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Why do I keep overtraining?

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Why do I keep overtraining?

Old 03-11-13, 04:14 AM
  #26  
joshnc
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What changed for me was the nutrition part. I stopped all drinking beer/wine. Cut out fast food. Went to more organic foods. I have never felt better in my life and able to train harder. I am 37 years old.

Originally Posted by rousseau View Post
I don't know how to read my body's signals. Or maybe I'm no spring chicken anymore. Is that it?

Sigh...

My particulars:
43 years old, 6-foot, 225 pounds, recent myriad of exhaustive tests show that I'm incredibly healthy, if still somewhat overweight (I'm big-boned. Don't laugh, it's true).

I played basketball in high school and university, then did no regular exercise from the age of 22 to 39 (oh wait, I commuted on a bicycle in Taiwan for one year at the age of 27 before getting a motorycle). At 39 I took up cycling, and became addicted.

In the last three years or so I've done between 8 and 12 hours per week on the bike. I started out trying to get stronger and faster, but did it stupidly; I merely tried my damndest to go faster each ride, without any plan at all. I became a slave to my statistics. So I started to burn out now and then, maybe needing a few days off the bike here and there due to fatigue.

Then last year in August it got scary. I got lightheaded for the first few days, then weak and tired, and had to stay off the bike for a whole month. The docs didn't find anything. Then suddenly I got an attack of appendicitus, requiring a further month of recovery in September, so by October I was feeling pretty good and figured maybe the appendicitus had something to do with it. Which was dumb of me, and even the surgeon told me in no uncertain terms that my two conditions were completely unrelated.

My riding time decreased somewhat through winter, and I made a point of not pushing myself too hard. As the weather got better in March I continued to be "good," not pushing myself much at all. Near the end of April I did a couple of longer rides with some increased intensity, and around that time work became a bit frantic and stressful, and then boom...back on the ropes.

It's now the same as last August: lightheaded for a few days, then weak and tired. It's been two weeks into this "episode," and the doc says that the tests say that I just don't have anything wrong with me; the best guess at this point is overtraining. So I've booked an appointment with a physiothe******/trainer that he recommended. But I'd like to get some ideas and feedback from some people here, if I may.

What to do? How do I approach this? Should I consider getting a heartrate monitor and train using that? Has anyone had a similar experience to mine? Am I really just getting old? Were there too many years of sedentary life in between my youth and now?

I should note that I never had anything like this happen to me before, so I think it's fairly safe to say that there is probably a correlation between these episodes and my cycling.

Thanks very much to anyone who has read this far!
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Old 03-12-13, 08:43 AM
  #27  
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Originally Posted by rousseau View Post
I don't know how to read my body's signals. Or maybe I'm no spring chicken anymore. Is that it?
It's probably not so much that you don't know how to read your body's signals as it's just that you're not listening. I know, because I have the same exact problem, but I'm getting better. One thing I've found to do is other activities, such as running, because I can control myself better during a run, but when I'm on a bike I go crazy and end up having to go through a very long recovery period...and yes I also get the dizzy feelings and increased resting HR. I swear if I were a professional cyclists I'd be a sprinter, just love it. The important thing is that you realize you are overtraining and start taking steps to reduce them.

The one good thing from my riding style is that when I do take it easy, not doing those crazy accelerations, I actually ride faster (once I've recovered) and I can ride a long time at those speeds. So in a way those have been some great anaerobic workouts, just need to learn how to back off a little.
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Old 07-07-19, 09:01 PM
  #28  
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Originally Posted by rousseau View Post
I'm resurrecting this four-year-old thread because Pat made a good guess, and it might be interesting or even valuable to future searchers of this website to bring closure to this thread. It turns out I do have an anxiety disorder, and I've had it all my life. I wasn't conscious of it until my diagnosis, but looking back, it explains everything, including the ostensible "overtraining" I was complaining about in this thread.

I collapsed two weeks after the date I began this thread. I was in bed for a week, barely able to move, my physical weakness was so intense. For the next half year after that I experienced recurring panic attacks and debilitating episodes of anxiety. It was a living hell. The doctors checked everything, again, and found nothing. I myself did exhaustive web searches and came up with numerous potential diagnoses: chronic fatigue syndrome, lyme disease, hemochromatosis, etc. But nothing was conclusive. I started to think it was all in my head, and my GP agreed that that might be a possibility, so to speak. He started me on an antidepressant, and that basically did the trick.

