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  1. #1
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    Please help me understand mood swings

    Can someone please explain what you feel like physically and mentally after a road race/training? My SO blames everything on cycling...tired, erectile dysfuntion, withdrawn, grouchy, etc. Is this normal?

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    Some of those symptoms affected both me and my wife when we started jogging. We started using an electrolyte replacement drink (Gookinaid Hydralyte) that contains Magnesium, Potassium, Calcium and Sodium. We've been using Hydralyte mixed in our drinking water for almost 40 years now. There weren't many options back then. I prefer to not have nutrition combined with my fluids. Hydralyte does have a few calories to increase the absorption rate.

    www Gookinaid.com

    You can also feel that way somewhat if you don't maintain or replenish your blood sugar and muscle glycogen fast enough. The solution to this is consume some thing like 80 calories (depends on body weight and stress level) of fast burning carbs per hour while riding. Then within an hour or less of rideing, have a good size intake of quality fast burning carbs, keep the fat very low and the protein no more than about 15% to 20% of the carbs. Fat reduces the absorption rate as does protein. However, low concentrations of protein is thought to actually increase the absorption rate slightly. Err on the side of lower protein.

    If you're really biking hard, a second meal like the first a few hours later is needed. otherwise, just revert to your normal diet.

    Al
    Last edited by Al.canoe; 04-10-05 at 08:24 AM.

  3. #3
    Senior Member late's Avatar
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    Hi,
    that's overtraining. You need a better exercise program.
    Sounds like you also need a better saddle. Al had good advice, but to be a bit more specific, you have a 20 min window after exercise where your body replaces glycogen at 3X the normal rate. You want to have something immediately after your workout.
    Have it in a thermos in your car, whatever it takes, but immediately means immediately. I usually whip up a fruit shake.
    I also take one glutamine capsule after a hard workout. It's something new I read about in Bicycling, sounded like it might work.

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    I must have missed the 20 minute thing, but I do eat as soon as I get off the bike and before I do anything else. The results are amazing.

    I forgot to post that you can find specifics on the electrolyte requirements in Carmichael's The Ultimate Ride and the best dietary resources are Carmichaels Food for Fitness and the new USDA 85 page dietary guide. The USDA guide can be downloaded free. However, it doesn't deal with athletic requirements. Carmichaels book does while staying consistent with the guidelines.

    When I overtrain, I feel like on a "high", but I have a hard time sleeping which eventually makes me feel poorly.

    Al

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    more ape than man timmhaan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by newbieonbike
    Can someone please explain what you feel like physically and mentally after a road race/training? My SO blames everything on cycling...tired, erectile dysfuntion, withdrawn, grouchy, etc. Is this normal?
    is your SO grouchy\withdrawn after riding?? that would be the opposite for me. i generally feel much better, although pretty worn out, after a hard training session. basically a large part of my life is devoted to cycling, so if i don't get to ride i can have mood swings myself. that's why my GF knows to allow me enough time to ride. if she didn't i wouldn't be too fun to be around.

    but to answer your first question, i usually feel elated after a hard ride. sometimes, however, i get pretty fierce headaches, which will affect my mood.

    edit: your SO might want to have some bloodwork done. sometimes low blood pressure or being slightly anemic can create problems.

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    Thanks for the reply. He is withdrawn, extremely tired, has headaches, etc after riding. He had lab work done recently and his hct was 42. Not exactly anemic. He rides every day for long periods of time (6 hrs). Help me understand this obsession!! Do you see yourself putting cycling first over everything else for the rest of your life? How do you balance a gf and work and cycling?

  7. #7
    Tom (ex)Builder twahl's Avatar
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    He's riding too much. He should cut his bike time by 2 hours a day, and work on the erectile dysfunction thing during that time. Then maybe he wouldn't be so grouchy.

    I say that with tongue firmly planted in cheek of course. I'm not that competitive so I don't ride that much or that often. I feel good after I ride though, if somewhat tired. Sounds to me like he's not getting any recovery time.
    Tom

    "It hurts so good..."

