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Overreaching? and Training Volume

Old 03-18-20, 01:31 PM
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Overreaching? and Training Volume

Yesterday I hooked up with an old friend for a road ride, we weren't going out to train hard, just ride and talk a bit, but I was stunned by how difficult it was for me. We did 25 miles and my average heart rate was 126 bpm. 71% of the ride was zone 2. I was unable to get my heart rate into zone 3. Efforts to push myself would leave me slung over the bars gasping for air. I felt fine as long as I just took it easy, and let me friend ride away from me.

Last weekend I did 3.5 hours on the trainer Sat, and 2.5 hours on the road Sunday. I took Monday completely off.

I'm currently off work like lots of us, and I'm looking to use this time to build up a big base, but here's my question. I obviously over did it last weekend, but if I get on the trainer and do slow endurance rides is that better than just not riding. A big concern for me is weight loss right now. I want to get in as much activity as possible.
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Old 03-18-20, 02:35 PM
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Zones are frequently based on max HR So unless you go out and determine you actual max HR, then zones are meaningless. There are different methods that use more than just max HR to establish zones too, so when reading about zones, be aware of what method so to avoid confusion.

So what was the actual highest HR you saw? And, how old are you? Age can make a difference if you lived a sedentary life for 60 years then took up a cardio intense activity. The charts showing max HR for a particular age probably should all be burned or labeled useless.
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Old 03-18-20, 04:27 PM
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Yeah I didn't give lots of info there. Max HR this year so far 176, 41 years old, normal average HR on rides is 140ish. Last month 20 minute ftp test was 237 watts.

For the last few years I'm getting slower and especially at the start of rides, I seem to struggle to get HR up for about half an hour then usually have no problem pushing it.
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Old 03-18-20, 04:52 PM
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I'm guessing that the OP knows their HR range for different levels of RPE. So yes, you overreached. If your legs don't hurt or not much, and the pain doesn't increase, you can try doing daily 1 hour zone 1 trainer rides. Don't go by HR. Go by your known speed on that trainer when in zone 1. This is when it's nice to have power. OTOH if that feels worse, you need time off. A couple day in a row usually does it. The obvious test is to get on the trainer, warm up, hit it, and see if your HR comes up normally.

All that said, the thing is that the more miles/week you have in your legs over a couple months, the more you can tolerate. Endurance trainer rides are particularly exhausting, much more so than outdoor rides, because there is no rest. If you have power and ride outdoors, it's amazing how much of the time one is soft pedaling without realizing it, even if HR is steady.

The way to build endurance is slowly. I use TrainingPeaks and upload all my workouts. Then I try to gradually increase my weekly training stress.
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Old 03-18-20, 09:21 PM
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Any new meds or meds you take only occasionally? Analgesics for pain or inflammation, allergies, sinus congestion, etc.? Unusual supplements that can affect heart rate? Large doses of some supplements can affect heart rate and BP.

Meds I take only occasionally for migraines, allergies with sinus congestion, etc., can really mess with my HR and BP. A med I took Sunday for migraine suppressed my heart rate and blood pressure for the next 48 hours. My max HR was 173 when I checked last summer (probably lower now -- I'm 62 y/o). I routinely hit 161+ bpm on the same climbs and sprint zones I ride many times a month. But on Monday my HR never got above the 140s, even when I felt close to maxed out.

I didn't suddenly get a 20 bpm buffer zone that would transpose my usual HR zones. At 144 bpm I felt as close to redlining as I usually do at 161 bpm.

So instead of a higher intensity training ride Monday, I doubled the planned distance and did a zone 2 ride (well, it would have been if my HR was in the normal range).

Or maybe just an off day. I get those too, even when everything else has been fine and I've had enough rest.
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Old 03-18-20, 09:35 PM
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Do you have COVID 19?
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Old 03-19-20, 08:20 AM
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Originally Posted by gattm99 View Post
I seem to struggle to get HR up for about half an hour then usually have no problem pushing it.
Do you feel a little light headed, faint or blurry vision during this time?

If you were in your sixties, I'd tell you that you should have a heart doctor as a matter of course. Because my opinion of G.P.'s and others is that they are similar to people like me that like to play doctor on TV or internet forums. Only in their case they are a doctor trying to play the specific role of heart doctor without all the specific training.
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Old 03-19-20, 01:01 PM
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I saw a doctor about this about a year ago for shortness of breath and chest/shoulder tightness at beginning of my rides. I had a stress test that came back good and I didn't pursue it as the problem tends to be way worse in winter on the trainer. I have many of the symptoms of exercise induced asthma but no coughing and weezing.

No light heartedness, blurry or anything like that. Much like canklecat says I feel completely normal until I try to get heart rate over 140ish. At 150ish I feel like I'm doing a max effort interval.
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Old 03-19-20, 02:15 PM
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Yesterday I hooked up with an old friend for a road ride, we weren't going out to train hard, just ride and talk a bit, but I was stunned by how difficult it was for me.
This is another "who knows" thread. You are not a machine and your HR metrics and exercise capacity are not static, nor necessarily predictable.

For some reason, for some unknown reason - according to you - you were very tired on what you thought - was going to be an easy bicycle ride. When this happens - assume you are tired - even if you don't know why.

Similarly - some day you are going to have a terrific ride - you'll fly along and seem like you have effort and power to spare. And guess what - you'll never know exactly when and why it these super easy rides happen.
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Old 03-19-20, 03:29 PM
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Chest tightness could be due to previous injuries. If you've ever taken a fall cycling or any other time, you may have damaged some ribs and intercostal tissues. Those can take awhile to recover.

My torso X-rays showed a few indications of old healed injuries -- spine, ribs -- from various sports injuries, crashes and collisions. I've been hit by cars twice, besides cycling. I was an amateur boxer for years and often sparred much bigger guys for a challenge -- including a state heavyweight champion who took it easy on me. He mostly just jabbed to my chest, but one of those "light" jabs introduced my sternum to my spine. (Note to self: Lightweights should not spar heavyweights. There's a reason for weight classes in boxing.) And one guy my size but a much better boxer (later a world light-welterweight champion) was a devastating body puncher and put me down with a shot to the ribs and liver in sparring. So over time that stuff adds up to cumulative tense muscles and connective tissue.

Last year while in structured physical therapy for a couple of months I worked on those intercostal tissues. I realized I was often short of breath because my chest was so tight. No lung problems. Just tight. I worked on exercises breathing from the diaphragm, using an incentive spirometer I got at the hospital after surgery in 2018. Helped me realize I wasn't breathing effectively, and tended to pant and gasp for breath under pressure.

I still occasionally use those breathing exercises just before a ride to loosen up and remind myself to breathe properly.
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Old 03-19-20, 03:56 PM
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Originally Posted by gattm99 View Post
I saw a doctor about this about a year ago for shortness of breath and chest/shoulder tightness at beginning of my rides. I had a stress test that came back good and I didn't pursue it as the problem tends to be way worse in winter on the trainer. I have many of the symptoms of exercise induced asthma but no coughing and weezing.

No light heartedness, blurry or anything like that. Much like canklecat says I feel completely normal until I try to get heart rate over 140ish. At 150ish I feel like I'm doing a max effort interval.
I've often had the same feelings to start with on rides. It takes a while for my chest to "open up." I think what's happening is that olders take a little longer, maybe our blood vessels are a little stiffer, who knows. A number of interesting things happen when we start to do hard aerobic activities. All sorts of various chemicals and hormones are released into our blood stream, all of them built in to make these activities easier. This release period is commonly known as warming up. It takes longer in olders. I have some actual chest discomfort, right in the area where my heart might be. My doctor, also an older cyclist, said don't worry about it, something to do with a chest muscle. It's normal. I warm up by gradually increasing the intensity and then doing a few very short hard efforts, takes maybe 20' on my rollers. On the road, there are hills everywhere here, and they take care of the issue nicely, I just don't go too hard on the first couple. If the discomfort were your heart, oh boy, you'd know it. So says my doc. I've had a total heart workup.
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Old 03-20-20, 10:53 AM
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Originally Posted by Richard Cranium View Post
This is another "who knows" thread. You are not a machine and your HR metrics and exercise capacity are not static, nor necessarily predictable.

For some reason, for some unknown reason - according to you - you were very tired on what you thought - was going to be an easy bicycle ride. When this happens - assume you are tired - even if you don't know why.

Similarly - some day you are going to have a terrific ride - you'll fly along and seem like you have effort and power to spare. And guess what - you'll never know exactly when and why it these super easy rides happen.

I think this gets to the matter of what I'm trying to figure out. Am I just tired? Why am I tired? I've got 21 hours in the last 20 days. Would being tired account for my chest tightness and slow heart rate? This goes opposite of your advice but I think I'm going to try to look at my ride data a bit more and figure out how many of those flying along days I've had and see if I can find any connection.

Thanks again for the info everyone, canklecat I'm not going to take up boxing anytime soon, I'll just watch Rocky again LOL.

Carbonfiberboy You've offered good advice on my similar threads before, I appreciate it! I've been getting warned about an on coming Heart Attack on bikeforums for years now, so far so good.
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Old 03-20-20, 12:35 PM
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Originally Posted by gattm99 View Post
I think this gets to the matter of what I'm trying to figure out. Am I just tired? Why am I tired? I've got 21 hours in the last 20 days. Would being tired account for my chest tightness and slow heart rate? This goes opposite of your advice but I think I'm going to try to look at my ride data a bit more and figure out how many of those flying along days I've had and see if I can find any connection.

Thanks again for the info everyone, canklecat I'm not going to take up boxing anytime soon, I'll just watch Rocky again LOL.

Carbonfiberboy You've offered good advice on my similar threads before, I appreciate it! I've been getting warned about an on coming Heart Attack on bikeforums for years now, so far so good.
The answer is yes. If one looks closely enough at the right data, one can see patterns in it. The hardest part of training is figuring out how much of what is enough and the reverse. All the rest is rote.

