Take a Rest Week to Increase your Power

Taking a rest week may seem like you aren't training but it is during this time that you actually 'get faster'. All by not riding your bike and laying on the couch. Patience is tough training! A well designed training plan will include a rest week every 3 - 4 weeks with roughly 50% total weekly riding hours compared to your normal training week. Here's what a rest week looks like in a training plan:

We leadout the rest week with a two days off the bike block to remove any and all acute fatigue from the previous block's training. We want to hear from the athlete that there legs 'felt good' for Wednesday's workout. You'll notice right away its not a lot of training nor time but rest is when you 'get faster'. With all your extra free time here are a few tips to help you survive your rest week: 

Regular rest weeks will make or break your periodization, form. motivation and ability to peak. As type A cyclists we are so used to go-go-go and accomplish-accomplish-accomplish here are a few pieces of coaching advice to help you feel productive:

Try these recovery tricks during your next recovery day:

- Plan ahead and schedule a massage, a trip to the Float Center or Cryotherapy

- Lie on the couch for a couple of hours with your feet up and read a good book

- Sleep in or on the weekend try to get in an afternoon nap. Ideally, do both

- Food prep Monday: focus on another area of your training like your nutrition: cook yourself a great meal or better yet have someone cook it for you

- Take care of all those things in life you put on hold in order to train, like errands

- Take time to nurture and develop the relationships that are important to you whether it be your spouse, child, or friend. Bike racing is too hard without support!

- If you are still "crazy about the bike" try giving your second home some T.L.C. Wash it, Clean it, lube it, or take it to your friendly bike shop. 

Things not to do on your recovery day (we've all been guilty of these):

- Work late to catch up from those days you left on time to go out a train

- Take the city limit street sprint on a recovery ride

- Tag along with your buddies on "that climb"

- Shall we go on? You probably got the picture Be sure your training has a recovery week every 3-4 weeks with 50% less volume than normal because FasCats know how to recover! Cheetahs are Fast because they know how to recover!

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About Frank Overton

Frank founded FasCat Coaching in 2002 and has been a full time cycling coach since 2004. His educational background includes a Masters degree in Physiology from North Carolina State University, pre-med from Hampden-Sydney College. Frank raced at a professional level on the road and mountain bike and currently competes as a "masters" level gravel and cyclocrosser. Professionally Frank comes from medical school spinal cord research and molecular biotechnology. However, to this day it is a dream come true for Frank to be able to help cyclists as a coach.

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