  8. #8
    Sore saddle cyclist Shifty's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Al.canoe
    Some of those symptoms affected both me and my wife when we started jogging. We started using an electrolyte replacement drink (Gookinaid Hydralyte) that contains Magnesium, Potassium, Calcium and Sodium. We've been using Hydralyte mixed in our drinking water for almost 40 years now. There weren't many options back then. I prefer to not have nutrition combined with my fluids. Hydralyte does have a few calories to increase the absorption rate.

    www Gookinaid.com

    You can also feel that way somewhat if you don't maintain or replenish your blood sugar and muscle glycogen fast enough. The solution to this is consume some thing like 80 calories (depends on body weight and stress level) of fast burning carbs per hour while riding. Then within an hour or less of rideing, have a good size intake of quality fast burning carbs, keep the fat very low and the protein no more than about 15% to 20% of the carbs. Fat reduces the absorption rate as does protein. However, low concentrations of protein is thought to actually increase the absorption rate slightly. Err on the side of lower protein.

    If you're really biking hard, a second meal like the first a few hours later is needed. otherwise, just revert to your normal diet.

    Al

    I also use Gookinade, both during a long ride and after. Best energy replacement product available, I'm a newbie compared to Al, only been using for 25 yrs.
    Those voices in your head aren't real, but they have some great ideas

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    Quote Originally Posted by newbieonbike
    Thanks for the reply. He is withdrawn, extremely tired, has headaches, etc after riding. He had lab work done recently and his hct was 42. Not exactly anemic. He rides every day for long periods of time (6 hrs). Help me understand this obsession!! Do you see yourself putting cycling first over everything else for the rest of your life? How do you balance a gf and work and cycling?
    A major element of training is rest. Training basically tears the body down, rest allows the body to rebuild itself better than before. "He" needs rest and possibly some counseling if this is truly an obsession. That said, I know too many counselors who have too many problems themselves to do a decent job. Possibly, another alternative is a cycling coach who might better communicate the issues/solutions.

    The modern training methods (see Carmichaels The Ultimate Ride) do not require the level of effort of yesteryear for peak performance. That is, now folks can train smarter vice longer.

    And, there are a lot worst addictions/obsessions.

    Al

  10. #10
    more ape than man timmhaan's Avatar
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    i wish you luck in understanding what's going on. sounds like he really loves cycling, so much so that he might be a little self destructive about it. it's hard to balance a time consuming passion with a relationship. and then if you have to pile on work and other responsibilities, it's even harder. most every day i feel squeezed for time between all those things and i'm guessing your SO is in the same boat.

    my GF and i pretty much only see each other 1 day a week and spend the weekends together (afternoon and evening). that way i get to ride and i don't feel pressured to pull back on my cycling too much. i still have to a little - but it's a compromise i have to make. so far this works for us.

  11. #11
    Focus on the future alison_in_oh's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by newbieonbike
    Thanks for the reply. He is withdrawn, extremely tired, has headaches, etc after riding. He had lab work done recently and his hct was 42. Not exactly anemic. He rides every day for long periods of time (6 hrs). Help me understand this obsession!! Do you see yourself putting cycling first over everything else for the rest of your life? How do you balance a gf and work and cycling?
    Well, let's see. My husband is in med school and has been known to skip lecture to ride. And he's chosen his specialty to be one that leaves him with lots of free time outside the hospital. I love to tell the story of when we were first dating, seven years ago: as a busy pre-med and Cat 5 racer he kept his days well-scheduled with a planner in order to make sure he got everything done. Organic Chemistry study time went in pen. Group ride went in pen. He "penciled me in" around those essential activities.

    I got used to it. And lately, as I've gotten more and more interested in riding myself, we can share that time and it's a beautiful bonding experience.

    Headaches, grumpies, and tiredness are NOT normal though. Is he trying to diet at the same time? Is there other stressful stuff in his life?

    And six hours daily is excessive. My DH will do a six hour ride on the weekend, but usually more like four -- about 2-3 on weekdays. What's he training for? Does he have a group to ride with and/or a coach? Cycling keeps my sweetie sane and happy. He might be tired after a ride -- even too tired for lovin' -- but seldom grumpy.

