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  1. #1
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    Is this overtraining?

    I've been mountain biking for about a year and "thought" I was in pretty good shape but 3 weeks ago I got my first road bike. Since then my ride lenghs have increased almost 4 times since I find the road to be much more fun. I've also made amazing gains in going up hills. Hills that have kicked my ass for a year are becoming easy and my legs have already gotten bigger, because I keep pushing myself.

    My problem is that at work I walk around a lot and do many steps. The steps have become a problem since when I go up them my legs will start burning and my heart rate will sky rocket. I feel like my body is gearing up for a massive hill. People have said to me that I should get in shape because my breathing will increase and it appears to others that I'm straining to make the stairs. Its not like I'm sprinting up the stairs or doing two at a time for 3 floors, but I'm getting a little concerned because today my legs "gave out" and I actually had to grab the railling to stop from falling.

    Is this an issue of over-training or should I just take like 3 days off from riding and lay on my sofa when I get home?

  2. #2
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    It sounds like you may need to take a rest day or two. But don't lay on the sofa on your rest days. Get proper sleep, do some easy stretching and massage for your legs. You might want to invest in a little massage oil and a roller. It helps to flush out the lactic acid to restore freshness to your legs. You might even want to try a little light walking. Hope this helps!

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kitohe
    Is this an issue of over-training or should I just take like 3 days off from riding and lay on my sofa when I get home?
    Well, it does sound like it could be overtraining - kind of like the feeling of moving through mud and even the simplest exertion feels really difficult? I've only experienced overtraining as a runner, but it's the same for every sport - you increased your training, however, you haven't given your body adequate rest to repair, and haven't eaten enough carbohyrates in order to restore the glycogen levels in your muscles. Also, if you have muscle soreness that persists for a few days, you could be breaking down protein to compensate for your depleated glycogen stores. This is what I do: rest for 2 or 3 days, eat a lot of protein for dinner the first night, (steak and eggs, for example) and eat a lot of carbs (whole wheat pasta, fruit, etc.) for the second night. Make sure you take in enough calories for your body to repair itself. By the third day or fourth day, you should feel like a million bucks (and you may even get stronger!)

    Now, there's another way that you can figure out if you are overtraining the next time around- that is, when you wake up each morning, before you get up or move, take your pulse for one minute. Take this each morning for week, average it, and get your baseline resting pulse rate. If you suspect that you are overtraining, your pulse rate when you first wake up will be rather elevated. You'll know to take it easy until you get back to your baseline.

    As for the sofa, I agree with the person who suggested the massage and gentle stretching - to prevent stiffness when you get back on the bike.

  4. #4
    Name's Ash ...housewares Doctor Morbius's Avatar
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    Here's Joe Friel's take on Overtraining vs. Overreaching and it can be found here...

    http://www.ultrafit.com/library/Other/Overtraining.doc

    From article:
    Congratulations!
    If you really are overtrained youíve pulled off a feat which Mom Nature gave you safeguards to prevent. It isnít easy to push yourself to this point, so you must have tremendous motivation. Your desire to excel is so strong that you continually tore down cell tissues to the point that your bodyís healing process was no longer able to keep up. Your obsession with fitness knows no bounds.

    To accomplish this amazing feat you had to do too much training with too little rest, too much anaerobic training with too little aerobic and strength base, eat inadequately, try to train normally despite excessive psychological stress, or some combination of several of these. Less than one-tenth of one percent of the general population is capable of attaining such a feat. Youíre an exceptional person to have done it. Congratulations!

    Failure to recover within 72 hours of a hard workout is a good sign of overreaching. If overreaching continues for long enough, perhaps three weeks in young athletes and two weeks in masters, an overtrained state is possible. Shedding the exhaustion now may take several weeks or months. There are no pills for overtrainingórest is the only cure.
    I did not achieve this position in life by having some snot-nosed punk leave my cheese out in the wind. - Ed Rooney


    It's not that I'm lazy. I'm just highly motivated to RELAX!!

  5. #5
    Name's Ash ...housewares Doctor Morbius's Avatar
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    There is no compelling evidence that stretching prevents injury at all. I'm a bit surprised to see a pro-stretcher quoting the Honolulu study. The one being referred to (Lally 1994) found a 35% greater injury rate in people who *do* stretch, not the other way round. See:

    http://www-rohan.sdsu.edu/dept/coach...ol44/lally.htm

    Equally, studies into distance runners show that flexibility negatively correlates with performance. See Jones 2002 and Craib et al. 1996.

    The idea that hamstring tightness causes a loss in power is derived from a lack of understanding of cycling biomechanics. The knee flexor is actuallly *engaged* during the downstroke, although this seems counterintuitive to some. Just try holding your hamstring while you ride and you'll see what I mean.

    Stretching before exercise causes an acute loss in muscle strength. Although this shouldn't bother endurance cyclists it's worth bearing in mind if you're a trackie. See:

    http://jap.physiology.org/cgi/conten...ract/89/3/1179

    At the moment just about the only positive evidence for stretching is that it might increase strength a little if done regularly, but again this is of little consequence to endurance riders.

    As far as improved (at least acute) recovery is concerned see:

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/q..._uids=15199225

    These comments are in no way intended to knock stretching if someone is suffering from limited mobility, just that there is no evidence that it will help you go quicker if you're a fit competitive cyclist.
    I did not achieve this position in life by having some snot-nosed punk leave my cheese out in the wind. - Ed Rooney


    It's not that I'm lazy. I'm just highly motivated to RELAX!!

  6. #6
    Name's Ash ...housewares Doctor Morbius's Avatar
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    I did not achieve this position in life by having some snot-nosed punk leave my cheese out in the wind. - Ed Rooney


    It's not that I'm lazy. I'm just highly motivated to RELAX!!

  7. #7
    cab horn
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    In fact there was a study that said stretching actually decreases performance.

    The benefits of massage are questionable at best.
    Yeah but how can you refuse some hot girl giving you a massage...

  8. #8
    Name's Ash ...housewares Doctor Morbius's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by operator
    In fact there was a study that said stretching actually decreases performance.



    Yeah but how can you refuse some hot girl giving you a massage...
    Well, if full body massage is used as part of foreplay, then all of the evidence points (shoud I use that word?) to increased performance!!
    I did not achieve this position in life by having some snot-nosed punk leave my cheese out in the wind. - Ed Rooney


    It's not that I'm lazy. I'm just highly motivated to RELAX!!

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Doctor Morbius

    Stretching before exercise causes an acute loss in muscle strength. Although this shouldn't bother endurance cyclists it's worth bearing in mind if you're a trackie. See:
    I always stretch AFTER my workout or long biking trip, when my muscles are still warm. But never before.

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