I use tools to give me information: TrainingPeaks, EliteHRV, and simple morning resting and standing HR.+ lots of experience in observing changes in this information and the relationships between these changes.
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Old 03-22-20, 11:17 AM
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It's still really early but I'm happy to say I've been feeling really good the last few days. I got on the trainer 5 days ago and tried to really focus on what felt wrong compared to the few days that I've felt good. I'm using zwift and I have a powertap so I've got pretty good data. At about 140 watts and around 130 bpm I begin to feel the chest tightness and a strong need to just slow down, my breathing felt labored. Pretty much what I've grown used to.

I got off the trainer and took a primeatine tablet which is 12.5 mg of Ephedra HCL and a half an asprin. 15 minutes later got back on trainer and seemed a little better. Next morning I took the primatine, asprin and caffine, the classic ECA stack. I did this almost every day for a couple years 2011-2012 and went from 300 to 225 pounds. When I stopped losing weight I stopped taking the pills. It's not a concidence that most of my KOMs are from 2012-2013.

Taking the ECA stack every morning now and starting every morning with a 1 hour fasted walk, then after breakfast about an hour on the trainer. It's like night and day difference. It feels like air just flows freely into my lungs. I'm still warming up slow but I'm doing 150 watts for about 15 minutes before intervals and efforts, instead of 100 watts for 20 minutes then giving up when I can't get my heart rate up for efforts.

Yes I know that ephedra is not considered safe for weight loss, but the box says you can take 12 tablets every 24 hours and I'm taking 1, I'm not worried about that.
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Old 03-22-20, 09:55 PM
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Originally Posted by gattm99 View Post
It's still really early but I'm happy to say I've been feeling really good the last few days. I got on the trainer 5 days ago and tried to really focus on what felt wrong compared to the few days that I've felt good. I'm using zwift and I have a powertap so I've got pretty good data. At about 140 watts and around 130 bpm I begin to feel the chest tightness and a strong need to just slow down, my breathing felt labored. Pretty much what I've grown used to.

I got off the trainer and took a primeatine tablet which is 12.5 mg of Ephedra HCL and a half an asprin. 15 minutes later got back on trainer and seemed a little better. Next morning I took the primatine, asprin and caffine, the classic ECA stack. I did this almost every day for a couple years 2011-2012 and went from 300 to 225 pounds. When I stopped losing weight I stopped taking the pills. It's not a concidence that most of my KOMs are from 2012-2013.

Taking the ECA stack every morning now and starting every morning with a 1 hour fasted walk, then after breakfast about an hour on the trainer. It's like night and day difference. It feels like air just flows freely into my lungs. I'm still warming up slow but I'm doing 150 watts for about 15 minutes before intervals and efforts, instead of 100 watts for 20 minutes then giving up when I can't get my heart rate up for efforts.

Yes I know that ephedra is not considered safe for weight loss, but the box says you can take 12 tablets every 24 hours and I'm taking 1, I'm not worried about that.
See a pulmonologist if you can get an appointment now. If ephedrine has that effect, then probably what you are experiencing is asthma. Ephedrine is not a replacement for prescription asthma meds. Actually, any PCP who knows what they're doing can prescribe decent asthma meds. Fix you right up. These meds come on two varieties, steroid variations which you take every day and symptomatic "rescue" meds for when you experience symptoms. IIRC, the rec is that if you experience symptoms more than twice a week, you should be on a steroid.

You can self-diagnose to some extent by using a peak flow meter like this: https://www.amazon.com/Philips-Respi...dp/B00123KIDS/
Most cyclists can easily peg it at 800. My asthmatic wife can hit 300 on a good day. In any case it's good to have one of these to use in the morning to see how you're doing. Cheap for the benefit.
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Old 03-23-20, 07:48 AM
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If you are on a super low carb diet, that might be messing with your available energy for sustained efforts while out on the bike.

The more you do real cycling the more your body will adjust despite whatever diet you do. But if you are going to be demanding max efforts, then you might have to adjust how you fuel for it.

I don't use indoor trainers, so I can't judge what the difference might be. I'll get on my wife's stationary bike sometimes just to maintain my cadence, but nothing else.
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Old 03-23-20, 09:37 PM
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Carbonfiberboy Thanks again! Tightness in the chest is something I've always thought was related to my heart.

Iride01 I'm eating completely normally which means way to many carbs LOL. I can get really excellent workouts on my trainer, I've done lots of different intervals and really pushed myself on it in the past, but its still hard for me to get a max effort on it.

OK, one more update. Me and same friend did the exact same ride today that started this post a week ago. Night and Day difference, I never got dropped, and regularly got my heart rate up. We rode side by side and talked the entire ride, where last week I couldn't catch my breath enough to really talk alot. I was ten minutes faster then last week, even though we never tried to push the pace.

I'm almost certain that my previous problems weren't due to being tired. I've doubled my activities in the last week and I'm feeling even better.
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