Feeling Sluggish During Recovery Week

Why do I always feel so sluggish and blah during a recovery week? Everything on and off bike seems to take twice as much effort. Am I mental or is this a real thing?

Also, I have my first gravel ride of the year this coming Sunday. This will be my third year doing this ride. It’s 56 miles of mostly good roads with a short jaunt down a steep “B road” that has sand and rocks the size of softballs. The first year I walked that section. Last year I slowly and carefully rode it and was so proud of myself. This year I am feeling a bit nervous about it for some reason, probably because I haven’t gotten as much outdoor time in as I would like. Saturday will be rainy, the day of is sketchy. Should I do the scheduled workout Saturday or some lighter version of it?

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@Stefanie I think recovery week funk is a real thing, I’m feeling a little out of sorts this week too and I guess that’s why we have a recovery week - not to make us feel blah but to help us recognise our bodies need a rest.
The gravel ride sounds like great fun; I can understand why you’re feeling nervous if you’ve not been able to get out much. Go with your gut instincts, if it feels a little too risky then get off and walk it - our gut instinct is usually right and it’s not worth pushing your luck when there is a whole season of riding to enjoy. I hope the weather doesn’t spoil things and that you have a great time.

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I too am on a recovery week. It is completely normal to feel sluggish on a recovery week. The body has been geared up for the last 3 weeks, producing all kinds of hormones and chemical reactions necessary to perform hard workouts day after day. Once we take a break from the hard work, the body realizes that it is now “safe” to slow down and go into rebuilding mode (usually after 2 days or so)- and that’s when adaptation (the physical benefit of training) happens. So yes, your body is in full rebuilding and recovering mode- that’s a great sign-- meaning your training was effective.

A few other things to keep in mind, which also contribute to some additional fatigue:

  • Both of you just started to ride a little more- commuting and outdoor rides to enjoy the weather after a long winter
  • Your training changed to 3 weeks of build + 1 week of recovery (before you were on 2 weeks on, 2 off)

Lastly, it is very important to incorporate quality proteins and lots of fruits and vegetables to help the body recover.


Ah, thanks for the advice @Michelle! You are right that it is not worth pushing it and risk ruining my whole season. I’ll see how it goes the day of, how if feels, what the road looks like. It will all be good!

So glad to hear I am not the only one feeling sluggish and that it is normal during a recovery week. Funny how changing training to three weeks of build and just adding in a little more activity makes such a difference. Good food always @Coach_Theia! :grin:

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Forgot to answer your workout question… Take Friday off and on Saturday, so the planned workout with the following modifications:

TWO x3 min alternating 2 min SEATED @85%, 60 rpms, 1 min STANDING 95%, 50-60 rpms

ONE x3 min alternating: 10 sec @140%, 100 rpms, 20 sec @90%, 80 rpms

FINISH the ride at 60 minutes.

East lots of carbs immediately after and for the rest of the day!


Thanks @Coach_Theia! I will happily eat lots of carbs Saturday :grin: