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Overtrained, tired or confused? I really need some help.

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Overtrained, tired or confused? I really need some help.

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Old 08-06-08, 02:54 PM
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Overtrained, tired or confused? I really need some help.

Okay, I think I'm overtrained or very sleep deprived. I definitely know I'm really confused, and need a bit of help.

I commute into work two or three days a week, every week. The problem is that I've made every leg of my commute a pretty hard ride, and tried to avoid taking it easy. I did this mostly so a) I could go real fast and b) So I can get in as much intensity training as I could with the time allowed.

The problem is that I barely get enough sleep at night. I figured that it might have been because I spend too much time reading stuff on my computer, which makes me go to bed a lot later than planned. So I started doing what I used to do: leaving my computer elsewhere, but really far away (right now, it's at my job 45 miles away from my apt).

What scares me is that if I take a day or two off the bike, I will not maintain my caloric deficit and will gain weight again. I've been reading some posts about choosing foods with the right Glycemic Index, controlling insulin levels and lots of other stuff that seems like a crazy amount of work just to eat some lunch. The food that I eat is not bad (I posted my diet somewhere on Training and Nutrition), and the portions I eat aren't a lot, but digging deeper into what I'm reading is telling me otherwise.

I'm thinking of racing again, but I know that while I might be mentally amped to race, I don't think I'm physically ready. Has anyone been at this point before?
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Old 08-06-08, 02:57 PM
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how much sleep is not enough?

also, i dont think you are mentally ready to race if you cant come to grips with taking days off the bike to recover.
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Old 08-06-08, 03:16 PM
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Yeah - how much sleep are you getting? And if I read this right, you commute 45 miles to work (90 mi. round trip) a few days a week all at high intensity? Thats a lot of hard miles.

Taking a few days off shouldn't affect your weight loss or fitness. Maybe eat slightly less those days, but really you shouldn't even worry about it.

One last thing - you won't know if you are ready to race until you try. Just get out there and race.
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Old 08-06-08, 03:29 PM
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To paraphrase Sean Kelly, the MAN, "It's only too cold to train if you head out on a 5 hour ride and confirm 'Yes, it was too cold to train.' "


The only way you'll know if you're too tired/sore/sick to race is to go and find out. Occasionally, you just have to stretch your boundaries a little bit.

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Old 08-06-08, 03:40 PM
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day or two off the bike? you should be taking a day off every week, if you are commuting 45 miles * 2 * 3 days a week??????? 270 miles in 3 days???

if you are riding 300 miles a week, you can take a day or 2 off and your body is going to want you to keep eating - i would not worry about it, just do it. eat 3000, 3500 calories a day. your body will eat them up assuming this is a normal routine for you. that is to say you are doing this week in and week out.

GI - don't eat any white bread, white rice, white anything. that's a great start.

are you or were you so overweight that you are paranoid about gaining weight?


MORE is not always better!
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Old 08-06-08, 03:52 PM
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Sleeping problems are one of the symptoms of overtraining.

And you're exhibiting many of the other factors as well.

So, take 2 days in a row, totally off the bike. Make one of them a weekend day. Spend the time you would have been riding by taking a nap. See how you feel on the 3rd day and if you're sleeping better.

And don't do all your rides "hard". They end up being "medium hard but not really fast" which is not a great training zone for over-use.

To develop speed, you want a few rides, like one or 2 a week, to be killer warp speed fast. Intervals are good for that. And a ride or two "medium hard" is ok. The rest should be pretty darn easy.
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Old 08-06-08, 10:02 PM
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You can take a couple days off your bike as long as you eat sensibly, your legs will thank you for it and if you are racing your performances will be a lot better.
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Old 08-06-08, 10:35 PM
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Sorry; I didn't quite clarify my mileage.

The distance between my apartment and work is 45 miles, but I ride from my apt to Penn Station (9 miles), then anywhere between 5 to 7 miles after getting off in New Jersey. So I usually ride between 15 and 17 miles one way.

Creakyknees, I think "medium hard, fast but sort of" is a better way to put it. Though my flat speeds are faster than they've ever been, and I usually spend a lot of time on the 53x20 or 39x17 (I have a triple).

I will try resting as per your suggestion. I'll sleep-in on Saturday, but remain off the bike (there have been some weekend days where I've slept in, but rode afterward).

MONGO!, what do you mean by sensibly?

