What to do on Training Plan 'off' days?

The newly increased flexibility in Training Plans is a great plus and I am thrilled to see it. But now I have several questions that did not arise before:

  1. Should ‘Day 1’ ‘Day 2’ etc in a given weekly plan be understood to be consecutive days?
  2. If they are consecutive, it is still okay to insert a rest/recovery day in between if it’s clearly needed?
  3. If there are only four or five scheduled riding days, what to do on the other days? Especially if I start a plan on a Monday, so Day 5 is Friday, on a 5 day weekly plan that leaves the weekend completely open and, naturally, that is when I have the most time for additional and/or longer rides.

Thoughts? Thank you!

Hi @Amy_Avery, my opinion (and I’m not a certified coach or anything) is to insert rest days as needed based on your level of recovery. Most training plans on Zwift has at least one or two longer workouts that are designed to be done on the weekends, you don’t need to do all 5 workouts in consecutive days.

Here is what Coach Shayne had to say about workout order from a thread last year:

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I would say again this is athlete dependent, if you feel recovered enough to ride I would make it an easy ride, no racing or crazy efforts, but again it is all dependent on you.

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Thanks Mike - this is super-helpful. I will check out the full thread from Coach Shayne’s message also. Appreciate your help.

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If it’s clearly needed, that’s the answer. It also depends on what the next workout or couple of workouts looks like. If you feel unrecovered and some hard intervals are coming up, then rest is probably winning. A lot of Zwift workout plans are designed for “time crunched” athletes and they usually don’t include as much low intensity time as they should for someone with enough time for that.

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I’m not a coach, so simply my opinion/experience…

Some training session types might leave you feeling absolutely shattered the day after, so by all means have a complete cycling rest day or do some very easy z1/2 for 20-120mins.

I had flu for ~3.5 weeks from early October 2021, which hit me for six during and for weeks after my time off work. In an attempt to regain some losses, I began cycling everyday from November 2nd, usually for at least 30mins but I had a couple of days that were ~25mins. I’ve not had a cycling rest day since.

However, nothing like everyday has been a z4+ training session! There’s been plenty of frequent days of z1/2, mixed in with threshold sessions and short vo2 max Zwift races. Until catching a bizarre summer flu or catching covid almost a month ago, I had been illness free since last October and my power stats since March were the best they’ve been over the last five years of cycling for fitness, both indoors on the turbo and outdoors.

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if you are able to train on “off days” then maybe your “on days” are not hard enough :smiley: (check FTP is accurate etc.)

otherwise Z1/2 recovery rides FTW