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  1. #1
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    Bad training days

    So I have been training for a 6 week tour for the last 3 months. I have posted before "Bikes too heavy" and " needing different gearing "
    I am 62, 6' 1 & 1/2 "and weigh 240 lbs. I have a bike that weighs 38 lbs and have added 4 bags and 8 liters of water for weight during my training rides. The extra weight and bags were added on May 1st. The last 2 days I have just drug myself around on the bike with no energy and no reserve actually cutting the rides short both days. I am doing similar routes and mileage. The weight just feels like it has doubled. I am coming off a cold of 3 or 4 days in length but these last 2 days I have for the 1 st time begun to doubt my ability to actually do the tour.
    Some history: I have run 2 marathons and done a 7 day 540 mile supported ride in the past so I have some idea about the ups and downs of training for long distance events. I also trained for but did not run an ultra marathon( finally figured out my body was not made to run those types of distances.
    So that is my "whine ". I have decided to stay off the bike for 2 days even though the weather is going to be nice and just recoperate.
    Any ideas about what I should do differently or what is going on or if this is just normal and i need to just "chill out " and quit the worry ?
    Thanks for reading and your responses

    John

  2. #2
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    I think you need a rest day or two, and time to get better from your cold. Being tired from training is normal. The training is the stimulus but you don't get stronger until you rest and let your muscles rebuild.

    Are you planning to take rest days during your tour? I need to take a rest day every 4-9 days or so. Some people don't, but I do.

    Don't beat yourself up.

    A good training plan might include 1-3 rest or recovery days per week interspersed with 2 days with hard intervals and another 2 days of longer distance at lower intensity. Doing the same thing every day will make you tired, but it won't necessarily make you stronger.
    ...

  3. #3
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    Have you been riding every day? I find that 5-6 days a week is about right for me, and when I tour, I prefer to ride only about 4 days and then take the 5th day off.

  4. #4
    Senior Member mtnbud's Avatar
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    Have you taken some time to evaluate your diet? In our society, we're rightly conditioned to be very careful not to eat too many calories. When you're training, you need more calories than the average suggested by dietitians. You also need more calories due to your height and gender. If you've been careful with your calories (especially if you've been cutting back to try to lose weight), you may be feeling the effects of not enough calories to ride all those miles with a load. You might also look at what you've been eating to make sure you're getting the right amount of carbs, protein, etc. (Just a idea)

    I agree with your idea of taking a couple of days off. Another option rather than a complete break is to do an easy low mileage ride every so often. Check your resting heart rate when you wake up each morning, if it's higher than normal your body is telling you to take it easy.

    When riding, focus on keeping a high cadence and avoid mashing the pedals. Realize during the tour, you have all day to cover your distance. When I'm training on an unloaded bike, I might go full bore for an hour or two or possibly three. When I'm touring, I'll take all day with lots of stops at a much slower pace. My average touring pace is around 10-12 mph while my average unloaded training pace is around 18mph.

    I also agree with Valygrl to mix up your training routine. Don't do the same type of training each day.
    Last edited by mtnbud; 05-09-12 at 09:34 PM.
    “If You Open Your Mind Too Much Your Brain Will Fall Out”

  5. #5
    Professional Fuss-Budget Bacciagalupe's Avatar
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    It sounds to me like you're still getting over that cold.

    You might also be overtraining a bit; lack of motivation is one symptom.

    Take a few days off, maybe take a run this weekend. Also keep in mind with a 6-week tour, you don't need to do 150 miles on your first day; you can ease into it, e.g. 40 miles the first day, and slowly crank it up.

  6. #6
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    I wonder if the issue could be the quality of the non-training days or if you have recovery days on the bike. Training means cycles of work and rest. If the recovery isn't equal to the work then it's hard to build a base.

  7. #7
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtnbud View Post
    In our society, we're rightly conditioned to be very careful not to eat too many calories.
    Really? Where do you live?

  8. #8
    Senior Member mtnbud's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Machka View Post
    Really? Where do you live?
    “If You Open Your Mind Too Much Your Brain Will Fall Out”

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Machka View Post
    Really? Where do you live?
    Thread drift, check it out, we're fueled over here:

    http://www.nationmaster.com/graph/fo...nk-consumption

  10. #10
    djb
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    john, how much does the stuff you added on May 1st weigh? Just curious.
    Getting over a cold always does that for me, plus a bunch more weight is always, well, a bunch more weight.

