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How many rest days do you need in cycle training?

The amount of rest is a key factor in determining the quality and efficiency of training. If you have insufficient rest, training will become counter-productive. Take too much rest and you never stretch yourself satisfactorily.

Cycling without sufficient rest can lead to muscle strains, chronic fatigue, injuries, or even cause lasting damage. Many athletes struggle with taking time off, especially when training for an event or competition but it is a key factor to progress in your gains.

Training is a process of breaking your body down and rebuilding it but the rebuilding part of the process doesn't come about until we rest and recover. According to Medical News Today, a rest day involves taking a break from your regular workout routine for the purposes of muscle repair and recovery.

The most crucial aspect of your rest day is getting a sufficient amount of sleep. It’s widely known that how much (and how well) you sleep has significant impacts on how well you can function during the daytime. But it is not only about how many hours do you sleep. You need to let your muscles repose, decrease your activity and feel your body relax.

The frequency of rest days is specific from person to person, and the only way to know exactly how much rest is needed is to listen to your body’s signals that it is becoming fatigued. However, according to Cycling Weekly magazine, every cyclist needs at least two days dedicated to rest.

Everyone has different needs when it comes to rest and recovery, but there are some physical and mental signs you should watch for to help you know when your body has hit its limit:

  • Difficulty sleeping: Sleep disturbances have been shown to be a primary symptom of overtraining, with an increase in training demands causing a reduction in both quantity and quality of sleep.

  • Excessive muscle soreness: While some muscle soreness after training is entirely normal, excessive soreness can be a sign of overtraining. If you don’t give your muscles time to recover they will become damaged further and cause ongoing soreness.

  • Consistent fatigue: Like soreness, some fatigue is normal after a hard workout or long ride. However, fatigue that feels more like exhaustion could be a sign that your body still needs more recovery time.

  • Lack of motivation: If there’s a time where you’re just not “feeling it,” it could be your body telling you to slow down.

Besides, you need to keep in mind that a good nutrion will help to let your body recover faster. So, don´t feel guilty, park your bike for a couple of days, follow a healthy diet, get enough sleep and you will be ready to become a real champion.

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