When I had classes indoors on wattbikes, they would chuckle when I told them it was recovery week since the workout they were about to experience would very likely be hard in one way or another. What is harder though is to get through to how an athlete approaches the workout, their mindset to begin with about what recovery should look like. A close look at the session would indicate that, followed as described and in the parameters for power, that the IF intensity factor is less than 0.75; that is recovery realm.
A number greater than 0.75 will happen when the athlete takes the power up over the top of the suggested range for the intervals in that indoor session. That’s one way to sabotage your recovery ride! Another way is to keep higher power during the recovery intervals between reps., than has been prescribed. The mindset as noted above, when an athlete decides that the workout isn’t worthwhile unless they’re gasping at the end of it, totally depleted.
There’s a reason for the longer, less intense recovery periods as there is with the intensity of the repetitions. Recovery week does not mean reduced intensity most of the time. Taper weeks do not mean a reduction in the intensity of the reps.
The focus is on the recovery aspect as part of a training block, during the week of recovery following a build up. During the session, training the ability to recover quickly as measured by heart rate, both in bpm and in the time it takes to return to aerobic status for example. During a fondo, the rider who can bring their heart rate down time after time following intensity, will last longer (have more endurance; muscular endurance, aerobic endurance) at a higher output than the less trained individual. That may be someone who is strong, has a lot of watts at their disposal, yet without the ability to recover quickly, they are more likely to fade faster than others who can recover faster. I know, I pass a lot of them in the last 20 km up to Whistler!
So take recovery training as being as essential as the rest of your training; bring your Form (TSB) up from the negative Fatigue level (ATL) during Recovery week and Fitness (CTL) will follow.
That’s what’s strong with me day 21