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Training & Nutrition Learn how to develop a training schedule that's good for you. What should you eat and drink on your ride? Learn everything you need to know about training and nutrition here.

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Old 07-31-06, 07:28 AM   #1
yummypasta
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Fatigue

I started road biking about a month and a half ago with an 06 Raleigh Sport, and I've been riding to and from work Mon to Fri, at 10 miles each way. The problem is, as the week goes on, towards Thursday and Friday, I get progressively more tired and I get slower. I've been reading around here about food and rest and such, and was wondering how to lessen the fatigue. I bike Saturdays and rest Sundays, and I feel much stronger on Mondays...but I don't have an option to rest a day during the week.

What should I eat and when should I eat it? I take the train to work, and then walk a bit, so it takes about an hour between when I leave my bike and when I get to work, at which point I usually eat my lunch. Would eating sooner be helpful to recovery? And besides gross power bars, any other suggestions?

I've read some stuff about slow recovery rides...how slow is slow? I make myself ride slowly in some rides for "recovery" but in the end I'm only 1-2mph slower than normal.

I haven't been able to find any definite resource on stretching...does anyone have suggestions for this?

And any other suggestions for being as strong on Friday as Monday would be much appreciated. Thanks
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Old 07-31-06, 07:34 AM   #2
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Maybe you just need to get more sleep. Most people build up a sleep debt during the week.
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Old 07-31-06, 07:54 AM   #3
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Find time to rest. You can take Wednesday as a real slow day on the bike. Coast a lot, stop at all lights, enjoy people watching on your route.

Then on Friday, work real hard coming home. Harder than you've ever worked before. Rest Saturday, easy spinning in a real low gear on Sunday.
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Old 07-31-06, 10:02 AM   #4
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I do wish I slept more...I'm close to falling asleep on my bike the first few minutes every morning but I wake up after a few close calls with trucks

I'll try out the slow Wednesdays/intense Fridays...Sounds like a good plan
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Old 07-31-06, 05:52 PM   #5
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Eating earlier would certainly help - an hour is a bit too long in my book. What are you eating for breakfast?

You don't say how hard you are riding? How hard do you feel you are pushing on the ride?

It may just be a matter of sleeping more and/or riding more slowly.
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Old 07-31-06, 06:19 PM   #6
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I usually eat whatever I bought for lunch for breakfast...pasta or sandwiches or some other item very high in carbs and fat...my favorite. On the morning ride which I think is overall downhill, I can go about 16mph, and the ride back, which is uphill, I do around 14mph. My legs are usually a bit sore at work, where I sit all day...I've assumed thats normal? Before starting biking two months ago I moved almost as much as a hibernating bear, so I'm thinking the soreness is from weak quads.
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Old 08-01-06, 05:41 AM   #7
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Two months? Yeah, you're still acclimating from being sedentary.

Try this, one week do some intervals. The next do a ride longer than your commute, say about 40 miles. You can increase mileage as you feel like it. You don't have to be super fast, but keep it brisk... about 15 mph.

If you do this, your body will get stronger and faster. This will allow it to handle your commute with more relative ease.

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Old 08-01-06, 06:33 AM   #8
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Here's yet another opinion:

Get a heart rate monitor and use it to monitor the intensity or your rides. Every other day make sure that you're riding within a "recovery zone".

The easiest way to start using it productively is on a "hard" day, use the highest reading you reach as your max heart rate (barring any anomalous readings from high tension wires around railroad tracks or business' alarm systems). In other words, forget about using any type of formula to determine max heart rate.

Once you've established a baseline max heart rate (MHR), take about 85% of that as your LT heart rate (LTHR) and 60% of your MHR as the top of the range for your recovery heart rate (RecvHR - not to be confused with resting heart rate - RHR).

Keep your eyes open for any new MHR on your "hard" days and adjust for the new value, applying the 85% and 60% to it.

Riding in your Recovery Zone every other day, as well as hydrating properly, eating properly, getting enough sleep, should go a long way at keeping you feeling fresher.
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Old 08-01-06, 07:09 AM   #9
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Thanks for the input, I'll try the longer trips (which I'm thinking need better destination planning since I tried a few times on the weekend and I didn't know where to go so I just turned around and ended up only going a total of around 20 miles). I might hold off on getting a heart rate monitor; most look pretty expensive. But I'll get one someday .
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Old 08-01-06, 07:28 AM   #10
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Try bringing something with you that has carbs in it for the train ride. Their is a lot of material mentioning that the first hour after vigorous exercise is the time where your body is the most receptive to replenishing glycogen stores.

Since you have something like 2000 calories in glycogen in you when fully fueled, you want to keep topping that up over the days of the week. More meals that are small will give you a good base of readily available calories to tap into over the course of the week. Fruit, bagel, or granola bar doesn't really matter all that much. If I go out to train I always have a small meal in the wings when I get home...
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Old 08-01-06, 09:00 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yummypasta
I started road biking about a month and a half ago with an 06 Raleigh Sport, and I've been riding to and from work Mon to Fri, at 10 miles each way. The problem is, as the week goes on, towards Thursday and Friday, I get progressively more tired and I get slower. I've been reading around here about food and rest and such, and was wondering how to lessen the fatigue. I bike Saturdays and rest Sundays, and I feel much stronger on Mondays...but I don't have an option to rest a day during the week.

What should I eat and when should I eat it? I take the train to work, and then walk a bit, so it takes about an hour between when I leave my bike and when I get to work, at which point I usually eat my lunch. Would eating sooner be helpful to recovery? And besides gross power bars, any other suggestions?

I've read some stuff about slow recovery rides...how slow is slow? I make myself ride slowly in some rides for "recovery" but in the end I'm only 1-2mph slower than normal.

I haven't been able to find any definite resource on stretching...does anyone have suggestions for this?

And any other suggestions for being as strong on Friday as Monday would be much appreciated. Thanks
Check out sleep apnea. Make sure you're getting enough sleep at night what they call REM sleep. Do you ever get sleepy during working hours?
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Old 08-01-06, 09:21 AM   #12
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Once again ericqu's experience shines through.

Maybe eat a bit more for breakfast, less at lunch, and a dinner with tons of variety to it: lots of color, tastes, texture, etc. (Sounds silly, doesn't it?)

MultiVitamins.

Recovery rides are 85-90% speed of a regular ride. But recovery rides are for people that go out and "hammer" training rides.

Yoga stretching classes are usually available anywhere. Or a good gym with well-trained trainers can show you how to stretch properly. You wouldn't have to join the gym' just go in and ask if you could hire a trainer for an hour to learn stretching techniques. Or tai chi classes start with stretching. Take one course, and if you don't like tai chi, you can still use the stretching techniques you learned and modify them for your use.

Rest and sleep is important. Try to take naps on days off.

A month and a half for a new activity or sport is still quite new, regardless of your fitness level. Once your body gets used to this new form of exercise, you'll be feeling fine.
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Old 08-01-06, 10:28 AM   #13
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Thanks for the advice. I used to have sleep apnea I think, but I'm pretty sure I sleep without problems now. Unfourtunately I have the misfourtune of needing a lot of sleep; I can sleep for 12+ on weekends but only get 8 hours a night on weekdays. I do feel sleepy a lot during the day and even on my bike sometimes at first . I'll try boosting up sleep, which will hopefully help.
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