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Thread: Dead legs?

  1. #1
    Maglia Ciclamino gcasillo's Avatar
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    Dead legs?

    I recently hit a 1000 miles for my base period. I still have room to improve my aerobic capacity, so I'm going to continue my base rides for a while. However, I'm working in some rides over more rolling terrain, and I'm starting to feel it in my legs.

    These aren't long climbs by any stretch, but I run into a number of steep grades in excess of 10% and sometimes 15%. I'm in the small ring and 25t cog clutching the top of my bar for dear life going up them, and once I crest them, I typically switch to the big ring and slide the chain across the cassette to the 15t or 13t cog on the way down. That kind of steep.

    Now, I know what you're thinking. This isn't the kind of terrain you should be doing base mileage over, at least not you, gcasillo. I'd agree, but there isn't any real appreciable smooth, flat roads that aren't near town. That means traffic, and that is no fun to ride around in. Plus, I have to do several loops in order to get the mileage I'm looking for.

    Anyhow, my legs are still "weak" today after a couple of good, long rides last Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. Friday was an easy day. Saturday was a little more intense. Sunday, I was still feeling it a little from Saturday, and my legs were outright beat by the time I got home. I've done this route before and recovered in short order. But this week, my legs just aren't all there yet.

    I remember from my baseball days that early in the season, my arm would go through a kind of dead period where it wasn't necessarily sore, just weak. Does this sort of thing happen in a cyclist's legs. In particular the quads. Perhaps I'm putting too much strain on my legs in order to keep my lungs and HR from rocketing?

  2. #2
    Senior Member nick burns's Avatar
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    When's the last time you took a rest day or two? Works for the body & mind.

    Could be just what the doctor ordered.

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    Climbing Fool terrymorse's Avatar
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    First signs of being overtrained?

    Some cumulative muscle fatigue has caught up with you?

    I know I'm fatigued when I can't maintain my heart rate during LT intervals. That happened a couple of weeks ago. I took two easy days, and the legs perked right up.
    Managing Director, Undiscovered Country Tours

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    Just ride. roadbuzz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gcasillo
    I recently hit a 1000 miles for my base period. I still have room to improve my aerobic capacity, so I'm going to continue my base rides for a while.
    How are you measuring your aerobic capacity, and why do think additional base is the best way to improve it?

    Not looking for a food-fight, I'm just curious.

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    Maglia Ciclamino gcasillo's Avatar
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    If its possible to overtrain during base miles, I managed to do it. I think stress from work combined with overdoing it last weekend left me for dead earlier in the week. Feeling better now, but I'm going to go real light this weekend and keep to roads around town which are significantly flatter. I think one too many steep rollers outside of town were draining me. Sounds pathetic. Feels pathetic.

    As for aerobic capacity, nothing scientific yet. Since the beginning of the year, my resting HR has dropped nicely since December from 65 to 56. I typically feel livelier when I'm out on longer rides now. Started riding 15 miles and I've worked up to 40 mile rides. I could do more, but time and lately fatigue has prevented me.

    I think another big reason I blew myself out last weekend was the weather. Stunning 75 degrees, no wind, and dry. I tend to feel like I have to be out long on days like that, and I get pumped up as soon as I get away a little and begin to see other riders out. I especially feel this way if wet, windy weather is looming.

    Thanks for the responses. I just hadn't run into a week where my legs felt spent quite like this week. I have a vacation coming up in a few weeks on the beach, so I'll definitely be able to get some good, flat, base miles in.

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    Senior Member socalrider's Avatar
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    Get a massage after a long ride and take the next day off.. The day after you will be flying again..

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    Double Naught Spy TrekDen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gcasillo
    If its possible to overtrain during base miles, I managed to do it. I think stress from work combined with overdoing it last weekend left me for dead earlier in the week. Feeling better now, but I'm going to go real light this weekend and keep to roads around town which are significantly flatter. I think one too many steep rollers outside of town were draining me. Sounds pathetic. Feels pathetic.

    As for aerobic capacity, nothing scientific yet. Since the beginning of the year, my resting HR has dropped nicely since December from 65 to 56. I typically feel livelier when I'm out on longer rides now. Started riding 15 miles and I've worked up to 40 mile rides. I could do more, but time and lately fatigue has prevented me.

