So I have been riding earnestly for the past three years. At 52, I have gradually built myself back up to riding at the level of my bike racing youth, in terms of similar times for similar rides thirty years apart. More "brains over brawn", the actual rides are completely different now. I find that I have been able to will myself over mountains and distances I would never even want to try earlier in my life. I have been eating all real foods, shying away from supplements and the like. I weigh the same as I did when I started riding but have redistributed my mass, mostly to my legs. I try to get at least 500 miles a month in between work and play. Last week I finished a great ride and cleaned and parked my bike. The next morning I was exhausted and was so all day. And the next. I was so tired at work I could hardly do my job. Restless sleep and tired all the day long for a week. No temperature and didn't feel any type of sick. Just exhausted. I tried to get up and go shopping or cook good food but it was all too tiring. I got on my bike for a night ride last night and I admit I feel like it was a much longer ride than it was. But at least I was back on the "horse". Trying to eat five small quality meals a day and get plenty of water. Overtraining ? How long does this last ? I'm kind of done with it. Any secrets to restarting the body? Seems like a setback in my quest of a sub five hour Century. Only have to shave off 22 minutes to get there. I figure that just cutting out a couple of SAG stops alone might get this off the list. And maybe less mountains.
Do a google on "overtraining" - do you have these symptoms?
Common Warning Signs and Symptoms of Overtraining Syndrome
- Washed-out feeling, tired, drained, lack of energy
- Mild leg soreness, general aches and pains
- Pain in muscles and joints
- Sudden drop in performance
- Decreased immunity (increased number of colds, and sore throats)
- Decrease in training capacity / intensity
- Moodiness and irritability
- Loss of enthusiasm for the sport
- Decreased appetite
- Increased incidence of injuries.
- A compulsive need to exercise
Recognizing Overtraining Syndrome
There are several ways you can objectively measure some signs of overtraining. One is by documenting your heart rates over time. Track your aerobic heart rate at a specific exercise intensities and speed throughout your training and write it down. If your pace starts to slow, your resting heart rate increases and you experience other symptoms, you may heading into overtraining syndrome. You can also track your resting heart rate each morning. Any marked increase from the norm may indicate that you aren't fully recovered.
Another way to test recover to use something called the orthostatic heart rate test, developed by Heikki Rusko while working with cross country skiers. To obtain this measurement:
- Lay down and rest comfortably for 10 minutes the same time each day (morning is best).
- At the end of 10 minutes, record your heart rate in beats per minute.
- Then stand up
- After 15 seconds, take a second heart rate in beats per minute.
- After 90 seconds, take a third heart rate in beats per minute.
- After 120 seconds, take a fourth heart rate in beats per minute.
Well rested athletes will show a consistent heart rate between measurements, but Rusko found a marked increase (10 beats/minutes or more) in the 120 second-post-standing measurement of athletes on the verge of overtraining. Such a change may indicate that you have not recovered from a previous workout, are fatigued, or otherwise stressed and it may be helpful to reduce training or rest another day before performing another workout.
A training log that includes a note about how your feel each day can help you notice downward trends and decreased enthusiasm. It's important to listen to your body signals and rest when you feel tired.
You can also ask those around you if they think you are exercising too much.
While there are many proposed ways to objectively test for overtraining, the most accurate and sensitive measurements are psychological signs and symptoms and changes in an athlete's mental state. Decreased positive feelings for sports and increased negative feelings, such as depression, anger, fatigue, and irritability often appear after a few days of intensive overtraining. Studies have found increased ratings of perceived exertion during exercise after only three days of overload.
How to Treat Overtraining Syndrome
If you suspect you are overtraining, start with the following:
- Rest and Recover. Reduce or stop exercise and allow yourself a few days of rest.
- Hydrate, Drink plenty of fluids and alter your diet if necessary.
- Get a sports massage. This may help relax you mentally and physically.
- Begin Cross Training. This often helps athletes who are overworking certain muscles or suffering from mental fatigue.
Research on overtraining syndrome shows getting adequate rest is the primary treatment plan. New evidence indicating that low levels of exercise, or active recovery, during the rest period speeds recovery, and Moderate exercise increases immunity.
Total recovery from overtraining can take several weeks and should include proper nutrition and stress reduction.
How to Prevent Overtraining Syndrome
It's often hard to predict overtraining because every athlete responds differently to certain training routines. It is important, however, to vary training through the year and schedule in significant rest time. The following tips may help you avoid overtraining.
If you recognize an warning signs of overtraining, it's important to objectively measure your training routine and make adjustments before you wind up sick or injured.
Uusitalo, A.L.T., Tahvanainen, K.U.O., Uusitalo, A.J., Rusko, H.K.: Does increase in training intensity vs. volume influence supine and standing heart rate and heart rate variability. Overtraining and Overreaching in Sport - Congress, Memphis, Tennessee, 1996.
