Try as I may, I can't seem to get my heart into my optimal training zone for most of the past three weeks or so (which I assume to be from around 146 to 160 given my age of forty years). I try and try-- but I seem to be mired in the 120 to 140 zone regardless of the effort I put into my training rides. On one hill that I do pretty regularly, I make around 155 bpm, where as last year and earlier tis season It took me up to 170+.
Earlier this season I got a PR in my club's weekly time trial with an average HR of 172 for the ten mile course, but last week I could only muster an effort of 155 despite the agony. To make matters worse-- I was a minute and ten seconds slower! I wanted to chalk that poor showing up to a bike adjustment on that very day (longer, and flipped stem), but I know that there is something else going on . Also, my energy levels have been pretty low lately.
I thought I might be over-trained so last week I rode only two days but yesterday's ride yielded more of the same.
Does anyone know what factors could contribute to these symptoms? I know the info I've given doesn't give one a lot to go on, but I don't see what good going to a doctor will do me considering relative to 99 percent of the population I'm in marvelous shape so my doctor would likely tell me that nothing's wrong.
I've recently quit drinking alcohol (probably a non-factor, really).
I've undergone immunotherapy via sublingual drops for my allergy induced asthma. This could be significant actually, for if my understanding is right this could be a matter of my muscles needing to catch up to an improved, more efficient cardio-respiratory system. Then again, I have no idea what I'm talking about.
I am no expert myself, but I think it may be your breathing techniques.
I tend to lose power and stamina if I do not remind myself to breath deep and often.
My condition is different than yours because my HR skyrockets even though I feel perfectly fine.
I cannot really give you any breathing techniques if you want to try, but I am sure other people can. I actually focus more on breathing than pedalling.
Perhaps you should get your LT tested. I had a completely wrong idea of how my zones stacked up until I got tested by a local tri coach. My max HR is pretty high for my age, and hence all my zone boundaries are a lot higher than the equation MaxHR=220-age would indicate.
Second overtraining ('over reaching' in the newer sources). Your post would be a textbook example. - TF
Overreaching and overtraining are not the same thing, but people are too likely to assume overtraining when overreaching is more common. The difference is a matter of how systemic the problem is--if you are over trained, you will just be exhausted for nearly everything. Just getting up and walking around and dealing with your everyday life will be a challenge. You will be fatigued, tired, and likely depressed. You won't want to do anything but lay around. If you are just fine otherwise and just can't go fast on the bike, you are likely not overtrained.
It could very well be stress-- I hate my job (like so many), but at least it affords me plenty of daylight training hours. Oddly enough-- a lot of stress comes from cycling itself-- as at the age of 41, I find the window of opportunity to fulfill what potential I may have becoming smaller and smaller. This is my fourth year of serious riding, and every time I saddle up I have in my mind the notion, "the time is now."
As for resting heart rate-- it is in the low 50's to high 40's--- but it is not appreciably lower when I wake up in the morning. Does that matter?
umd-- based on your post, I think it could very well be that I am over-trained. Last week it was a perfect 70 degrees and I should have been on the bike loving life. But on one day I took an afternoon nap before work that lasted two hours. I figured I was very depressed and even wondered of my testosterone levels were way off.
Third or fourth the overreaching. Just do some zone 1 rides when you feel like it for about 10 days. You'll be back. I also enjoy riding very much, so my rule is that if I don't really feel like training, I don't, because that would mean that I'm probably overreaching a bit. Desire is an important clue.