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Old 08-21-04, 09:43 PM   #1
Chris L
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Lethargy

I'm actually a little concerned by this. So far this month the number of kilometres I've ridden has been less than at any other stage this year, largely due to factors beyond my control (i.e. bushfire smoke). So one would have expected me to be reasonably fresh going into today's ride. However, when I got out there, I just didn't seem to have any power. The conditions were just about perfect (temperature range 3-25 degrees C at various times), the scenery in Numinbah Valley was spectacular as always (the mist on Advancetown Lake was a nice bonus, and the rainforests at Urliup magical as always), but for some reason, it wasn't until 123km into the ride (i.e. about 3km from the finish), that I found any form at all.

Normally at this time of year I pick things up a little bit because of the things that I have on. Next weekend (a long one) I'm doing a three day tour. Two weeks after that I've got Glorious-Mee, which will be the hardest single day ride of the year if it's anywhere near as hot as last year was. Should I really be feeling lethargic and without power right now, in view of the recently decreased workload? Can I afford to?
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Old 08-22-04, 11:51 AM   #2
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Chris, things always change, and not necessarily in ways we can predict. Maybe you need some time off the bike, or to do "something completely different" on the bike? Have you been getting enough sleep? Enough water? Are you looking forward to the 3-day tour, or is there some hesitation on your part? Are you coming down with something?

I have just finished a week of no-riding, due to the fact that I feel really bad, if I try to ride with not enough sleep. My kids have just hit that teenage,"wanna stay up late and sleep in late stage", and they insist on turning lights on and off when I am trying to go to sleep, which drives me crazy. No sleep is my biggest bugaboo.

Try some rest, or just piddle around on your bike, don't try to train, go out for pleasure only?

And upon reviewing your post, maybe the after-effects of the bush fire smoke are hindering your performance? I know when I went out riding last fall after the big brushfires swept through around here, I felt pretty punk and powerless too. Too much junk still in the air, even though the air looked pretty clear.
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Old 08-23-04, 04:12 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by foehn
Have you been getting enough sleep? Enough water? Are you looking forward to the 3-day tour, or is there some hesitation on your part? Are you coming down with something?.
About four questions at once! I'll do my best. I probably didn't get enough sleep on Saturday night, due to waking up at 1.30am for some reason and being unable to get back to sleep. However, that was pretty much the norm last summer due to the heat (33 deg C nights), I thought I was used to it, but perhaps not. I'll be having an early one tonight. I actually had a couple of headaches today at work, although that could be a result of some of the noisy construction going on in the building. Strangely, I felt quite OK on the ride home. About the only stress I have regarding the tour is whether Kodak have my camera fixed in time -- I'm desperate to try out my new tent.

Actually, in the past I've been know to have a bit of lethargy in the really early stages of rides (the first 20km or so), but that normally only lasts for as long as it takes me to get out of suburbia, and even then, I was always able to find a decent sprint to make a light-change if need be.


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Originally Posted by foehn
And upon reviewing your post, maybe the after-effects of the bush fire smoke are hindering your performance? I know when I went out riding last fall after the big brushfires swept through around here, I felt pretty punk and powerless too. Too much junk still in the air, even though the air looked pretty clear.
That's understandable. I've also had to deal with smaller amounts in the early stages of some rides, for some reason it seems to be hanging around the city, while the rural areas seem to be clear (does that make any sense? Is that even possible?). Maybe I just need it to rain.
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Old 08-23-04, 10:11 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by Chris L
About four questions at once! I'll do my best. I probably didn't get enough sleep on Saturday night, due to waking up at 1.30am for some reason and being unable to get back to sleep. However, that was pretty much the norm last summer due to the heat (33 deg C nights), I thought I was used to it, but perhaps not. I'll be having an early one tonight. I actually had a couple of headaches today at work, although that could be a result of some of the noisy construction going on in the building. Strangely, I felt quite OK on the ride home. About the only stress I have regarding the tour is whether Kodak have my camera fixed in time -- I'm desperate to try out my new tent.
I heard somewhere that sleep deprivation (lack of sleep) builds up over time. I sure know that I can do one night somewhat short of sleep, and tolerate 2 nights, but after that I feel like a wreck. I am short sleep now plus it is pretty cool this morning which is unusual for this time of year, so I think I wil go back to bed for an hour or so. I could probably go out now for a ride, but it is so hard to even think about getting on the bike when I feel like this. I'll sleep then ride this evening because after the sleep I'll feel like going out.

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Originally Posted by Chris L
Actually, in the past I've been know to have a bit of lethargy in the really early stages of rides (the first 20km or so), but that normally only lasts for as long as it takes me to get out of suburbia, and even then, I was always able to find a decent sprint to make a light-change if need be.
I tend to be this way also, I guess it takes me a bit to really warm up and get fully into my rides, especially if I am a little sleepy!



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Originally Posted by Chris L
That's understandable. I've also had to deal with smaller amounts in the early stages of some rides, for some reason it seems to be hanging around the city, while the rural areas seem to be clear (does that make any sense? Is that even possible?). Maybe I just need it to rain.
Cities tend to get inversion layers over them which tends to trap smog and such in the cities, unless you have a really strong wind situation. Yeah, some rain would be nice here too!