Uusitalo, A., Hanin, Y., Rusko, H.: Effect of exhaustive training on mental state, autonomic regulation and hematological parameters. Int. Congress on applied research in sports, Helsinki, 1994.
Kirwan JP, Costill DL, Flynn MG, et al: Physiological responses to successive days of intense training in competitive swimmers. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise 1988;20(3):255-259
Getting enough rest between rides? Enough protein in the diet?
Yes I have the same routine for the last three years. I try to ride one day and fish the next. I alter my weights, core one day and limbs the next. My job is very taxing but I get a lot of days off. This seemed to appear out of nowhere. Great info though. I took it to heart and took a nap right away. Will dial it down some and work towards recovery. If you find yourself riding behind me now is your chance to attack...
I recommend chocolate and coffee.
Great info on this thread, thanks all.
Half of those describe my life from the age of ten onwards.:) I guess I should keep an eye out for the other seven.
Originally Posted by DnvrFox
As noted, sleep is a big issue. I call 8 hrs. a good start, but I never take naps.
The level of exhaustion seems excessive. Have you seen a doctor lately?
Yes, it does seem excessive at only 500 miles/month. But it depends on how those miles are distributed and how hard those miles are ridden. If you go hard as you can every mile, certainly overtraining is possible. Otherwise - low protein? Low iron? The symptom of simple lassitude argues for overtraining. Just take it easy until you feel like riding again. Cut calories accordingly. During times like this, I try to get in some core work or a zone 1 ride on my rollers from time to time. Walking is nice, too.
Why not have a complete blood workup done?
I've begun my 2014 Ironman Florida training and something has not been right. Leading up to my 135 miles last Sunday and Sprint triathlon today just seemed off so last week I had the blood workup done. Waiting for results to see if it is just me being another year older or something else. Last time it was a parathyroid tumor and goiter. Removal of half of my thyroid and the PTT solved those issues but I feel something else needs to be addressed.
Sure it could be over training but it could also be something much more serious. Go see your Dr. it's just a co-pay right?
Visit your doctor. If this came on that suddenly, there could be an entirely new player in the game. Honestly, this isn't the place for medical advice unless one of our august group actually is a MD.
Do you suffer from sleep apnea?
Most those symptoms listed by dnvrfox are also classic sleep apnea symptoms.
I know this because I suffer from it.
Sounds to me like you need more calories. Eat a bowl of spaghetti or pasta with meat sauce for dinner and some chocolate for desert. I'm very leery of fad diets and, when you mention 5 meals a day it makes me wonder. On your rides, sugar is not your enemy. Eat a snickers bar.
IMO, now that we are older, I believe being tuned-in to our body's vibes is critical. My doctor gave me a call yesterday and as I surmised, there are some issues in my blood-workup. See her tomorrow for course of action.
TUNE into your body.
It says you have a 1986 Cannondale Road bike. That's the problem. Get a new bike and you will feel much better. Then you will shave off those 22 minutes.
Try Kahler Cycling Development in Tustin. That will help you with those 22 minutes.
Kahler Cycling Development & Torture Clinics
W O W - what a doc!
Originally Posted by OldTryGuy
Still two weeks out. Had my insurance cancelled out by Obamacare. Now new doctor in crappy part of town, with long wait. Still I feel I am healthy, 500 miles a month doesn't seem like a lot but it is three 30 to 60 mile rides a week over hilly terrain and usually on my single speed. My Lefty is in the shop getting re-built hence the Road bike. Man it sure is easier with 12 gears. I am more of an Urban Assault rider, hitting dirt trails, bike paths, street rides and night bomb group runs thru LA. The SS is stealthy and makes no sound. The Schwalbe Marathon tires never flat out and can handle curb hops with no rim damage. I have been riding my two back-up bikes. Different rides with different muscles. Maybe this is just good old fashion "first day at football practice" type sore and tired. Put in 60 LSR miles yesterday and, while tired today I still feel good. Looking forward to getting back on my perferred ride.
First you need to check out the HTFU thread. Secondly I can tell you recovery takes a little longer the older you get. Think about less time but more purposeful training time on the bike. I've done sub 5 hour centuries at 50+ so very doable. Just pay attention to what your body is tellng you. If you're tired you need rest and hydration.
Originally Posted by DnvrFox
2.5 hour visit with doc. Implementing some changes with additional testing this Friday. More rest and hydration would not be a problem solver for my feeling tired. Paying attention to my body told me this and that is why I went for initial blood work-up.
Originally Posted by jppe
"2.5 hour visit with doc" W O W - what a doc! 2.5 hours?
Good luck on whatever modalities you are changing or implementing.