Burning in quads - fatigue or overtraining?

Discussion in 'Cycling Training' started by DanFox, Mar 2, 2013.

  1. scottz123

    scottz123 New Member

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    It's may be a combination of everything - I would just try to make sure I am doing 'all the little things right' - sleep, recovery, nutrition, etc.

    The upper body work 4 times a week is not helping your overall ability to recover - as ambitious as you sound, I would bet you are pushing it pretty hard and it is affecting your central nervous system. This alone might be enough stress for the general population - and now you are doing hard bike rides on top of it - you cannot do it all....just a thought. I hope you are not lifting upper while you are trying to recover...

    Joe Friel recommends at one point in training year (at end of base 1 or 4 months til your first "A" race) going to a strength maintenance mode if you are going to lift - meaning one set of key multi-joint exercise equal to 80% of your calculated 1 rep max - Once a week. I do once, maybe twice a week in off season - with 1 set of chest (push-up or bench press), pull ups, rows, DB shoulder circuit and abs. This off-season I stopped leg lift after Base 1.
    http://www.trainingbible.com/pdf/Cycling_Strength_Program.pdf

    As far as recovery drinks, I heard good things about choclate milk. I buy grape juice 1.5 gallons at a time at Costco, dextrose is cheap on amazon (2 lbs @ $5), whey protein in 5lb tub is an expense, but that will last months (70 servings @ $53) . So roughly that's a little over $1 per 16oz serving.
    http://www.vitaglo.com/6925.html?utm_source=amazonproductads&utm_medium=ppc
    http://www.vitaminshoppe.com/store/en/browse/sku_detail.jsp?id=OP-1013#.UTSR_jBOP2s
     


  2. DanFox

    DanFox New Member

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    I didnt realise that working out upper body might have a detrimental effect on my ability to recover as a whole - but I guess that makes perfect sense. I think iv been trying to do too much, and after the turn of the year panicked thinking I need to up my training to be ready to go for the first race of the season. I definatley get enough sleep, food etc but I think i'll be getting some kind of recovery drink made up as from what you've said thats gotta help.

    I'd love to get a coach, but its not something I can really afford tbh. I think going forward I will have to adapt my training plan and like you say, scale back the gym workouts to once per week and leave a decent recovery time between interval sessions :/ I find recovery days so much harder than a tough interval session though!
     
  3. edd

    edd New Member

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    Do recovery spins, get out and do a very easy ride, enjoy the scenery, this sort of work is greatly underrated.
     
  4. scottz123

    scottz123 New Member

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    Dan

    I am curious - what did these workouts consist of? Did you do splits, where you did one day of push exercises (bench) and another day of pull (rows)? One day of back, one of chest, one of arms, etc? Or was each day overall upper?
     
  5. DanFox

    DanFox New Member

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    I didn't really have a set routine as such, I usually try to incorporate all upper body muscles over two days (Mon + Tue) then take Wed off, and repeat on Thurs Fri. Nothing too structured really, If my chest was a bit sore I would leave it and do something else etc. Always do core exercises a couple of times per week. I'm not trying to build myself up, just didn't want to neglect my upper body and I though it might help with my sprint having a degree of strength.

    AS far as recovery is concerned, I got back on the turbo today after 2 days completely off and felt loads better - spinning an easy gear for 20 minutes, a few high cadence spin ups and my heart rate responded as it normally does. I think i'm getting back on track. Not gonna rush back into it, but I've got a little bit of confidence back for Saturday's race.
     
  6. scottz123

    scottz123 New Member

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    Good to hear! Remember, (I know it is easier to say then do) but just because there is an attack, or sprint, doesn't mean you have to get in it.
     
  7. Turbo329

    Turbo329 New Member

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    Quote:Originally Posted by DanFox . Need some advice on this one - The last few training sessions I have done, either on the turbo or on the road, I cant seem to get my heart rate up anywhere near what I used to be able to before Christmas. I had a two weeks off on holiday over the new year, and when I started back up again the first week or so was ok but my performance has been declining ever since. I also always feel a bit / a lot of a burn in my quads when getting to the top of the stairs....

    The problem is not that I am out of breath and cant carry on when im riding, I just seem to get a huge build up of lactic acid as soon as I begin to push myself and sprint. My max HR is 205 and If I was to do sprint repeats I could easily get into the high 190's, but now I cant get my HR up past 187 ish and it feels like im killing myself to try and do that. My legs just wont go.

    Iv taken 2 full days off and, had a day very easy spinning but when I rode out today as soon as I tried to blast up a hill or two my legs would scream before my HR would even pass 180?! Its very frustrating as I don't feel generally tired, my lungs are certainly not bursting but I just have really bad fatigue in my quads. /img/vbsmilies/smilies/hissyfit.gif

    Last week I got on the turbo, did a warm-up for about 15-20 minutes and I thought as a test I would try and do some Tabata intervals to see if I could max out my HR. I did the first two sets (20 secs max, 10 secs rest) and on the third my legs were like lead and I literally couldn't continue. HR was only 187.

    I guess what I'm asking is what should I do about this? and is it normal to feel a burn in your quads this easily / frequently? Iv taken my resting HR for the last week and its lower than usual if anything, varying between 49-52 (or maybe 55 after a hard session the day before). I was hoping this, and the fact that I don't feel generally run down or tired would rule out overtraining. Not sure where to go from here though, I have a race next Saturday and then again the following Saturday but I feel like at the moment after one or two sprints I wouldn't be able to continue.

    I don't really want to rest up completely off the bike, would a few days very easy recovery (30 mins) on the turbo solve this? Or are there any supplements / vitamins minerals etc that maybe im not getting that could be a reason for this?


    Dan, I've only started racing last year so take this with a grain of salt. I experienced something similar to what you are and in the past I never took more than 2 consecutive rest days because I was afraid that I would lose my fitness. I would train a couple of days, take 1 day off, then 1 day on again and then 1 day off. That was pretty much my routine. But, on days that I thought I felt good, only a few minutes into the workout my quads would start burning and my workout/race would suffer. So I added an extra rest day. I raced on Sunday, Trained on Monday and Tuesday and then rested until Saturday and did a light 20 minute spin. The following morning (Sun) I had one of my best races ever and finished about 2 minutes behind the fast group (fast guys that really shouldn't be in my group - lol ), but I had dropped nearly half of the field which I was unable to do prior. I attribute this to taking the extra time to rest. Everyone's body is different but I find that most people really need the extra time to rest. It's the same reason why people train hard for years and their body always looks the same. When I used to attend the gym regularly I would see the same people in the gym year after year after year and they would never make progress. They were definitely training hard, but they weren't taking enough rest days (some guys training 6-7 days per week), and I'm willing to bet that they were not getting enough sleep. Moral of my post. Take some amino acids before bedtime and try to get at least 10hrs of sleep on 3 consecutive rest days and I garantee that your quads won't burn on your next outing. So far this has been working for me. Then once your body hits that next level of fitness, you may tolerate a higher training frequency better than you are currently.
     
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  8. DanFox

    DanFox New Member

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    Its funny you should say this - My routine was very similar to yourself, I'd ride as hard / as much as possible for a couple of days, then I'd take one recovery day and get back on it. I think that had ground me down over time and eventually put me in the position I was in a couple of weeks ago.

    Over the last two weeks ive been forced to rest up more than usual, and took 3 days completely off the bike, followed by a light 1 hour turbo session at recovery pace and another two days completely off. Got back on the bike last Thursday to do some sprints and felt fantastic, no fatigue at all, and my HR was responding as usual. Had a race this Saturday and like yourself had the best race ive had yet, placing top ten and riding up front / holding position for the whole race and having a dig in the final sprint.

    Just shows that a bit of extra rest is better (for some) than a bit of extra training!
     
  9. obreeforme

    obreeforme New Member

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    Sounds a lot like what my legs are like at the end of an endurance block. A burning mild sensation which can take nearly all of my recovery week to disperse. After a hard race or high intensity shift my legs have very little pain but I couldn't take the skin off a rice pudding! This is where the power meter really has its value for me. It shows you when your legs have serious muscle tears. For your sensation I use my foam roller continuously and it helps keep them 'active'. I don't mean to sound rude but I would doubt if you have overtraining syndrome unless you are doing 30+ hours a week or are sleeping only 4 hours a night
     
  10. DanFox

    DanFox New Member

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    You could quite easily overtrain on a lot less than 30 hours per week if your intensity is high, and your recovery not sufficient. Its not just about volume, its all relative.

    I think had I carried on the way I was going I could have quite easliy overtrained, but as it was I had just dug myself a pretty deep hole and just needed a few days extra r&r to recover. And that was on about 8-9 hours on the bike (mostly 1 hour interval sessions) and 5-6 hours in the gym per week.
     
  11. obreeforme

    obreeforme New Member

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    I spoke to a pro team sports scientist recently who told me the whole overtraining syndrome is a dream for amateur sportsmen that they will never attain... It's extremely rare and wouldn't be mentioned if every daft book didn't talk about it. People think things too much IMO. But yes you may have needed a rest.
     
  12. An old Guy

    An old Guy Member

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    Yea. Too many amateurs think they are professionals. And they look for excuses.

    ---

    The power numbers from last weeks race for Rory Sutherland are on line. 300TSS a day for 6 days. 70-77% IF. A lot of pros in the race were using the race as training - to ride into shape.

    Don't try this at home or you will overtrain.
     
  13. quenya

    quenya New Member

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    Overtrained... or underrecovered? I recently read, I think Dave Ryan said; there is no such thing as overtraining, just being undertrained for the workload you're attempting. I think that may be very true.
     
