Updated: May 10, 2022
Unfortunately, there is such a thing as too much rest. Fortunately, we have a good idea of just how much!
As our riding time creeps up and our time in the gym decreases, Wouldn't it be great if we knew how long our training adaptations lasted?
Thanks to the Russians, the literature is pretty conclusive here. So I adapted the table below to show the benefits we often look for from our training, as well as the residual training effect. That is - how long do the gains last from any given training session?
NB - the data compiled here is from advanced athletes with years of training experience. As your training age (the number of years of training history you have) increases, so do the residual effects of your training. If you're a beginner athlete, you can expect to see your adaptations decrease rapidly after only 7-10 days.
So what does this mean for us? Well, the residual training effect is what allows us to Periodize our training. That is, to focus on different training qualities at different times of the year in order to be both time-efficient and prudent in managing stress to avoid over-training.
Not only that but if we can go one better and continue to make modest strength gains by training heavy, but less frequently, then we're going to start compounding our month-on-month training effect. Gives you the chance to really move the needle on your bike both this season and next.
Our in-season approach
None of us are pros here, and we all have to balance Riding and working out with Family responsibilities and Work. So let's take the time you've got and make it count. A good rule of thumb for most of us looking to make steady, in-season progress is to cut the above numbers in half (+/- depending on your training age). Then we design a program ensuring that the qualities of Maximal Strength and Maximal Speed get trained at those minimal intervals. The specific movements are varied from block to block in order to prevent repetitive strain, but progressive overload is still applied which keeps us growing. We pick our weeks wisely and take improvements with gratitude, not for granted. This is what stops us from pushing too hard and running into problems.
If you'd like to know more about how our Online Coaching Program works and how we can help you to make gains year-round. You can book a no-commitment zoom consult with me here
Questions or comments? I'd love to hear from you if you have ideas for future content or you want to know more about what's been covered already.
See you on the Trails!