Giving your body a chance to recover properly ensures you gain the maximum training benefit from your efforts. It also reduces injury risk and helps avoid the lasting consequences of overtraining syndrome.
Recovery time is a countdown timer that reveals when you can expect to be fully recovered and ready to benefit from a substantial challenge. This countdown timer is updated at the end of each activity. The amount of time added to your recovery timer is determined through analysis of the duration and intensity of your recorded activity interpreted in light of your current fitness level and activity history.
Any time remaining on your countdown timer at the start of a new activity is also taken into consideration.
For the most part, similar performances require similar amounts of recovery time, but sometimes it takes longer than normal to bounce back. An unusually hard workout or race performance is a good example. Another is when there is a sudden increase in your 7-day training load compared to normal. The shock of rapidly increasing your training load in a short period of time can produce residual fatigue, simultaneously increasing injury risks and the length of time it takes to bounce back.
A common misconception about recovery time is that it recommends complete rest until it has counted down to zero. Instead, recovery time is meant to indicate the time until you can expect to be sufficiently recovered for a hard workout. Many times, an easy ride or run is OK — even beneficial — when your recovery time still shows considerable time remaining until complete recovery.
The amount of recovery time normally prescribed after a workout is now being adjusted based on new considerations from training effect and training load data.