan' and 'goals' and 'system'. Anyway , 'rest day' doesn't mean 'don't ride' , it just means 'ride differently' and will vary as much from rider to rider as from the event targets and cycle. What are you resting? How long do you need to rest? What are your sterol ratios? Muscle glycogen? HR response? Once you have benchmarks for these, and a training guide supplied by a coach, then you can proceed along a path that will provide significant and tangible performance gains.

If you have exhausted your muscle energy to the point that you can't push harder - there is little benefit in proceeding to push more without allowing some recovery. Depending your goal, the recovery may be active or passive or some combination. Targetted recovery may even include alternate muscle therapy by using elctro-stim, massage, diet and stretching. Notice, you are still 'exercising' - just in a different way.

1) Get a comprehensive health / stress exam. I put posts in here about that.
2) Get a comprehensive cycling benchmark session. There are coaches (here) and around Tokyo that provide that.
3) Develop a plan and follow with regular checkpoints.
4) If you are really serious and have the $$ , then invest into the gear that helps you analyze and follow the plans. Like a good trainer (LeMond is one of the best) , SRM equipment, Training sofware, Guide, and on-road gear like a Garmin, etc for data aquisition.
 
Jul 26, 2011
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#11
I always say: complete the exercise even if you feel weak, that's where you make progress (not if you're ill or anything like that of course).
So hardcore.

its got to the point where I do all my race training indoors - just no way you can maintain a steady 300+ watts for 2 hours on the road.
I'm always afraid indoor intervals aren't going to translate to outside speed. I mean, it does, obviously, for everyone else. Maybe my genes are just stupid?
 

jdd

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#12
I'd offer that while junk miles maybe junky for training or goal-oriented work, you're still out there moving, rather than riding on a train, bus, in a car, etc. Tho they may be junk miles to those training for an event, they're a whole lot better than no "junk miles" at all.

The name sucks. It denigrates all the positives that can come from simple, normal riding/commuting, which should, IMNSHO, not be called "junk".

(could there maybe be a little elitism in the use of the term?)
 

GSAstuto

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#13
Totally agree! Actually one of my pet peeves are cyclists that train hard for cycling events, then commute to work by car. It even bothers me that I have to take something other than a bike TO a bike race. As Bill Nye said, "There's something wrong with a society that drives a car to workout in a gym." [sic] "Or a bike race".

And of course Eddy's take -- "Ride lots."


I'd offer that while junk miles maybe junky for training or goal-oriented work, you're still out there moving, rather than riding on a train, bus, in a car, etc. Tho they may be junk miles to those training for an event, they're a whole lot better than no "junk miles" at all.

The name sucks. It denigrates all the positives that can come from simple, normal riding/commuting, which should, IMNSHO, not be called "junk".
 
May 22, 2007
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#14
The name sucks. It denigrates all the positives that can come from simple, normal riding/commuting, which should, IMNSHO, not be called "junk".
I feel the same way. This is the first time I've come across the expression.

To me, more kilometers = good. Porque non? I'm out cycling. I'm not interested in racing or even getting beyond the 'recreational cyclist' 80% threshold *. (Approaching it would be nice, perhaps.)

As FarEast said in Post 2 of this thread:
Well it all depends on what you are actually trying to achieve now doesn't it?
It's a question of perspective. If someone has specific training goals, then any ride that doesn't fit the plan is a waste or even damaging. If you WANT that podium place, then you have to be driven and disciplined. If there's no such driver, then every ride that doesn't finish in hospital is a good ride.

* Tim: I'm going to be quoting this as a scientific fact from now on.
 

joewein

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Oct 25, 2011
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#16
The name sucks. It denigrates all the positives that can come from simple, normal riding/commuting, which should, IMNSHO, not be called "junk".
I completely agree. "Junk miles" makes it sound like they're bad for you, like "junk food" that makes you fat and gives you high blood pressure. Riding your bike does the opposite, it keeps you healthy, even if it may not get you on a podium.

On several rides I've been in a dilemma where I had to be home by a certain time and the only way to make it was to return by train. Consequently I spent two hours sitting or standing on a train instead of three hours moving my body on my bike to cycle home. If only I had that extra hour, I could have got three hours more riding that day. Ride one hour, get two more hours free! And I would have saved the train fare. For me it would have to be a pretty bad three hours on a bike for the experience to rate worse than two hours spent on a commuter train.

I know others have different priorities and they'd rather take the train to and from Musashiitsukaichi (for Tomin-no-mori) to avoid traffic lights and vehicles instead of getting triple value on cycling time. OK, so R7 out there is not the greatest road, nor is R246 when I go to the Pink Cow in Shibuya for the Half Fast Cycling monthly get together, but I don't see the point of taking the train to a bike meeting unless it's snowing out there (I have yet to take anything other than the bike to the Pink Cow).

The first Miura peninsula ride I did, I took the train down to Keikyu Kurihama because it seemed far. The second ride I took the train to Yokohama and rode from there. The third time I cycled from my home in Setagaya and it was the most fun of the three rides :)

To me the only real "junk miles" are miles on a bike that doesn't fit you.
 

theBlob

Bokeh master
Sep 28, 2011
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#17
I think if you have a plan to be improving your strength and speed then just cruising around could easily be considered junk miles, because any time spent on the bike should be with an aim to be getting "better"

I think one of the biggest obsticles to improvement in any sport is peoples inate objection to pushing themselves into places of pain or danger. Cruising around and riding at less than you hardest could easily be considered a step back if you consider your training to be as much about the overcoming the mental as the physical.

I haven't done a lot of cycling but what I learned racing motorcycles is this. You are either going forwards or backwards. If you are pushing yourself any less than your upmost then you are going backwards because you are training your brain to operate at less than it's optimal. This is a subconscious thing, you ride a motorbike on the street then go on the track you will automatically be slower because you have retrained your brain as to what is a safe corner speed based on environment.

While the physical aspects of the two sports are very different the mental aspects are the same in my opinion.

Anyway I still am a ways away from any real physical training plan, but the mental training is going on commute or river or hills.
 
Sep 2, 2009
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#18
Do what I do;

The Serial Killer method; go at it hard, once every 7 months, then vanish until the next body turns up.
 
May 22, 2007
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#19
Do what I do; The Serial Killer method; go at it hard, once every 7 months, then vanish until the next body turns up.
^ Hospital or jail. You choose.

I got to a point in 2009, around tea-time, where my daily 2 x 20 km commute wasn't tough any more; I couldn't go any faster without it becoming dangerous, and it didn't feel like I'd had much of a workout when I got to the end. My longest ride was 270 km.

Since then I've broken my back and my shoulder, taken up smoking again, gained lots of weight, started staying up too late. Now every bicycle journey feels like a real workout. Result! :mad: