Tom, do you have a litmus test to tell if recoveries are too short for the efforts you are asking? For example, if you are asking for a 5-minute, 4-minute, 2-minute, and 1-minute best effort, one right after the other in that order, how much recovery would you give in between each? Thanks.
– Julie Zweck-Bronner
This is yet another great question. How much recovery is enough and when are we short-changing our riders? To choose the best recovery length consider (1) from how high are your riders falling and (2) what will they be hit over the head with next. For example, someone toodling along in Zone 2 requires little to no time to recover in order to perform a hard Zone 4 or Zone 5 effort, while a person who just torched their lungs in Zone 5 may need a minimum of 3–4 minutes to peel themselves from the floor.
To provide an example for every scenario and combination of recovery-to-effort would take hours. Instead, I will provide three common considerations for choosing recovery length, starting with the scenario Julie presented in her question.