Thanks for the input!
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Old 08-06-08, 10:47 PM
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I mean don't pig put on days when you're not riding your bike.

Eat balanced meals, for me that means eating as much protein as I do carbs.

30-32 miles is still a lot if you're doing it 3 times a week.
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Old 08-07-08, 03:57 AM
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If you do intensity 24/7, you're just going to be tired when you are racing. As for your worries about losing weight, I find that when I ride less after riding a lot in the previous week, day, etc. is that I'll lose weight easier because I'm burning more fat.
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Old 08-07-08, 04:28 AM
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Your balances are hard. I tried commuting as part of training for a time and found it just beat my legs up with no real net benefit. I spent all spring "thinking" I was fitter than I actually was.

But, to be honest - we need more information than what you're providing. What's your riding like on the other non-commuting days?

If it's 9 miles to work and another 7 after getting off the train, you're not getting much aerobic enhancing time. You can get from sprints up to about 2-3 minute intervals with proper recovery in a 30 minute workout (assuming 18-20 mph), but any aerobic fitness building beyond that requires a longer sustained time on the bike (50-60 minutes, imo). That means, you're living with tired legs all the time but not ever building your base fitness.

As far as diet goes - eat sensibly on those off days and you'll be fine. Loads of salads and "filling" low-cal roughage on those off days for me when I'm trying to maintain/lose weight. But, when I'm maintaining, I usually eat to a 200-500 calorie deficit on riding days to cover any excess on the day off and really light recovery day.
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Old 08-07-08, 06:01 AM
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Originally Posted by MrCrassic View Post
Okay, I think I'm overtrained or very sleep deprived. I definitely know I'm really confused, and need a bit of help.

I commute into work two or three days a week, every week. The problem is that I've made every leg of my commute a pretty hard ride, and tried to avoid taking it easy. I did this mostly so a) I could go real fast and b) So I can get in as much intensity training as I could with the time allowed.

The problem is that I barely get enough sleep at night. I figured that it might have been because I spend too much time reading stuff on my computer, which makes me go to bed a lot later than planned. So I started doing what I used to do: leaving my computer elsewhere, but really far away (right now, it's at my job 45 miles away from my apt).

What scares me is that if I take a day or two off the bike, I will not maintain my caloric deficit and will gain weight again. I've been reading some posts about choosing foods with the right Glycemic Index, controlling insulin levels and lots of other stuff that seems like a crazy amount of work just to eat some lunch. The food that I eat is not bad (I posted my diet somewhere on Training and Nutrition), and the portions I eat aren't a lot, but digging deeper into what I'm reading is telling me otherwise.

I'm thinking of racing again, but I know that while I might be mentally amped to race, I don't think I'm physically ready. Has anyone been at this point before?
You're trying to do two separate things: Lose weight and train to race. For me, it never works. Especially when I'm training hard and frequent. I eat throughout the day all day until 3 hours before I go to sleep. I keep my protein and carbs high while keep the fats somewhat low. I also drink a gallon of water a day. Don't worry too much about your diet if you want to race. Stick to a healthy plan and try to keep it simple. As for commuting and/or training. It can work some of the times. Are you getting any longer, harder rides in? Or are all your days on the bike commutes with efforts? You will need longer steady tempo rides. If all you're getting are these short distance rides - and especially if you haven't had a good base built up - you may find that halfway through the race your muscles will fatigue. Can you find a good group on the weekend to ride with? Actually it would be good to work with a group to practice your pack skills and such.

As for sleep, the more you train the more you need. I say this pointing the finger at myself too. Recover recover recover is key to being race ready. If you're up all night on the interwebs your body will not fully recover from the day's events. Also, your mind needs rest too. Shut everything off including your thinker. Quit stressing over your diet as well. That will hinder you. Relax. Sleep. Eat.

And honestly, these are just my thoughts and there are guys here who are so much better than me and know a whole heck of a lot more than me. Most of these guys have helped me understand this racing and training thing. So all the credit goes to them.
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Old 08-07-08, 06:35 AM
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From the information you're providing, you're not trained at all, you're just riding.

No idea how much sleep you're getting, but sounds to me like you need to organize your time more effectively, put down the computer, and go to bed.
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Old 08-07-08, 07:23 AM
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^^^
+1 and some change
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Old 08-07-08, 07:41 AM
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Originally Posted by MDcatV View Post
From the information you're providing, you're not trained at all, you're just riding.