    Come to think of it, he had some of those symptoms the second year we dated, around the time he was overtraining. It's fuzzy, but I remember him being headachey and grumpy, and me learning about overtraining from a magazine, and him finally taking an easy week and then incorporating a weekly rest day into his schedule. Haven't had any such problems since.

    Good luck.

  12. #12
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    His riding borders on complusive. No one short of a major tour competitor needs to train that much. His symptoms are classic overtraining chacteristics.

    He needs to do two things. First he must question what he's riding that much. It may be for some reason that needs some professional help like counseling. Second he needs to do smarter training. Perhaps buy him a good book or video to begin with, or get him signed up with a coach. 20-25 hours per week is the maximum anyone needs to train excpet if you are doing a long major tour.

  13. #13
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    Go see a therapist.

  14. #14
    Sophomoric Member Roody's Avatar
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    The overtraining may be a result of depression, not the cause of it. People with depression often train excessively because they are going for a "runner's high" to relieve symptoms of depression. In the long run this strategy is ineffective. There are many effective treatments for depression, if that turns out to be the problem.

    I will try to find more info about this, if you are interested. I remember a good explanation in a book written 3 or 4 years ago by a science writer for the New York Times. The female author's last name starts with a K. The book was about the exercize industry and peoples' obsessions with exercize, especially spinning and weight lifting. Sorry I can't remember more.

  15. #15
    more ape than man timmhaan's Avatar
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    if he's truly riding 6 hours a day and isn't a pro, that's way too much. probably even for a pro. however, is this really how long he's riding? a weekend ride of 6 hours isn't uncommon for me to do. even during the day a 1 1/2 hour ride turns into a 2 1/2 hour event when you consider eating, showering, dressing, warming up, cooling down, riding in traffic, etc... are you counting all that 'junk time' as well? i'm sorry - i just find 6 hours a day a lot.

    also, you mentioned he is racing? do you know at what level? racing is something that will take a lot of time if one wants to be competitive. any more info you can give us? what kind of goals does he have, for instance?

  16. #16
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    All of your input is very helpful! He is training for a big race and rides at least 4 hrs per day and more than 6 hrs on the weekend. This is his actual time on the bike, not prep time. On the long days, he will ride more than 100 miles. It seems like an obsession/compulsion to me, but I don't know. Roody - I would be interested in that article if you could find it. May be what I am dealing with here. What is considered "normal" training for a competitive cyclist?

  17. #17
    Senior Member jarhead#42's Avatar
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    might be borderline over training.. i heard some pros train hard three weeks and then go way easy the 4th . good luck.. mood swings are a red flag over train signal i think.

  18. #18
    cab horn
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    Sounds like he's not getting any

  19. #19
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    No, that is why I am moody!! I'm not getting any!!

  20. #20
    Focus on the future alison_in_oh's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by newbieonbike
    All of your input is very helpful! He is training for a big race and rides at least 4 hrs per day and more than 6 hrs on the weekend. This is his actual time on the bike, not prep time. On the long days, he will ride more than 100 miles. It seems like an obsession/compulsion to me, but I don't know. Roody - I would be interested in that article if you could find it. May be what I am dealing with here. What is considered "normal" training for a competitive cyclist?
    My husband is a Cat 2 in pretty good form. Here's an example of his last few days. Saturday was a hard 85 miles (~4-5 hours), Sunday a slightly lighter ~4 hours, Monday a couple of hours (don't know who he went with), Tuesday night 30 mile crit, Wednesday casual social ride ~1.5 hours, tonight training ride ~2 hours.

    When one is just starting out, it feels like you can just keep increasing distance and speed forever. You make such great strides just by pushing yourself to go longer and faster on each ride, that it becomes your training "program". But once you achieve a certain base level of fitness you simply must train smarter because you can't go on like that forever.

    My husband learned that the hard way when he was an enthusiastic Cat 4-5 in college with time on his hands to ride, and ride, and ride. He hit a physiological and mental overtraining block that didn't break until he learned to take a weekly rest day. He was miserable and he made me miserable too. It looks like your boyfriend is going to learn the same lesson the same hard way. Good luck riding out this rough spot -- it will get better, and hopefully he will have a teammate or coach knock some sense into him before it gets too much worse.

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