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Backing Off Training Can Bump Up Performance by Allowing Recovery

With a 3-day “stomach flu”, I was forced to curtail my daily mileage, allowing my legs to recover from their chronically overused state (when trying to drop body fat, it’s important to persevere each and every day).

Yesterday, I had a hard workout including a 2nd-best-of-the-year ascent of Old La Honda road, a 1270-foot local climb of about 7% grade. I took special care with recovery, using a foam roller and Hammer Nutrition Recoverite and whey protein powder, and I’ll be darned if I didn’t have a terrific day today— perhaps my most intense workout of the year, with some repeat times that are very respectable, for the locals who know this ride.

Cutting my effort to about 25% of average for 2-3 days really gave my body time to strengthen itself, something well worth remembering when training: you don’t get stronger by riding, you get stronger by resting. And it’s why this will be the last really hard ride before the Everest Challenge Stage Race— with the race less than two weeks away, my focus is on maintaining fitness and perhaps losing a bit more fat, but not at the expense of recovery.

Seven ascents up my local road, Old La Honda

The graph below is from the SRM Mac software using the data recorded by the SRM power meter on my Trek Madone 6.9 SSL. The “intermission” after the 3rd ascent was riding home to get a replacement wheel after my tire blew on a descent.

Click for a larger graph.

Seven ascents up my local road, Old La Honda
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