Rest. An important by word in world sport.
Recovery. Another important by word.
Rest and recovery go together. The trouble is as bike riders sometimes, I think we simply forget to rest. We do recover. That starts the minute we step off the bike with the correct procedure. Good nutrition, ablutions including stretching and compression, sleep and feet up !
But the the thing I have come to realise is that rest is as important as recovery and I think sometimes us bike riders simply ride, ride and ride some more. Yes, the fitness increases and yes form can change, but fatigue can accumulate and thus render heavy, sore legs and you can effectively over reach, before the over training kicks in.
This is where data comes in. The appliance of science. I have been looking at my numbers for the year so far and I decided to have a few days off the bike this week as I felt tired and overly sore in the legs and my threshold despite attaining a new FTP felt lower than it should have on Tuesday. Strava tells me that on Saturday, my 'form', a division of the aforementioned fatigue and fitness will reset to zero which basically means I should have good legs. This is the result of 400 - 500 miles a month on the bike and why I chose to work with power and heart rate. I am told form should hover around +10 through to -10.
I figure a body builder would not always go to the gym and do bicep curls daily as it would simply just hurt, look stupid and in turn give him very sore muscles. I think the same can go for bike riding. We used to use mileage and speed as a barometer for 'fitness' but times have changed and power allows us to ride smart. Remember to rest people.
Over and out.