Detraining - physiological changes

Discussion in 'Cycling Training' started by grahamspringett, Jul 12, 2009.

  1. grahamspringett

    grahamspringett New Member

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    I've been off the bike for a month with a cold and sinus infection which then got onto my chest. I'm recovered now and am about to start some easy recovery rides.

    What has happened to my mitochondria during my inactivity? What are the physiological changes which occur during detraining?
     
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  2. SolarEnergy

    SolarEnergy New Member

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    I am no physiologist. But just taking this little challenge as a game, I'd say that not much happened to your mitochondria with such a short period off bike. Euhh well. It may be border line a bit. No change in number, maybe decrease in size?

    On the other hand, you probably lost most of the extra plasma volume gained through sustained training. As a result, you may experiment higher than usual heart rates. More importantly most enzymes (by the dozens, don't ask me their names, I call them all 'anythingkinaze') involved in aerobic metabolism probably don't remember how to work fast. They are now stupid and slow, which is likely slowing down its rate (aerobic metabolism) by quite a lot. The two causes listed in this paragraph are probably what hits you the most. Mitochondria alone can't do much. They need the employees. You cut down on orders made to the plants for a month, employazes that got lazy and slow will need some time to gain back their efficiency. But the plants themselves (mitochondria) won't disappear with such a small period off bike in my humble and uneducated opinion. (And besides, they may have been little busy fighting against this nasty bug you got ;))

    Muscles, depending on several factors, maybe intact maybe little atrophy, maybe will feel incredibly fresh. Hormones? Likely going to overreact. Body weight? Maybe little loss maybe fortunate after all? And of course, fatigue will kick in earlier probably because of... Bah, I may as well stop there and leave all the room to the real experts :)

    (Don't hesitate to denote any mis-information I may have given to the OP. I was just gaming here.)

    Enjoy your rebuild and take care!

    PS - Over time, I came to realize that often, these season "bad lucks" don't turn out to have such a negative impact on athletes' season. Maybe it's my plans that are faulty after all :rolleyes:
    PPS - Over time I carried on this fantasy of asking my top level contenders to self-inoculate themselves with several roots influanza and cold viruses. I'd rather be sure they get sick if at least I can control when it's going to happen. :D
     
  3. grahamspringett

    grahamspringett New Member

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    After a week of gentle riding I tried a few short efforts and managed more than I expected in terms of power output. I suspect if I rode in a fast group I'd die a thousand deaths but in steady aerobic efforts I seem to be not far off where I was.

    All I gotta do now is build up time.
     
  4. Alex Simmons

    Alex Simmons Member

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    yep
     
  5. nmcgann

    nmcgann New Member

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    I find that very true - after 2 weeks off the bike I am 10-15bpm up compared to the same power levels pre-layoff.

    It takes me a couple of weeks hard training to get my HR back down to normal levels.

    Neil
     
  6. SolarEnergy

    SolarEnergy New Member

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    the aforementioned detraining effect (drop in plasma volume) is probably one of the first to occur. It does occur probably within the first week of inactivity.

    Fortunately, it is not very problematic (given that one isn't pushing himself to higher end of aerobic spectrum). Although it can be slightly intimidating especially for those who pay (often too much) attention at trying to keep their HR low. Note that higher than usual HR at a given power level can also be cause by Adrenaline (and maybe some other less known hormones as well) which may overreact a bit also as a result of inactivity, or so is my belief.

    For what it's worth, I still carry my hr monitor with me on every ride, and like to take a look at it once in a while. I like high figures though, and as far as I am concerned, every season when I hit my FTP personal best figure, I reach it thanks to my heart that is beating faster on average by a few clicks compared to previous FTP values.

    My highest avg hr so far has been 169 for 60min worth of effort. I am sure that to get to the FTP I dream of getting, this number will probably have to go up to 173-175.
     
  7. grahamspringett

    grahamspringett New Member

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    I've been doing some 10min threshold efforts and my HR is quite a bit higher than I am used to seeing. However, I've built to 12,10,10 and can manage them reasonably comfortably (as comfortable as threshold efforts get!)

    Doing some more today, so I hope to see lower HR numbers!
     
  8. SolarEnergy

    SolarEnergy New Member

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    Most important when HR is high like this, is to focus on RPE (especially if you don't train with power).

    If HR is high but feels like a walk in a park, then you're fine.
     
  9. grahamspringett

    grahamspringett New Member

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    Yup, high HR but manageable. I note HR but don't react to it.
     
  10. SolarEnergy

    SolarEnergy New Member

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    way to go!!!
     
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