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  1. #1
    Eternal Cat3 Rookie branman1986's Avatar
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    Overtrained, now what?

    Well, I've blown it. I did the hardest two days in a row I've ever done last weekend and this week I've been completely worthless. The sad part is I felt amazing last weekend and was putting out more power than ever before.

    I tried to do some base mileage on Wednesday after two days of complete rest and I couldn't get my HR above 155 and my power was that of a small schoolgirl. Such a strange feeling, halfway up a long hill I got dropped by my buddy and I thought I was putting out max effort. Then I realized that my heartrate was 140 and I was breathing as if I was sitting on the couch watching football. So I took Thursday completely off.

    Today as a test I got on my trainer and did 15 minutes warmup at 120HR, then tried to shoot it up closer to LT to see what I could do. The highest I could get was around 153. So 5 days later I'm still cooked. I feel fine, and my ambient HR is almost normal(a few beats high...strangely, I took my resting HR this morning and I swear it was higher than my ambient while reading a book a few minutes later).

    Should I keep taking days completely off or should I be doing some long zone 1 rides? I'm pushing fluids and protein/carbs and sleeping lots...

    As a case for others, I felt completely fine leading up to this weekend and performed great, but this stuff does built up and eventually caught up with me in a big way. I now know I've got to be more regimented about my rides and no more hellbent riding/training for me. Don't let this happen to you, it's really depressing.

  2. #2
    semifreddo amartuerer 'nother's Avatar
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    Rest?

    And a dose of reality from my signature, courtesy Floyd Landis:
    If you overtrained, it means that you didn't train hard enough to handle that level of training. So you weren't overtrained; you were actually undertrained to begin with. So there's the rule again: The guy who trains the hardest, the most, wins.

    Also some testosterone might not hurt
    Can you pass the test?
    Yield to Life.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Richard Cranium's Avatar
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    I now know I've got to be more regimented about my rides and no more hellbent riding/training for me.
    That's right, as Carmichael puts it: "You have to be systematic when increasing your training stress."

    My own phrasing about Interval Training goes something like this: "It's not good enough to "overshoot" your target intensity, you have to hit it."

    In any case, I was getting ready to start a thread about "over training" and how it differs from fatigue and "over-reaching." Additionally, I want to discuss the various types of over training and how they require different strategies and time-frames for recovery.

    If you care to post a more detailed description of your training history as well as past experience and current goals then, maybe we can take a look at your situation and determine if in fact you have actually over trained. And specifically ascertain what type of damage you have done to your training progress and what you can do to correct it as soon as possible.

  4. #4
    Eternal Cat3 Rookie branman1986's Avatar
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    I kept a log of miles and percieved intensity on bikejournal.com so that should prove helpful...Is there a way to link to my journal?

    Here's a little background, I started riding in late June when I signed up for BRAG which is the bike ride across georgia. I was basically hooked and started doing regular evening rides all through July. In August I started adding a century every few weeks. By September I started adding weekly training rides and started getting very positive feedback and joined a team. I guess I was a fast-responder. End of September & early October I did 4 races getting 4th, 6th, 4th, 3rd in cat 5 and felt pretty good about my progress. Late October took some time off, November started doing mostly base mile rides with only one intense ride in the middle of the month. I've been doing about 600 miles a month except for October which was about 350.

    As you can see, I've been very very unstructured. Looking back I can see that I piled on too much too fast. Most of December was base until the very last week where I ramped it up and started doing the hard Atlanta winter racer-training rides on Sat & Sun. Then in January I started doing almost full intensity on the weekday evening rides as well as doing the hard rides on Sat & Sun. This past Saturday I did the Winter Bike League ride which is a pro-training ride/race in Athen, Ga of 102 miles where miles 90-95 I was perpetually redlined and of course got dropped(The pros can't "attack" until the last 10 miles or so). I followed that with the standard Sunday training ride, but I stayed up front and did the majority of pulling and the intensity was close to Saturday's(55 miles total). I'm on pace for approx 800 miles in Jan.

    Basically all my teammates keep saying I'll be a 3 by mid-season and I feel like my goals are a bit too lofty. I'm currently a 5 with very little race experience. I think that's why I've been riding full bore for the past month. I don't really follow a program, I've mainly been doing long basemiles up until recently. If I had been following Friel's program, I think I went from about Base 2 to Build 3 overnight...