    Thanks for the responses. I just hadn't run into a week where my legs felt spent quite like this week. I have a vacation coming up in a few weeks on the beach, so I'll definitely be able to get some good, flat, base miles in.
    Nothing pathetic about it! Your out there training, and can expect to have some tired days. There is nothing wrong with staying off the bike for a day or two to help recovery. Unless your off the bike for over a week, you should not lose any significant base training. I walk on my off days, usually 8 miles, 2 days a week.

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    Evil Genius capsicum's Avatar
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    Whats wrong with hills during base training? Hills have exellent bases. Proof? They rarely fall down even while holding massive buildings and such. What could be better for base training than something with a great base? No need to fly up, but there is no real slacking either or you'll quickly coast to a stop.
    "Data is not the plural form of annecdote."
    "yuo ned to be deadurcated"

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    Maglia Ciclamino gcasillo's Avatar
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    Appreciate the encouragemet, TrekDan, thanks.

    If I were in better shape, i.e. 20-25 lbs. lighter, these hills would be a snap. I have some very good riding available to me just outside of town. Only problem is a few of these are wicked steep. I have a 12-15 in back with a double up front, so I could consider a 27t in the cassette maybe, but a triple would really be a waste I think. No hill is longer than a 1/2 mile climb, and there's generally enough flat between hills to recover.

    I'm going to book a massage mid-late next week. Sounds like just the thing I need.

  10. #10
    Just ride. roadbuzz's Avatar
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    I hear ya re/the good weather thing. If you've had the same kind of winter and spring as us, the nice days are long overdue. Lower 50s and breezy tomorrow here.

    I'm a huge fan of the 27t cassette. Way less $$ or trouble than going to a triple, and you can always pop on a 12-25 or 12-23 when the occasion calls for it.

    (Could be worse, as I type the TdG leaders are climbing Brasstown Bald and it's hailing, fer cryin' out loud!)

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    Climbing Fool terrymorse's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gcasillo
    If its possible to overtrain during base miles, I managed to do it.
    Do you use a Polar heart monitor that communicates with a computer? If so, there's a feature in the Polar software called "exertion", which is supposed to be the amount of stress you've put your body under. I just started using it as a sanity check of how much fatigue I'm accumulating. I like to look at it on days when I feel tired, to see if I've been working harder lately. I also use it to estimate when I need to take a recovery day.

    I've attached a screen shot of an exertion graph from the Polar software. The green bars show the "exertion" score for the week, and the blue line shows the exertion score for each exercise. The straight lines are trend lines.
    Managing Director, Undiscovered Country Tours

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    Sophomoric Member Roody's Avatar
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    Do you have diabetes?

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    Don't Believe the Hype RiPHRaPH's Avatar
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    get 'the stick' and rub out the lactic acid from your quad's. it works wonders. you can find it at performance. i thought it was a joe till i tried it. you can do a tough 70 mile club ride on saturday and be ready for sunday's 70 miler.
    I have enough words to get me into trouble, but not enough to get me out of trouble.

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    From roadbikerider:
    "Coach Fred Replies: A lower exercise heart rate on successive days of fairly hard riding, coupled with tired legs, generally indicates "overreaching" not overtraining.

    The terms are sometimes used interchangeably but itís important to understand the difference. Overtraining is long-term chronic fatigue that could take months to recover from. Overreaching is short-term fatigue. You can rebound in a few days.

    Overreaching is what racers experience in a stage race. It afflicts recreational riders, too, during a week-long tour or cycling camp. It can even happen during a spell of great spring weather when you can't resist riding farther or faster than normal several days in a row.

    Overtraining is debilitating and should be avoided at all costs. Overreaching, on the other hand, is an effective way to stimulate improvement. If you overreach in a controlled way and then rest enough to recover, it can lift you to a higher level. Then you can repeat the process for still more improvement.

    It's when you overreach continually without sufficient recovery that you spiral into overtraining. You grind yourself down to a level where your whole life is negatively affected, not just your cycling.

    The symptoms you're experiencing -- lower heart rate coupled with tired legs -- sound like the result of overreaching. It isn't a major warning sign as long as you're recovering well between most of your workouts."

  15. #15
    Don't Believe the Hype RiPHRaPH's Avatar
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    to expound on what 'outashape; said, weather it is overtraining or overreaching, it refers to your entire mental and physical stress level of your life (on the bike, work, wife, kids, etc)
    I have enough words to get me into trouble, but not enough to get me out of trouble.

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