Recovery is the key to adaptation and increased fitness, but the pros aren’t your best role models. While a three-hour-long ride may be an easy day for Cadel Evans, that likely makes up more than a quarter of your weekly training volume. No matter how easy you ride, you’re not going to be recovering if you’re out for three hours, Mayhew says.
The Fix: Take recovery days, but realize they don’t have to be on the bike. Spend the day doing yard work or catching-up with family instead of fretting over your heart rate. Total rest might work for the pros, but you don’t need to confine yourself to the couch.