    My goals are to go from cat 5->3 this season and win either the cat 3 or 4 state championships in late August. I wanted to peak early to get quick race experience and help the teammates in higher cats, then peak again for the state championships. I have no previous endurance sport experience, I played volleyball in college and soccer & basketball recreationally.

    I really appreciate the help, Richard, and let me know if there is more detailed information that would help.

    edit: oh, I'm 30 years old, and if it will help, I think I can register on bikejournal for $20 and I can link the ride journal. edit2: the other crazy thing is that I feel completely fine. No muscle soreness(I was sore mon-tues) and no joint pain.
    Last edited by branman1986; 01-19-07 at 11:03 AM.

  5. #5
    Packfodding 3 caloso's Avatar
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    Take a day off.
    Cyclists of the world, unite! You have nothing to lube but your chains!

  6. #6
    TMT
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    someday i'll be all big TMT's Avatar
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    I don't think I've ever managed to over train; but then i trade off from bike to rowing; do 10K on the rowing machine or 10k in the single and then do a week of road training. any time i bonk its because i didn't eat correctly or drink enough.

    So in english:
    vary your training, Cross train, put in the miles that are comfortable, Eat right and have FUN. one of my swim coaches put it this way if its not fun today you won't try harder tomorrow.
    trike=three wheels. the ride of the unstable; it's not cycle cross! it's psyco cross.

  7. #7
    Eternal Cat3 Rookie branman1986's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by caloso
    Take a day off.
    This is day 5 "off"

  8. #8
    Packfodding 3 caloso's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by branman1986
    This is day 5 "off"
    Then you might benefit from a long, mellow ride. Some call them "aerobic" or "LSD." Get out and spin a high cadence over a long road. Don't look at you speedometer, just get those legs spinning and don't allow yourself to get out of breath.
    Cyclists of the world, unite! You have nothing to lube but your chains!

  9. #9
    Senior Member Richard Cranium's Avatar
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    What interested me the most about your post was your surprise in discovering you could not raise your HR during what you perceived to be a good effort. Now that you have described how you "ramped up" to 800 miles January, I think you may very well be over trained.

    Some of the problems associated with identifying over training syndrome are:

    1. Difficulty with establishing base fitness level - What is your base untrained status?
    2. Identifying differences in optimal energy substrates - Are you sure nutritional needs are being met?
    3. Distinguishing genetic limitations from misapplication of training techniques - Is it me or my training?


    To some extent over training syndrome can be described as "peripheral" or "systemic."

    In other words, you can overtrain a single muscle, or you can overtrain an entire organ system. Often, you overtrain both areas but to differing degrees.

    So far, all we know about you is that your HR will not rise to previous exercise levels and your muscle systems seem to under perform with respect to perceived exertion. We also know that short term periods of reduced effort levels have not returned you to your previous status.

    How have you ever evaluated yourself? How can we determine a "baseline" of riding efficiency, before your engaged in deliberate intensity training?

  10. #10
    Not obese just overweight ratebeer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by caloso
    Then you might benefit from a long, mellow ride. Some call them "aerobic" or "LSD." Get out and spin a high cadence over a long road. Don't look at you speedometer, just get those legs spinning and don't allow yourself to get out of breath.
    +1! Remove the cyclometer and HRM and just roll. If you push your muscles/tendons at all, you're failing. Don't do it.

    I'm a bit cautious at my age (38) and would see a physician. It sounds like you're getting a lot of strong negative feedback from your tendons/muscles and I'd be doubly sure it wasn't heart related.

    The only time this kind of thing happened to me was as a teenage marathon runner. I would start running and then suddenly fall down after my legs just collapsed under me. My doctor pointed out that I had numerous stress fractures in both lower legs and told me not to run at all and prescribed ibuprofen to manage the healing process. Ibuprofen is an effective anti-inflammatory.

