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I think the real problem is that people ramp up too much and then need the time off or get forced off the bike. If you pick a modest goal and stick to it for weeks you'll see steady sustainable growth. I usually do about 6 weeks w/o a break, unless life forces one in which case I'm ok with that.
A better approach would be to increase to some workload, maintain that workload until you've adapted, then increase again.
Your training week should have lower training stress days built in to allow you to recover.
I often think that those advocating some sort of X/1 haven't gone through the literature in periodization and if they have, have failed to grasp what it really means.
Brian Stover USAT L1
My coach builds a lot of recovery into each week. Add the (short) taper period for some races and then recovery after races and you don't really need a recovery week. Unless life takes over and other things get in the way that start to impact your training/recovery. That's been the case for me a lot this year.
1) frequency over intensity - it's not always better to go out and shell yourself with a stupid hard workout and then not be able to train for 3-4 days because of it - that's what races are for ;-) - always make sure you can train again the next day...
2) make your easy sessions easy and your hard sessions hard - don't do everything at 75% - you will adapt faster and have more recovery time with this approach (I remember reading that elite xc skiiers often spend 80% of their training volume at easy aerobic levels, but that other 20% is ridiculously tough)
3) what works for you is not always what works for others - you need to figure out where your "weak points" are and address or avoid them i.e.: speed work; or maybe a nagging PF case - don't train someone else's plan - train YOUR plan
4) train every day (except around a race) - if you can't due to injury or fatigue, either get it checked with a doc or ease up on your intensity until you can - one of the biggest keys to this sport is consistency in training.
"How bad could it be?" - SimpleS