Recovery tracking

Hey folks,
I followed-ish the Coach Chris training program they offer for P2A and think I ended up overtraining, at least according to my HRV and resting heart rate metrics on my Oura ring. I did P2A then a week later did a multi-day outing that included a 170km ride. That’s when I noticed my HRV had been in the red for over two months. So I took the last 1.5 weeks pretty easy and am back in my optimal zone.

My question: how do you track your recovery needs and what kind of rest protocols do you have to handle systemic fatigue?


Personally I’d just take a week (or two) off the bike completely, focus on getting 8h of good sleep a night and eat enough good food to support the recovery. I’ve found walking to be useful during these periods if I feel like doing something.

Ive done a lot of long difficult rides and never really had any trouble recovering with this approach. I don’t use anything to track sleep or hr all the time.

I also pay attention to the fitness chart on (or the Strava one if I have premium) and stop riding after it goes into the red. It’s not perfect but it’s easy for me to understand :joy:

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Not sure what you are using to track your activity but TrainingPeaks offers solid metrics for “Fitness (chronic training load)” and “Fatigue (acute training load)” and “Form (training stress balance)”. Watching your form and making sure that number doesn’t go too far into the negative is a good way to stay on top of your recovery needs. Everyone is different so the more data you collect for your own training the better you can monitor your personal recovery needs.

Stress can also come from other factors in your life like work, lack of sleep, etc so you also need to monitor that. Adding notes to your daily workouts helps to keep an eye on those factors as well.

Hope that helps a bit - TrainingPeaks has some great info available on their CTL,ATL and TSB so you can read up on it and understand it better.



@Stevehaase That is an interesting question. I have been tracking my HRV for about 2 years now and I usually go into the red for a day or two after big events like the P2A. The only time I have been there longer is when I broke my collarbone in Aug 2022.

An approach I have read about is to combine HRV and sleep data with other subjective data to get a more complete picture of recovery or training status. I use both a garmin watch and and app called HRV4Training to monitor. Each day HRV4training has a questionaire that includes amount of fatigue, amount of muscle soreness, sleep quality, how motivated you are to train today, mental energy, life stress, Travel, illness, injury and alcohol intake. @kaellis mentioned these factors as well.

I find combining these other factors quite useful. Sometimes my HRV has been in the red but I otherwise have felt good and ready to train so sometimes I have ignored HRV being in the red if everything else seems OK.

When your HRV was in the red for 2 months did you feel like you were overtraining?

I know the times I have dipped into overtraining I slept poorly, felt constantly tired and had no interest in riding. People around me may have described me as a bit “grumpy” as well!!

Marco the founder of HRV4training (I have no affiliation with this app I have just found it useful!) has a number of really good blog posts on HRV if you are interested


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Great question and topic!

Along with the great advice above from the others, something that i have been trying for the last two years is periodization in my training.

I can say it is definitely helped me improve my performance and be more prepared for my key focused race period going from start of January (track nationals) to start of March (track provincials), which also includes a couple OCUPs.

I’m still learning and adjusting my phases and timing (it’s only been 2 years!) but I like to use the various club rides to suit where I am in my plan. This lets me mix things with with road rides in the Group 3, Intermediate, or Rec groups to obtain a certain load level or recovery ride at different times or phases. I even found a couple gravel rides in November/December to be great in my build up to my target months!

But to answer your question, it has also introduced me to “transition phases” to handle fatigue. For example, the entire month of April was a transition phase, and my next one is the first two weeks of August as I prepare to increase intensity in the autumn with the introduction of Saturday night races to my other training.

You might want to consider this approach in your training?
Here’s a pretty good summary article to clarify it further:

Let me know if you want to chat further and I’ll be sure we do if we’re on a group ride together! :slightly_smiling_face:


Thank you @TommyB @msolylo @kaellis @charlie-horse for your thoughts and suggestions on other apps to use. I like the idea of using a holistic approach to training readiness rather than hanging everything on a single metric. I’m going to start doing that (plus after a solid 2 weeks of chillin, my HRV is back in the green zone). See you out there!