15 Signs You Need More Recovery Time
15 Signs You Need More Recovery Time
Recovery time is critical for improving cycling fitness. Endless hammering without proper recovery is a guaranteed ticket to injury, illness or the dreaded “Overtraining Syndrome.” VeloPro uses the latest training science to formulate structured training plans to help you establish your base fitness, build improvements, and then peak for your event. To do this, VeloPro builds training workouts of varying length and intensity into your plan to help balance growth and recovery.
While the VeloPro AI is smart and learns about you with every ride, it is not omniscient. VeloPro’s insights are limited to your cycling performance. VeloPro doesn’t know if you are ill, injured, working 12-hour days or experiencing additional physical and mental stress in your daily life. These factors can add greatly to your need for additional recovery time. Every rider is different and must proactively monitor and manage their recovery needs. To help, VeloPro makes it easy to mark time off for any reason. VeloPro doesn’t judge! We’re here for you. VeloPro does requires that you know you need time off. It is essential that you learn how your body responds normally to the training doses in your workouts. Sometimes in our “no excuses” driven society this can be hard to figure out. Here are 15 signs to help you recognize when you need more recovery time.
- Trouble Sleeping. Proper sleep is essential for recovery. If you are exhausted but unable to sleep, this is a warning sign that you are overdoing it and need additional recovery time.
- Lingering Fatigue. It is natural to be tired after a good workout. The harder you work out, the more recovery time you need. Learn your recovery rhythms for each workout type and length. With good nutrition and sleep you should feel your body recovering. If you are still very fatigued at the time of the next workout, you may need more recovery time.
- Brain Fog. If you are having trouble concentrating, making decisions, or remembering basic things, this is a sure sign you need more recovery time.
- Dizziness. If you get lightheaded when moving from a sitting or prone position to a standing position, pay close attention. If you are not on HBP meds or have been diagnosed with low blood pressure by a doctor, this should not happen if you are well rested and recovered.
- Demotivation. You just aren’t feeling it. This isn’t like normal everyday procrastination. Most cyclists like to ride. If the thought of even taking an easy ride around the block to get an ice cream cone or coffee fills you with dread, you need more recovery time.
- Age. Athletes over 50 years old need to pay extra diligence to their recovery needs. The bottom line is that it takes more time for older athletes to recover. The reasons for this are specific for each athlete’s unique lifetime of wear and tear. While we all believe we are still 30-years old in our heads, our bodies don’t always cooperate.
- Your appetite is suppressed.Pay attention if you are not hungry even several hours after a workout. Athletes in training are hungry! If you find yourself rapidly losing weight and are not hungry, this is a sure sign you need more recovery time.
- Reduction in Performance. Numbers don’t lie. If you are putting in the effort and find your power decreasing, heart rate increasing and overall speed diminishing, you need more recovery time.
- Rate of Perceived Exertion (RPE). You should develop a good feel for what kind of effort it takes for each type of training ride. Rate each effort with a number from 1-Easy to 10-I think I’m dying. If a workout that is normally a 5 suddenly feels like an 8, you need more recovery time.
- Inflammation. Take note of the swelling in your joints. Ankles, knees, hips, shoulders, wrists, and neck are all culprits. It goes without saying you’ve had a proper bike fit, yes? If you have swelling that doesn’t reduce with rest, ice compression and elevation, you may need more recovery time.
- Dead legs. Muscle soreness is a natural result of any kind of training. You should be able to cope with normal soreness without resorting to ibuprofen or acetaminophen. These analgesics have been shown to extend recovery time. However, if your legs feel like they are made of lead weights and you have trouble lifting them, you need more recovery time.
- Heart Rate Responsiveness. You should know and monitor your resting heart rate. If your resting heart rate is consistently elevated beyond your normal range, this is a big warning sign. Also, you should have a good idea on how long it takes your heart rate to recover from zone-to-zone. Heart rate can be variable, but if it takes you double or triple your normal time to recover from your V02Max HR to your Endurance HR, this is a good sign you need more recovery time.
- Physical injury. Injuries happen for many reasons, but overtired athletes are more prone to injury. If you are injured for any reason, rest and recover! Risking further injury or additional injuries is just plain dumb. You are not a wimp, we promise. You are smart to take a break and ride another day.
- Illness. If you are ill, please rest! If you are experiencing frequent colds and or GI distress, you could be training too hard without proper recovery time and suppressing your immune system. If you are continuously getting sick, this is a huge warning sign to back off and spend more time recovering.
- Caffeine. Many of us judiciously use a caffeinated beverage, gel or foodstuff to give us a lift to finish strong on a long ride. If your normal caffeine hit doesn’t give you a lift, this is a sure sign you will need additional recovery time.