    Four weeks of total rest and moderately large doses of Motrin (ibuprofen) had me back up running.
    Joe

    Veho difficilis, ago facilis

  11. #11
    Eternal Cat3 Rookie branman1986's Avatar
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    I never did any baseline performance analysis. I don't even have any PRs for any hills, routes or anything. Since I had just started, my training consisted of just going out and riding. If I felt strong, I pushed it, if I felt tired, I usually was pretty disciplined about holding back. I'm going to take it easy for the next week and ride in zone 1, maybe some zone 2 if I feel okay.

  12. #12
    c'mon up front and work jamesstout's Avatar
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    i had overtraining manifesting itself in massive cortisol, tiny testosterone very low rhr and very very low bfp because of insufficient calorie intake whilst training a lot not intentionally just well stupidly i got into a terrible hole.

  13. #13
    Senior Member Mr. Gear Jammer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by branman1986
    Well, I've blown it. I did the hardest two days in a row I've ever done last weekend and this week I've been completely worthless. The sad part is I felt amazing last weekend and was putting out more power than ever before.

    I tried to do some base mileage on Wednesday after two days of complete rest and I couldn't get my HR above 155 and my power was that of a small schoolgirl. Such a strange feeling, halfway up a long hill I got dropped by my buddy and I thought I was putting out max effort. Then I realized that my heartrate was 140 and I was breathing as if I was sitting on the couch watching football. So I took Thursday completely off.

    Today as a test I got on my trainer and did 15 minutes warmup at 120HR, then tried to shoot it up closer to LT to see what I could do. The highest I could get was around 153. So 5 days later I'm still cooked. I feel fine, and my ambient HR is almost normal(a few beats high...strangely, I took my resting HR this morning and I swear it was higher than my ambient while reading a book a few minutes later).

    Should I keep taking days completely off or should I be doing some long zone 1 rides? I'm pushing fluids and protein/carbs and sleeping lots...

    As a case for others, I felt completely fine leading up to this weekend and performed great, but this stuff does built up and eventually caught up with me in a big way. I now know I've got to be more regimented about my rides and no more hellbent riding/training for me. Don't let this happen to you, it's really depressing.
    Just take a whole week off, you are tired and overworked. You riding more is just going to make things worse.
    Tropical pole vaulting is the shiznit.

  14. #14
    Used to be a climber.. GuitarWizard's Avatar
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    Let me guess.....one of those guys who goes "hard" for the most part, and then throws in an easy ride once in awhile? Unless you're training for a race in February, you don't need to be hitting LT right now.

    Pick up the "Cyclists Training Bible" by Joe Friel or "The Ultimate Ride" by Chris Carmichael to understand training periods and how to train so you don't end up burning yourself out.

    In the meantime, rest and eat properly.
    1999 Trek 2500 - hit by a car on it in May, 2011 and currently bikeless

  15. #15
    Senior Member Richard Cranium's Avatar
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    I'm going to take it easy for the next week and ride in zone 1, maybe some zone 2 if I feel okay.
    Hopefully. you'll be alright.

    Over training is kind of a dirty-word among the race crowd. Many have never actually experienced it, so to them it doesn't exist. Others rightly assume, that it's just a "fatigue" issue, to be resolved by a day or two off.

    As I have mentioned, it's hard to pin down whether a person has actually "damaged" their ability to continue performance improvement or if they are simply tired and need rest.

    Let me guess, right now, you're sitting around reading this and wondering how the hell you could be riding so well and now find yourself unable to get anywhere near your previous level of performance. You've already rested , twice, you've fueled up on carbs, and then you try a "test" workout and shoot craps......

    Yeah over training syndrome exists, and it can strike any person that repeatedly works out with intensity and for whatever reasons does not recover properly.

    You don't have to be a Pro or train 40 hours a week to trigger over training syndrome. You simply have to endure a series of exercise/rest cycles that negatively affect either the neuroendocrine system or the ability to regenerate muscle fiber, or reload glycogen and other energy substrates.

    It's not just a case of "being flat". It's a real disease-like affliction. A poor analogy might go something like this: The symptoms of Over Training Syndrome resemble many of the same effects as diabetes and hypothyroidism.

    Hey, I'm so full of bull script - I gotta quit this....... I already know what OTS is.