Drugs. Yep, drugs. So I took the SSRI for a year, and felt so much better that eventually I stopped taking it. The next two years I was basically fine, and I figured I'd recovered. But I was fooling myself. This past fall I started to stop feeling fine, and at first I was confounded. Hadn't I "gotten over the hump"? When the physiological symptoms got debilitating I went back to the doc, and he said a simplistic explanation might be that my serotonin and dopamine levels had probably been fine for a year or two after stopping the medication, but were now depleted again. So I'm back on a low-dose of an SSRI, and am feeling better.

So, no, I did not overtrain. Instead, the stress of the fallout of 2008, when my wife and I thought we might lose our jobs and our house, exacerbated my underlying but heretofore manageable anxiety. The combination of clinical anxiety and financial stress turned out to be a killer. Well, almost. Knowing what the problem was was half the battle, and getting the right help was the other half.

All I can say is: what a relief it has been.
Not sure if you're still around the BF, but this post and your follow-up are precisely what I've been looking for.

I've been battling OTS for 14 months now. Initially I could still ride for a couple hours at a moderate pace, but it has progressed to the point now where I struggle to make it a mile....a pretty big fall from grace for someone that rode at a relatively high level. But...other than exercise intolerance, I never suffered from any of the hallmark symptoms of overtraining, and exhaustive testing has not turned up any medical maladies.

In May, my doctor prescribed me Wellbutrin. I took it for four weeks, and during the third and fourth week, my power began to come back and I even completed a strong 45-mile ride. At the time I just thought I was having a good week for no explainable reason and didn't connect the dots. Due to a side effect, I stopped the medication and my overwhelming fatigue returned within 48 hours.

While never clinically diagnosed, I've always suffered from anxiety, mild OCD, and maybe a slight level of depression. A month before the onset of OTS, my father suffered a seizure and a month after was diagnosed with cancer and in the time I've been out battling OTS, passed away. So there is no question in my mind the stress, anxiety, and trauma may have either outright caused the OTS, or simply piled on top of a case of basic overreaching and broke my body down. I'm getting back on an SSRI this week and have sought a mental health professional to help dive into some of these issues. I'm cautiously optimistic I may have found the answer, but not getting my hopes up too high.

Even when I was "healthy" and training strong, I always struggled with fatigue, would come up short of goals, and tire out before people with far less conditioning or general health than myself, and I now wonder if my mental health was handicapping me all along.
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Old 07-08-19, 06:16 AM
  #29  
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I just saw this thread but did not at first realize it was posted way in the past. I was going to offer, initially, the observation that life is not a sprint but a marathon in which the all important element is pacing. That observation is likely still somewhat valid for this thread.
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Old 07-08-19, 06:24 AM
  #30  
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You can sprint really fast while having a panic attack.
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Old 07-08-19, 08:55 AM
  #31  
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Originally Posted by Dreww10 View Post
Not sure if you're still around the BF, but this post and your follow-up are precisely what I've been looking for.

I've been battling OTS for 14 months now. Initially I could still ride for a couple hours at a moderate pace, but it has progressed to the point now where I struggle to make it a mile....a pretty big fall from grace for someone that rode at a relatively high level. But...other than exercise intolerance, I never suffered from any of the hallmark symptoms of overtraining, and exhaustive testing has not turned up any medical maladies.

In May, my doctor prescribed me Wellbutrin. I took it for four weeks, and during the third and fourth week, my power began to come back and I even completed a strong 45-mile ride. At the time I just thought I was having a good week for no explainable reason and didn't connect the dots. Due to a side effect, I stopped the medication and my overwhelming fatigue returned within 48 hours.

While never clinically diagnosed, I've always suffered from anxiety, mild OCD, and maybe a slight level of depression. A month before the onset of OTS, my father suffered a seizure and a month after was diagnosed with cancer and in the time I've been out battling OTS, passed away. So there is no question in my mind the stress, anxiety, and trauma may have either outright caused the OTS, or simply piled on top of a case of basic overreaching and broke my body down. I'm getting back on an SSRI this week and have sought a mental health professional to help dive into some of these issues. I'm cautiously optimistic I may have found the answer, but not getting my hopes up too high.

Even when I was "healthy" and training strong, I always struggled with fatigue, would come up short of goals, and tire out before people with far less conditioning or general health than myself, and I now wonder if my mental health was handicapping me all along.
Interesting. You might have a look at this, too: https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jam...ticle/2737854?
One of the authors of quoted study is a friend of mine whose son has CTS. It might not be all a mental issue. Too many times, when doctors can't diagnose, they say it's mental.
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Old 07-08-19, 10:37 AM
  #32  
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This is where data would be helpful.

Some folks don't believe in all the jargon, but if I asked someone "what's your TSB been the last two months" and they said "negative 20 for most of it"........ahhh, there you go. If someone has a hugely negative TSB for seemingly forever, they either get injured or feel like dog crap and can't perform..........or if they feel good their zones are based on a bogus test result. So jargon can be helpful.

Or, if you could say you ramped it straight up to 12 hours a week after being off a month.......there you go.

You have to ramp training load. I say load also, because time is subjective. I could do three 4 hour group rides per week and never hardly break a sweat because they're easy cruises.

Shoot, even just look at the bar graph by week on Strava for an idea of how you ramp your load.

I won't get into the medical stuff like lightheaded stuff or otherwise. I'll leave that to the pro. I get that rarely but usually is as simple as a piece of fruit, tumbler of water, and a short walk to get the balance back.

This sounds like maybe a good scenario for a coach to assist you with goal #1 being to get in control.

You'll get it sorted! You can do it.
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Old 07-11-19, 12:10 AM
  #33  
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Originally Posted by rousseau View Post
I don't know how to read my body's signals. Or maybe I'm no spring chicken anymore. Is that it?

Sigh...

My particulars:
43 years old, 6-foot, 225 pounds, recent myriad of exhaustive tests show that I'm incredibly healthy, if still somewhat overweight (I'm big-boned. Don't laugh, it's true).

I played basketball in high school and university, then did no regular exercise from the age of 22 to 39 (oh wait, I commuted on a bicycle in Taiwan for one year at the age of 27 before getting a motorycle). At 39 I took up cycling, and became addicted.

In the last three years or so I've done between 8 and 12 hours per week on the bike. I started out trying to get stronger and faster, but did it stupidly; I merely tried my damndest to go faster each ride, without any plan at all. I became a slave to my statistics. So I started to burn out now and then, maybe needing a few days off the bike here and there due to fatigue.

Then last year in August it got scary. I got lightheaded for the first few days, then weak and tired, and had to stay off the bike for a whole month. The docs didn't find anything. Then suddenly I got an attack of appendicitus, requiring a further month of recovery in September, so by October I was feeling pretty good and figured maybe the appendicitus had something to do with it. Which was dumb of me, and even the surgeon told me in no uncertain terms that my two conditions were completely unrelated.

My riding time decreased somewhat through winter, and I made a point of not pushing myself too hard. As the weather got better in March I continued to be "good," not pushing myself much at all. Near the end of April I did a couple of longer rides with some increased intensity, and around that time work became a bit frantic and stressful, and then boom...back on the ropes.

It's now the same as last August: lightheaded for a few days, then weak and tired. It's been two weeks into this "episode," and the doc says that the tests say that I just don't have anything wrong with me; the best guess at this point is overtraining. So I've booked an appointment with a physiothe******/trainer that he recommended. But I'd like to get some ideas and feedback from some people here, if I may.

What to do? How do I approach this? Should I consider getting a heartrate monitor and train using that? Has anyone had a similar experience to mine? Am I really just getting old? Were there too many years of sedentary life in between my youth and now?

I should note that I never had anything like this happen to me before, so I think it's fairly safe to say that there is probably a correlation between these episodes and my cycling.