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    Professional Fuss-Budget Bacciagalupe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LeeG View Post
    Thread drift, check it out, we're fueled over here:

    http://www.nationmaster.com/graph/fo...nk-consumption
    Egads. I'd be shocked if I personally drink more than 5 sodas a year.

  12. #12
    djb
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bacciagalupe View Post
    Egads. I'd be shocked if I personally drink more than 5 sodas a year.
    dont worry bacci, somewhere there is someone who drinks 5 a day, just to compensate for your poor habits.

  13. #13
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    I added about 22 to 24 lbs to my bike. So it now weighs 60 or so. I will be getting new Marathon Supremes and putting them on today which I hope will roll easier. No biking for 2 days and I may have been skimping on the diet. I will ride again on Saturday. I will also put on a new chain and cassette 13 34 from a 14 30. I have another month before I leave and do have an overnight planned with the bike fully loaded for memorial weekend. I usually ride 4 days or maybe 5 and then 2 off.
    My plan when I leave is to do a 48 mile 1st day and a 60 mile nd day but that will be due west so it may be windy #rd day will be 30 to 50
    Anyway mostly what I was trying to do with writing this down was get it out of my head so i could move on and have the committee ( in my head ) quit having a meeting about it
    Thanks for listening to my whine
    John

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    anytime, just keep the motor below 75% for a few days. Enjoy. A couple years ago I took a short out and back tour where I was riding out for two days, staying five then riding back in two days. Those two 70mile days was the first time I'd ridden that long in 15yrs. It was obvious at the first mtn climb I would have to really dial it back. Had a glorious 10 mile descent on a 5-6% grade in about 25minutes. The return trip climb took almost 3hrs. That weight only slows things down in one direction.

  15. #15
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    Madsen, do you sweat a lot during the training? I have found that lack of electrolytes were the main reason why I crawled so much despite keeping up my calorie intake. Lack of salt was the number one reason why I got sick in Morocco. After maintaining salt intake during long cycling (and thus sweat days), I was able to power through and become the fastest in my group. Keep up your salt/electrolytes intake.

    Also, since you're 240 pounds, 62 years old, and over 6 feet tall, your daily calorie requirements are higher than normal. Consider your BMR (basal metabolic rate) -- it hovers at 1,945 calories per day. Compare that to me, a 164 pounds, 25 years old, and only 5 feet and 7 inches, my BMR is much less at 1,689 calories per day. Many times, I ate so little and cycled hard and wondered why I felt underpowered (I couldn't push anymore than 18 MPH unloaded). Cycling vigorously (or cycling loaded) can burn through between 600 to 1,000 calories an hour! Your body uses both what you just ate and your fat as fuel -- it can never use entirely your fat (that would be a dream, right?). For you, you'd probably do well by eating a lot more: over 3,000 calories.

    Congratulations, you are now an athlete.

  16. #16
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by madsen View Post
    I usually ride 4 days or maybe 5 and then 2 off.
    My plan when I leave is to do a 48 mile 1st day and a 60 mile nd day but that will be due west so it may be windy #rd day will be 30 to 50
    That sounds all right. We all have good days and bad days out there, and you'll have good and bad days on your tour. It's good to build flexibility into your touring schedule so that if you have a bad day and decide to call it quits early and maybe not ride the next day, that's OK.

  17. #17
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    Originally Posted by LeeG
    Thread drift, check it out, we're fueled over here:

    http://www.nationmaster.com/graph/fo...nk-consumption
    Yikes! I haven't drank anything except water for the last 4 months now. I look at anything else and just see calories that I don't need. When I did decide to drink some cola it tasted so revolting I just threw it away. I guess my tastes have changed somewhat.

  18. #18
    Senior Member Clarabelle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by valygrl View Post
    I think you need a rest day or two, and time to get better from your cold. Being tired from training is normal. The training is the stimulus but you don't get stronger until you rest and let your muscles rebuild.

    Are you planning to take rest days during your tour? I need to take a rest day every 4-9 days or so. Some people don't, but I do.

    Don't beat yourself up.

    A good training plan might include 1-3 rest or recovery days per week interspersed with 2 days with hard intervals and another 2 days of longer distance at lower intensity. Doing the same thing every day will make you tired, but it won't necessarily make you stronger.
    I totally agree. Years ago, my brother and I were training for our first marathon during the Goodwill Games in Seattle. Other runners we knew were training hard 5 or 6 days a week. Because I was having trouble with a bone spur, we cut our training back to 3 short runs a week, plus alternating either a long run or a medium run once a week. By the time the race began, everyone we knew had withdrawn due various injuries, while we were able to run and complete the event. Over training can be counter productive.

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