No idea how much sleep you're getting, but sounds to me like you need to organize your time more effectively, put down the computer, and go to bed.

I haven't heard any 2x20mins, 5x5min, anything like that.

Just "Yeah, I ride my bike a lot and don't eat/sleep enough."
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Old 08-07-08, 08:14 AM
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yo Crassic, the problem is that you're riding and not training.

There is a huge difference from a day to day commute of 17 miles and a hard two hour interval session. For racing the interval session will do way more than just riding to work.

We talked before about your group ride, keep that up and remember to take time of to recover. As per my coach and some very strong riders i know, the most important part of racing to recover, recover, recover.
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Old 08-07-08, 08:30 AM
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Originally Posted by Duke of Kent View Post
I haven't heard any 2x20mins, 5x5min, anything like that.

Just "Yeah, I ride my bike a lot and don't eat/sleep enough."

+1
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Old 08-07-08, 08:42 AM
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First of all, I really appreciate all of the advice you guys have been giving. It's really making me evaluate exactly where my thought process has been messing up.

I was at first apprehensive at the fact that my hard commutes are doing less than I thought they were. However, I really have not done any structured intervals; I've just been riding hard and going by that.

RECOVERY: I'm going to take three days off to let my legs recover. A lot. I think I've abused them way too much. Plus, it gives me some time to focus on some dates I've been picking up :-D

SLOW, LONG RIDE: On Sunday, if the weather permits, I'm going to do a calm ride down to the Rockaways and back through Queens. That should be a 60 or 65 mile ride, if done correctly. I'm going to try and keep a pace of 18 mph throughout, or at least try to work at Zone 2.

REDO MY COMMUTE:
When I start commuting again on Monday, this is what I have in mind:

- I'm going to change my route to one that helps me SLOW DOWN. Currently, my route is designed so that I get to Penn Station as fast as possible, but it seems that's not what I need.

- I just discovered that the fitness center at my job has a Schwinn spinning machine (but just ONE). I'm going to try and make time to train on that and do my intervals there.

- Keep making improvements in my diet (no more Vanilla chai tea lattes, less white rice/white bread, more fruits, and I bought NUUN for my drink on the bike).

THE RACE: I'm going to be a man and race this Tuesday at Floyd Bennett. That's if my headset doesn't crap out like it did last time :-(. I expect to get dropped, but at least I can start up my CAT-O-METER.

What do you guys think about that?
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Old 08-07-08, 08:52 AM
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I still think you need a longer, hard group ride here and there. You need someone to push you. Someone that you know can kick your butt and hold onto him as long as possible.

Try not to do too much JRA (just riding around) stuff. Have a focused plan and stick to it. Train like you are racing a category above yours.
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Old 08-07-08, 08:59 AM
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Why would you ride a spinning bike when you have the outdoors to ride in?

Find a loop of 8 miles or so, kill yourself around it once, recover, kill yourself around it again, and ride home.

2x20min. Crazy, I know.

Don't over complicate bicycle training. It really isn't all that hard when you boil it down.
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Old 08-07-08, 09:01 AM
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You cant go hard all the time and you cant just throw in some easy days either..... Needs to be structured in a way that makes sense.
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Old 08-07-08, 09:14 AM
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I can't ride outdoors during my work hours because work gets pretty busy and it leaves me only with my morning commute and my evening commute to ride. Plus, as you guys that commute know, things come up ALL of the time, so it's good to know that I still have something to fallback on in case that happens.

The group of guys that I rode with today definitely gave me a harder workout than I've had in a while. The group mostly consisted of triathletes and experienced riders, and my first group ride with them kicked my butt, though I hung on to them okay.

If it's a schedule that I need to make, then I'll create one during my three rest days. I really need to make one that is easy enough for me to commit to, but will push me out of my comfort zone.

Regardless, I'm still racing on Tuesday so that I don't keep saying I'm racing and then keep not doing it...
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Old 08-07-08, 09:25 AM
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If you can, the next time you ride with the group, let them go up the road and take chase. Try to do a few three minute hard pulls on the front as well.

And go race. You may get even more motivated to get a plan together to continually improve.
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Old 08-07-08, 09:37 AM
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have you read any of the training books available?
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Old 08-07-08, 09:47 AM
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No, I haven't.
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