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  14. dhk2

    dhk2 Active Member

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    Don't know what the clinical definition is of "overtraining" , but I'd want to ask this guy how many of his pro's go to the gym 5 days a week to lift weights, plus do high-intensity training in between races every weekend. How many pro's even race every weekend? I think most pros train and recover a lot smarter than most of us amateurs.

    I'd say the OPs experience with recovery isn't unusual at all, and would expect his race performance to continue to improve as he learns to trains less and recover more.
     
  15. daveryanwyoming

    daveryanwyoming Well-Known Member

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    Well I just quoted Floyd Landis who I believe said that or something similar. I doubt it's literally accurate but pretty close to the truth.
     
  16. Turbo329

    Turbo329 New Member

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    Most average people don't have the same recovery ability as the Pros. Here's my experience. I used to read the training regimens of lots of pros when I would weight train. They'd lift 5 days a week hitting different body parts. I would do the same and all I accomplished over the years was stressing my nervous system. If you squat 300lbs on one day you better not try to bench 225lbs the next day. Your CNS simply needs time to recover. Steroids and hormone therapy don't just make you stronger, but they also accelerate your recovery so that you can give 110% in your workouts regardless of the frequency.

    So I slightly disagree with what your sports scientist is saying. I think it is possible for most average people to over train in the sense that they are not allowing their bodies to recover completely before putting in another intense effort in their respective discipline. Additionally, most people do not have a balanced diet that would be ideally suited for a complete and rapid recovery. So there's another factor.

    On the other hand, what I think he may have been trying to say (I could be wrong) is that most are not training with the proper intensity to achieve the maximum benefit and they think they are over-training based on their work volume and it's current level of intensity. That's correct. But for folks who are training with the proper degree of intensity, then yes it is possible to over-train if their CNS and muscles are not fully recovered.
     
  17. daveryanwyoming

    daveryanwyoming Well-Known Member

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    No doubt many part time riders do not recover sufficiently and yes many attempt to train hard without enough recovery. But there's a big difference between fatigue and the changes in blood chemistry, hormone levels, impaired immune system and endocrine system function that describe clinical over training. Lot's of folks don't take their recovery seriously enough and try to train hard while tired, but most part time riders don't experience the dramatic drops in testosterone levels or elevated cortisol levels or other things that take not days or weeks but often months or seasons to bounce back from.

    But sure, a balanced plan with sufficient recovery and a good diet are very smart and a lot of folks don't pay enough attention to those basics.

    -Dave
     
  18. quenya

    quenya New Member

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    I know a local cat 2 who does nearly euro-pro training loads. Several days a week of 100mile plus rides with 10,000 ft elevation, huge TSS lots of intervals and hill repeats... Seriously high volume and intensity. His race results were not stellar. Despite a huge FTP. He was forced to take a couple weeks off due to a cardiac issue, and after two weeks started hitting personal bests in all his power durations. After almost a year off due to a bad crash that resulted in several surgeries and recoveries he's now riding even stronger than that. Masters guys see it too sometimes a new kid or job limits hours and guys performance actually increases... More is better... until it isn't. Dave, i still like that quote of Landis'
     
  19. Turbo329

    Turbo329 New Member

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    Very valid point, however, you'd be surprised. Not allowing the body enough time to recover fully from a prior workout or workoutS will have a cumulative effect which will lead to OT. Then on top of it, poor diet choices (American Diet) comprised of foods that induce a inflammatory response in the body along with daily stress levels and lack of sleep will actually spike cortisol levels in the body in the average Joe. Low test is more common than you think. I was 33 last year when I had some blood work done which showed low test levels. ...and my routine and diet were decent. IMHO
     
  20. daveryanwyoming

    daveryanwyoming Well-Known Member

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    Me too, I think it gets at the whole 'gotta ramp up towards higher workloads' thing that a lot of folks miss when they jump in and want to improve quickly and try to 'train like a pro' without paying the dues to handle those loads.

    One thing I learned when I finally started getting consistent results and then looked back through old paper training logs (yeah some dating back to '84 through '86 in Fresburgh) was the pattern I had at holding back all winter (several seasons following coaches directions to do just that) and then coming into the season a bit behind my competition and then trying to load up, play catch up, and gain fitness as racing got under way. Those were the times I buried myself, hit the wall, burned out for a while and had to back off to regroup (costing me more fitness relative to the folks I was chasing). That vicious cycle repeated over several seasons and when I did get results it was usually late season after a few regrouping periods and as others had finally had their fill of racing that year and field sizes were smaller.

    In retrospect it seems really clear that the issue wasn't over training over the winter or during spring pre-season race prep, it was under training during those periods followed by over training in an attempt to close the fitness gap relative to my competition.

    Floyd's quote gets to the heart of that pattern and reinforces the notion that you should build up to the point you can handle the work you need to do.

    -Dave
     
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