Try being careful with your sleep intake, drink lots (keeps mucous thin, which helps clean the air going into your lungs), and rest, but do something on the bike to keep the conditioning up. And watch out for excess caffiene intake in the mornings as well as the rest of the day and keep excess alcohol down in the evenings. And try to get some sleep in a little cooler invironment?

Good luck and have fun on your tour. I'm jealous!
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Old 08-23-04, 08:53 PM   #5
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Hi Chris

Knowing your penchant for long distances and hill climbing, it sounds as though you might have the early stages of overtraining syndrome. Sleeplessness or restlessness are among the symptoms. Have you checked you wake-up heart rate recently to see if it is elevated? Also, are you absolutely sure you remained sufficiently rehydrated after riding in the past week or so? It can take a couple of days for things to stabilise if not. Maybe the drop-off in distances before the long-weekend tour is not such a bad idea.

So, which tent did you eventually buy? I think my Mountain Designs two-person job is pretty good value for money and it has done about 80 nights now. Certainly I felt sorry for your old tent in the wind out at Berriedale -- it looked like it was on its last legs (or tent poles).

And, when are you planning on coming back to Tasmania for another play among our hills, rainforests and scenic coastlands? You whipped my backside going up Mt Rumney on the way out to the airport, largely because I had been off the bike for three months post-PBP and Europe. Anyway, that little soujourn woke me up to getting back my fitness, and I am now pretty well prepped for the Great Southern Randonnee 1200 in Victoria in October. Machka coming over for it, too. It's part of a busy six weeks for to get a Super Randonneur medal as well as the GSR and a fleche; the schedule includes two rides in Tasmania, two in Victoria and one in WA where I hope to catch up with Media Creations.

Anyway, cheers

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Old 08-23-04, 09:58 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Rowan
Hi Chris

Knowing your penchant for long distances and hill climbing, it sounds as though you might have the early stages of overtraining syndrome. Sleeplessness or restlessness are among the symptoms. Have you checked you wake-up heart rate recently to see if it is elevated? Also, are you absolutely sure you remained sufficiently rehydrated after riding in the past week or so? It can take a couple of days for things to stabilise if not. Maybe the drop-off in distances before the long-weekend tour is not such a bad idea.
Hi Rowan,

How's it all going down there? Did you guys cop any snow this year? I didn't even see any frost up here!!
In response to some of the above questions, I've really upped the water intake over the last two days, I think it's a valid point. On my longer rides I tend to start well hydrated, but don't always drink as much as I should during the ride itself. I think that habit might be finally catching up with me! Still, I felt really good on the commute this morning (I scrapped a planned 45km jaunt out to Hinze Dam with 470 metres of climbing before work). I think I'm feeling OK again.


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So, which tent did you eventually buy? I think my Mountain Designs two-person job is pretty good value for money and it has done about 80 nights now. Certainly I felt sorry for your old tent in the wind out at Berriedale -- it looked like it was on its last legs (or tent poles).
I got an MSR 1.5 person tent, but I can't remember the exact model off the top of my head. It was about $60 off, and the guy at the camping shop in Brisbane's apparently an avid cyclist (first question he asked me was "have you been to Tasmania yet?"). This weekend it's headed for the Richmond Range near Kyogle in Northern NSW to try it out. BTW, if you thought my tent copped it at Berriedale, you should have seen it at Lake Pedder three days earlier!

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And, when are you planning on coming back to Tasmania for another play among our hills, rainforests and scenic coastlands? You whipped my backside going up Mt Rumney on the way out to the airport, largely because I had been off the bike for three months post-PBP and Europe. Anyway, that little soujourn woke me up to getting back my fitness, and I am now pretty well prepped for the Great Southern Randonnee 1200 in Victoria in October. Machka coming over for it, too. It's part of a busy six weeks for to get a Super Randonneur medal as well as the GSR and a fleche; the schedule includes two rides in Tasmania, two in Victoria and one in WA where I hope to catch up with Media Creations.
Good luck with that lot! Rest assured, I'm planning a return to Tassie one day, I intend to wreak vengence on the Gordon River road with a new chain this time! Incidentally, I'll be in Victoria myself in November (haven't quite decided exactly when in November yet, but probably late in the month). Heading for Wilson's Promontory and the Great Alpine Road. I'd love to get together if this fits in with your schedule.
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Old 08-23-04, 10:17 PM   #7
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Did you guys cop any snow this year?
Best ski season for a decade, I think. Looking out my office window, Mt Wellington has a layer of icing across the top. Was down to around 600 metres at one stage. Not quite to Fern Tree. Seems we have had a real winter when it was supposed to be this year.


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I'll be in Victoria myself in November (haven't quite decided exactly when in November yet, but probably late in the month). Heading for Wilson's Promontory and the Great Alpine Road. I'd love to get together if this fits in with your schedule.
You'll love the Alpine Way and associated long and steep climbs. Did some of it between Canberra and Melbourne in August 2002. Tough for a weakling like me.

Can't meet up in November. I'm supposed to be back at work on the first... although the way things are, I feel like giving the job the flick and becoming an itinerant, bike-riding fruit-picker.
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