How often do you take an recovery day on the bike

I am just looking for how many days a week do you guys take an recovery ride on the bike. When you do a recovery ride do you shoot for a certain percentage of FTP? I am not very good but I like to go hard when I ride. I am finding this leads to heavy legs and just being worn out.

The only real recovery is a day off the bike. Otherwise, I typically spin around for 30-60min at up to ~60% FTP. Just ride around and enjoy the scenery, make some random turns, explore, etc…

1 Like

If your propensity is to push it I say go with it. Your body will let you do what you want, until you hit the limit. Power numbers are for racers. There’s a whole world of exercise beyond power numbers.

There is no specific answer that will be the “right” one, as what’s best for one person will be all wrong for someone else. How often you should take a recovery day - whether it’s on or off the bike - will depend on so many factors such as experience, length/intensity/frequency of rides, hydration, nutrition, age… I can tell you that at 44, my body doesn’t spring back from hard workouts like it used to 10, 20 - heck, even 5 years ago.

You need to listen to your body and do what’s right for you. Some days that’ll mean you can get by with a light recovery ride, while other days you may need to take off of riding completely. Pushing your body past its current capabilities can lead to injury and burnout.


Insufficient rest / overtraining is an extremely common way to sabotage your form (i.e. TSB).

Current best practices suggests following the Coggan model in TrainingPeaks / Elevate / Strava / whatever to monitor your ATL and keep your TSB (mostly) above the Overload line, with additional tapering prior to goal events.


1 active recovery ride and 1 off day per week. Usually Monday and Friday unless I have one of those days off for a holiday.

The AR ride is an hour max and no more than 50 TSS (50 TSS/hour is middle Zone 2)

And Zwift makes it easier to do than ever before!

Because it’s ‘fun’ and because many of us have the same innate desire to go hard and chase PRs and KOMs… it’s really easy to overtrain if you aren’t careful.

That said, a ‘typical’ week for me looks something like this:

(Background: I ride the trainer at night during the week, after my youngest son falls asleep.)

Monday: Rest. No zwift. More sleep!
Tues - Thurs: Zwift workouts (currently ‘build me up’ training plan). 60-90 minutes most days, 20+ - 30 miles.

Friday: optional. Depends on my weekend prospects for IRL riding and my week-to-date training intensity. If I know I’ll be riding outdoors on Saturday, I’ll take friday off. If I can’t get outside until Sunday? Then I might do an realtively easy free-ride friday night and take Saturday ‘off’ instead.

Sat-Sun: Varies often, depending on family schedule. If friday was an ‘off’ day, I’ll do a long ride outside one day and any Zwift workout left for my training plan week on the other.

So… longwinded reply saying ‘it varies’ but generally 2 days ‘off’ per week. :smiley:

[p.s. some nights I doze off in my son’s room while I’m trying to get him to go to sleep and my 9:15 pm phone alarm fails to wake me up. These are usually “listen to your body!” moments when I do just that and skip a workout in favor of more sleep.]

1 Like

Thanks for all the feedback!

As another replied, it is very individual and you should listen to your body.

I ride 4 days a week and take off M-W-F.

I ride mountain bike on Tue, fast group road ride Thurs and do a sprint Tri on Sat on my exercise Hybrid. Sun is a free day and I may do a repeat or do a social gravel ride.

Indoors (Zwift)
Workout Tues & Sat, Race on Thur and social ride Sun.

I’m 55 and find I need a rest day after a hard ride.
I also like to change bikes and styles to avoid overuse injuries.