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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 09-06-09, 09:43 AM   #1
Grizzattack
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Good days and Bad Days – why?

I want to ask you seasoned gurus out there a question that has at times been a mystery to me and is something that can be quite bothersome.

What makes for a bad day on the bike? There not that often say a handful in any given year, but boy they suck. Specifically for me a bad day starts off with the signature sign of an elevated heart rate….the kind when you hit the first little hill and uncharacteristically your heart rate (HR) shoots over your Lactate Threshold (LT). Often days like this result in rides that are suffer-fests; where your body feels like and IS inefficient. A 50 mile ride might feel like 100, you feel like crap by the end. As Steven Tyler might describe, “your get and go must’ve got up and went”. Looking back at my HR data, bad days have me spending way more (>30%) time over LT than on comparable rides with comparable efforts, a big difference.

I have pinpointed two reasons for this. They are:

1) Drinking alcohol (not that much ~3 drinks, wine is the worst) the night before, perhaps leading to dehydration, although for the most part I pride myself on drinking lots of water or;

2) Eating too much heavy food, too soon before riding, leaving feeling of being full while riding.

Other reasons that seem plausible but that I have not personally identified include a combination of the 2 reasons above and/or stress, caffeine, lack of sleep, over training, allergies, cold medicines, anxiety before a ride event and probably other reasons.

The biggest goal of my season is coming up, a century heavy with climbing and if I have a bad day, I’m pretty sure I won’t make it. Chances are things will be fine but I am looking for insight on how to prevent this scenario. Conversely, I hope that insight obtained here on this subject will lead to more good days

Btw, I ride quite a bit (avg 2,500 miles a year, for the past 5 years), feel like I stay tuned to my body’s well being and have monitored my Heart Rate and performance on the bike closely for the past 3 years (using a Garmin Edge – 305 and SprotTracks software). Thanks!
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Old 09-06-09, 11:22 AM   #2
paulclaude
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Strange how you say that on a bad day your HR is high with little effort. For me, a bad day is where I just can't get my HR up at all. Probably just caused by fatigue from previous training sessions. I also find if I go out nice and easy, warm up properly and ease myself into an effort then I have a good training session and finish on a high. Of course, then there are the times where i'm wound up from work or whatever and nail it from the off - I end up feeling crap for most of the ride and finish feeling pretty exhausted, and even though i've gone out at a higher pace my average speed is often lower than when I take things steady and warm up properly.

I think from what you have described, hydration levels could be a factor (drink plenty of water throughout the day, especially if you have been drinking alcohol the night before or consumed caffiene) and also give your meals adequate time to digest (2-3hrs), otherwise bloodflow is being directed to your stomach and will only slow you down.
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Old 09-06-09, 06:18 PM   #3
eshvanu
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Usually, it's a Tuesday. *shrug*
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Old 09-06-09, 06:33 PM   #4
Grizzattack
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I thought Tuesday's was gone with wind? ;-)
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