Friday, August 25, 2006

Day off the bike

Yesterday, I took a day off the bike. Felt weird.


munsoned said...

I can never seem to get on the bike everyday. I always take one if not 2 days off a week. I think I work better that way.

Although, now that I'm a 2, I might have to change that to keep up with the really fast guys. Either that or stick with a real training plan. I tend to do just a lot of riding and call it good. I do intensity days when I feel like it, but I'm on no type of schedule. It seems to take the fun out of it for me. Any time I have setup a schedule, I follow it for about a week or 2 then fall off the wagon and go back to doing whatever feels good that day. I guess I'm the opposite of OCD.

Steve C said...

Lemond always took Monday off. Totally off. No riding.

Sean Weide said...

It used to be believed that you NEVER took a day off (back in the days of the "word-of-mouth" training systems).

Another belief was that you should spend a minute on the massage table for every mile that you rode that day. For those of you keeping track at home, that's two hours after most Tour de France stages.

sydney_b said...

i think a day off is a good idea and usually I don't do much on thursdays besides commuting. but a totally zero day is rare.

cominatcha said...

Light easy riding for an easy day. One hour is not wasteful. During the rest days of the tour de france riders will spin easy to "keep the legs going". Physiologically, muscle memory can be hampered with total days off. Kind of like reading something one day then in a couple of days you can't recall all the facts. Muscles work similarily. It's best to keep teaching them something at least easy.

Steve C said...

"Physiologically, muscle memory can be hampered with total days off."

I have often wondered at that. In my powerlifting days, I often found (with myself and those I trained/trained with) the greatest strength increases could be gained by lifting ONLY ONE TIME PER WEEK. Not each bodypart once/week, but going to the gym only once a week. Sometimes a bodypart would take up to 10 days to fully recover from a brief yet highly intense session. Now, when i say intense, I mean intense.

Now, weightlifting is not as repetitive as cycling. E.g. A set of squats might be 10 reps, while on a 3 hour ride at 90 revolutions per minute you turning the cranks 16,200 times.

I will say, that, using myself as a non-representative sample size of 1, that when I do take a day or two off, I always come back stronger and with more endurance. In late August of 2005 I 'felt' completely knackered and decided to take 3 days TOTALLY off and came back and rode a 60 mile loop on my own almost 2mph faster than I have ever done it before (or since). The days off were rejuvenating.
Using that same sample size of 1, when I have taken 2 weeks off, upon returning there is a substantial loss of fitness. I feel great the whole ride, but the numbers (speed, etc.) don't look so great.