Thanks very much to anyone who has read this far!
Donít over analyze that is my humble opinion. Iím one to party too much and train too hard Listen to what youíre body is telling you and adjust accordingly. Iím 51 and moderation is not my strength aka partying to much and training too hard. Summer is my slow period due to oppressive heat and winter being high mileage months. Forget the dogma that you need so many miles and hours just be consistent and in the long haul you will meet the objectives you seek. Medical setbacks can be demoralizing and you only understand when others donít but that is how it goes. Just bounce back get back into it and you will be OK.
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Old 07-14-19, 12:52 PM
  #34  
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Originally Posted by Carbonfiberboy View Post
Interesting. You might have a look at this, too: https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jam...ticle/2737854?
One of the authors of quoted study is a friend of mine whose son has CTS. It might not be all a mental issue. Too many times, when doctors can't diagnose, they say it's mental.
I'm not disagreeing, however, my research (which I have plenty of time for these days) has shown clear relationships between serotonin and mitochondria, chronic fatigue, unexplained muscle soreness, heart rate fluctuations, and so on. Anxiety, in particular, causes imbalances in serotonin levels. The parallels between depression and overtraining suggest there's something to this theory.

Most of the truly detailed articles out there on OTS note that in the majority of legitimate cases, the patient identifies a specific life stressor/event that preceded onset. In my conversations with other sufferers, there is a common personality theme of anxiety, of not handling stress well, somewhat obsessive-compulsive, mild hypochondriac (at least regarding their OTS situation). Simply put, laid-back, calm people who don't stress about any situation in life don't overtrain, no matter how much they train.

In my particular case, multiple ACT-H and cortisol tests have shown no clear dysfunction of my adrenal glands, and my immune system is arguably stronger than at any point in my life. But I can't pedal even one single mile.

Last edited by Dreww10; 07-14-19 at 12:58 PM.
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Old 07-14-19, 01:04 PM
  #35  
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Originally Posted by rousseau View Post
I don't know how to read my body's signals. Or maybe I'm no spring chicken anymore. Is that it?

Sigh...

My particulars:
43 years old, 6-foot, 225 pounds, recent myriad of exhaustive tests show that I'm incredibly healthy, if still somewhat overweight (I'm big-boned. Don't laugh, it's true).

I played basketball in high school and university, then did no regular exercise from the age of 22 to 39 (oh wait, I commuted on a bicycle in Taiwan for one year at the age of 27 before getting a motorycle). At 39 I took up cycling, and became addicted.

In the last three years or so I've done between 8 and 12 hours per week on the bike. I started out trying to get stronger and faster, but did it stupidly; I merely tried my damndest to go faster each ride, without any plan at all. I became a slave to my statistics. So I started to burn out now and then, maybe needing a few days off the bike here and there due to fatigue.

Then last year in August it got scary. I got lightheaded for the first few days, then weak and tired, and had to stay off the bike for a whole month. The docs didn't find anything. Then suddenly I got an attack of appendicitus, requiring a further month of recovery in September, so by October I was feeling pretty good and figured maybe the appendicitus had something to do with it. Which was dumb of me, and even the surgeon told me in no uncertain terms that my two conditions were completely unrelated.

My riding time decreased somewhat through winter, and I made a point of not pushing myself too hard. As the weather got better in March I continued to be "good," not pushing myself much at all. Near the end of April I did a couple of longer rides with some increased intensity, and around that time work became a bit frantic and stressful, and then boom...back on the ropes.

It's now the same as last August: lightheaded for a few days, then weak and tired. It's been two weeks into this "episode," and the doc says that the tests say that I just don't have anything wrong with me; the best guess at this point is overtraining. So I've booked an appointment with a physiothe******/trainer that he recommended. But I'd like to get some ideas and feedback from some people here, if I may.

What to do? How do I approach this? Should I consider getting a heartrate monitor and train using that? Has anyone had a similar experience to mine? Am I really just getting old? Were there too many years of sedentary life in between my youth and now?

I should note that I never had anything like this happen to me before, so I think it's fairly safe to say that there is probably a correlation between these episodes and my cycling.

Thanks very much to anyone who has read this far!
I avg 10-12 hrs a week Iím not tall as you (5-10) hovering around 200 pounds and no Iím not fat. Peak condition I will be 185-190 built like an ox . Years of manual ranch labor and weight training has kept the muscle on my 51 year old carcass. There are times I hit the wall hard and two days rest seems to do the trick. My riding pattern is usually 2 days on 1 day off and that works over the long haul for me. Some days I take easier rides with less hills to recover but still keep the blood flowing.
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Old 07-14-19, 01:12 PM
  #36  
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Oops I answer this thread twice. I’m losing it in this Texas heat.
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Old 07-14-19, 03:16 PM
  #37  
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Great thread from start to finish...would like to hear some more from OP.

JAG
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