  16. #16
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    Hey bt-

    I think you need to order another set of those testicle patches

  17. #17
    Eternal Cat3 Rookie branman1986's Avatar
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    A small update, I did 20 miles today with my gf's mom & stepdad. Read: slow. Ave mph was 12.1

    I felt pretty good today, I felt like my HR was responding, but I didn't really want to push it. I'm going to give it another week of nothing over zone 2 before I try to push myself even a little again.

  18. #18
    Senior Member Richard Cranium's Avatar
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    I think you need to order another set of those testicle patches
    That's a good point. If in fact, the athlete is suffering from severely depressed testosterone levels. However, even after studies by experts, it remains unclear whether the restoration of healthy anabolic hormones levels would "guarantee" or otherwise immediately promote fiber repair and muscle anabolism in all athletes.

    In other words, artificially restoring and or elevating testosterone levels doesn't "speed up" anabolic processes effectively across all athletes. In fact, the danger associated with hormone and steroid use is the resulting "mis-targeting" of anabolic activity in tissues other than muscle.

    Anabolic activity is only one component of restoring, regenerating or increasing muscle tissues. To the best of my knowledge, no one has successfully differentiated or identified any steroid to target muscle tissue without disturbing or otherwise compromising "healthy and natural" anabolic processes of other tissues.

    Please anyone with additional information, please link, or post.

  19. #19
    Senior Member Richard Cranium's Avatar
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    Most likely, you'll bounce back to near your previous levels of fitness. What's problematic is determining if you reenter a work/rest cycle that re-triggers your abnormal training response.

    The trick is to determine the difference between a series of efforts that promote growth in conjunction with rest, and efforts that disturb rest and regeneration to the point of becoming "flat."

    One of the reasons some Pro riders drop from the Tour is because they know they are not recovering and will forestall their recovery if they finish the Tour, even if they ride as slowly as possible just tol finish.

  20. #20
    c'mon up front and work jamesstout's Avatar
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    yeah they dont prescribe (or didnt in my case) artificial test because they reckon it is better to treat the root cause of the problme and if test is present the body can't be accurately reset to produce it itself.

    also i was indeed diagnosedx2 with diabetes at 1st but insulin sent me hypo!

  21. #21
    Used to be a climber.. GuitarWizard's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jamesstout
    yeah they dont prescribe (or didnt in my case) artificial test because they reckon it is better to treat the root cause of the problme and if test is present the body can't be accurately reset to produce it itself.

    also i was indeed diagnosedx2 with diabetes at 1st but insulin sent me hypo!
    Huh?
    1999 Trek 2500 - hit by a car on it in May, 2011 and currently bikeless

  22. #22
    c'mon up front and work jamesstout's Avatar
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    sorry, thats what happens when you try to type after a long ride!

    basically the don't precribe tesosterone as the body will not then "reset" itself back to "Normal" i.e. it will not make its own testosterone if it senses tesosterone is already present. Thus to avoid lifelong patch wearing its best to try to get the body to produce its own tesosterone by reversing the overtraining.

  23. #23
    Eternal Cat3 Rookie branman1986's Avatar
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    Well, just an update, my HR is responding normally and I feel like I can start getting back into the swing of things. One big change though is my mental state and confidence...while I felt like I was flying before, now I feel like I'm underperforming and that I lost a ton of fitness. I'm not sure if I'm just not pushing myself as hard as I used to - that I'm much more responsive to the "leg burn" for risk of a repeat overtraining occurance or if I truly lost the fitness.

    Any helpful ideas to get me back in the rhythm?

  24. #24
    semifreddo amartuerer 'nother's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by branman1986
    Any helpful ideas to get me back in the rhythm?
    Ease back into it. Start burning the candle at both ends and you'll be right back where you were when you posted the first message.
    Can you pass the test?
    Yield to Life.

  25. #25
    Not obese just overweight ratebeer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by branman1986
    Any helpful ideas to get me back in the rhythm?
    I'm probably telling you what you already know: YOU NEED TO REST!!!

    You aren't going to get any rhythm back until you've healed completely. That takes time. It's hard but it's important. Relax. Go on long walks. Jog in a heated pool for an hour. Get a massage. Keep taking your ibuprofen. Do some more 12 mph rides. Get your sleep.

    Good luck! And happy healing.

    Joe
    Joe

    Veho difficilis, ago facilis

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