The importance of rest in cycling

Rest, both in cycling on asphalt and in indoor cycling, is essential to promote proper recovery, as well as to avoid injuries and have energy for the next session, among many other reasons that we detail in this article. Something that, in addition, must be complemented with proper nutrition and professional training -without a doubt, these are the three most important aspects in the preparation of any athlete-. When talking about cycling, rest and its relevance, it is also important to note that there are two different types -which vary depending on the situation-. In this article we talk about the importance of rest in cycling, how long it should last and what types there are. Let’s get to it!

The benefits of rest in cycling

Resting from cycling, and from physical activity in general, is essential for many reasons -as we mentioned in the introduction-. There is something that you should always keep in mind and that is that rest serves to progress, since without adequate rest there will be no supercompensation. That is, there will not be a balance between training and the recovery period thanks to which the body would have been able to exceed its level of performance compared to the last training. Recovery is vital for the body and a constant effort can lead to a rapid onset of fatigue. When talking about what are the main benefits of a restorative rest and why you should pay attention to it, we find the following:

  • Improve your performance: thanks to the principle of supercompensation. In addition, the cyclist will have a greater ability to concentrate and a good mood, which also influence the results. On the other hand, the appearance of fatigue will be reduced.
  • Prevent injuries: Since it will help you to recover your muscles and tissues punished, especially if you have done an intensive and demanding training. If the muscles do not regenerate and are subjected to the same level of demand, there is a risk of injury. In addition, adequate rest in cycling avoids compromising your health by suffering from overtraining and its main symptoms.

What is the rest period in cycling?

Having clarified what the main benefits are, it is important to clarify how the rest period in cycling should be and for this you must take into account that there are two different types of rest (depending on the duration and the situation). Of course, you must take into account both.

Active rest in cycling

The concept of active rest in cycling refers to active muscle regeneration. That is, to rest but without stopping cycling. However, this can be a double-edged sword and, although it has become very fashionable nowadays, it must be borne in mind that for active recovery to take place it is essential to work at low intensity, with very gentle training sessions of short duration. An active rest in cycling should not exceed 60 or 90 minutes if you are going to ride on the road, nor should it have a medium or high aerobic intensity, but low. This corresponds to power zone 1, which is also used for warming up (i.e. below 55% of our threshold power).

With this type of breaks, recovery is real. These are very interesting if, for example, you have made a great effort during the previous day. In fact, it is common for the body to feel better with some movement and to suffer less muscle pain than if you remain lying down all day. In any case, this is something that depends on many factors and on each person, for example if you are entering a phase of overtraining -in which case it is recommended to analyze the symptoms and visit a specialist as soon as possible-. The fundamental thing for an active rest in cycling is to know your body, its limits and pay attention to the signals that the body gives you.

Total rest in cycling

Total rest in cycling is necessary after the end of a season (in the case of professional cycling), and it is not negotiable. That is to say, it must be carried out without fail and the most advisable thing, as the specialists point out, is that it is carried out with a break of at least 15 days. In addition, this period of total rest in cycling will serve to completely regenerate muscle tissue, relax the body and you can even perform a massage in the most stressed areas, such as the calves. It will also generate a caloric surplus that will allow you to better face your next routines.

Rest in indoor cycling training: When should we stop?

If you train at home with an indoor bike or a bike trainer, it is also essential to pay attention to rest (for the reasons mentioned above). In this case, the two types of rest explained in the previous point come into play in the same way. First of all, it is important to keep in mind that indoor cycling conditions are different from outdoor conditions, which generally results in a faster rise in body temperature. This means shorter sessions. The most advisable is that the indoor cycling session does not exceed 60 minutes (counting the warm-up and cool-down). In terms of frequency, a maximum of 3 times per week is recommended. However, it all depends on your level. Professional cyclists are able to withstand a higher intensity, so they can combine intense workouts with an active rest the next day. In these cases, however, it is recommended to have the help of a professional who can monitor your results to avoid falling into the dreaded overtraining.

Comments are closed.