Overtrained......in general?

Discussion in 'Cycling Training' started by CatSpin, Apr 7, 2003.

  1. CatSpin

    CatSpin New Member

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    Damn crit ! Got dropped on a Cat 5 crit this weekend that several years ago I was the killer out there. HR fine, but weak legs...got heavy about 3/4 of the way through. Got me a thinkin' about something. Per forum members' suggestions (and thanks, VO2, for the article about Training & Pizza) to ease off of the Spinning trainng I do as a part-time job, I started to hit more weights in the gym. Virtually no legs but the usual "other" muscle groups. After a recovery Spin class today at 120 BPM or below, I hit the weights, bi's & tri's. I noticed that my HR climbed to 140-160 at times. I didn't think much about it as I thought, "hey, at least I am not using my legs".

    This begs my question. Do I always need to be concerned with my HR during recovery days even if it is driven up by use of another muscle group? Do we use HR training to measure what is happening in our legs, heart or both? How does training other muscle groups affect one's performance on a bike?

    My loss of power during the crit felt like an "overtrained" day for me. With all this focus on HR and legs, I may have overlooked my "other" efforts and their effects on recovery in general.

    Wanting to race better but not willing to let go of the muscles, or do I have to.


    CatSpin
    :confused:
     
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  2. J-MAT

    J-MAT New Member

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    Sorry to hear about your crit performance. It really sucks to get up early on a weekend, pay money to enter, and risk your skin in a crit, only to do poorly.

    You are a spinning instuctor. You are also a competetive rider. Spinning is a great workout for most people. However, it can mean different things to different people.

    To train for racing, you need to train for racing. This is not spinning, even though spinning is a form of cycling.

    If the spinning classes dip into even a small portion of your physical and systemic strength reserves, you energy levels will be at less-than-optimal levels.

    This means you cannot push as hard. The ideal situation for a rider is to train extremely hard on the bike, and do absolutely nothing the rest of the time.

    Ideal recovery for a rider is putting yourself almost into a coma-like state. The less you move any bodypart, the more energy you will have to recover with.

    Peeing into an empty milk jug will help you recover faster than if you walk to the bathroom. This is obviously extreme, but you get the idea.

    So if you are training hard and leading spinning classes, you are taking away from optimal recovery. Possibly take a day or two off the bike, then ride slowly until you get recovered. Ridiculously slow. Like 12 mph. If the winds are strong, this may be too fast!!!

    Low cadence (60-85 rpm or so), and low speeds. When you feel fresh again, go for it!!! As for heart rate, keep it under 60% of max. You shouldn't feel the pedals with the balls of your feet on a recovery ride. Go so slow you feel silly!!! Let kids on BMX bikes blow past you!!!

    More importantly, how did you train 5 years ago when you did well?

    This is where keeping a training log over many years will help you. Look back 5 years and see how fast you used to climb the local hill, what gears you typically used in races and training, etc. You may find you are not at the same level today. You will know instantly what level you are really at instead of going off memory.

    This is where accurate power data is very helpful.

    If 5 years ago you averaged 280 watts for a crit, and this year you are only putting out 240 watts, you know exactly how much work you have ahead of you!!!

    Of course, power meters weren't widely available 5 years ago.

    They are now!!!

    Good luck!!!
     
  3. clever_guy

    clever_guy New Member

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    CatSpin;

    I think you have to look at your training volume and how you are feeling. There is overtraining, there is being burned out, there is a crash (dip in specific performance) and there is improper training (as in less than optimal). Overtraining can have some serious results, not the least of which is injury. If you are actually falling into the overtrained catagory, you can generally tell by shifts in mood. That kind of physical stress bleeds over into emotional stress - and can change your disposition. Chronically overtrained people tend to get a lot of joint and muscle pain as well as changes in heart rate.

    If I were you I wouldn't stress out too much on one race. Everyone has bad days, and some of those bad days are race days. Do a little analysis as to what lead up to the performance dip,and try and figure out what makes the most sense to you as to what caused it. If your general trend is towards increased performance, and you are meeting your goals, then chalk the bad race up to experience (chances are you will have more bad races over time - along with the good ones). If you get moody, or get the training blahs - take a day or two off and see if it helps. Short term breaks (a few days) sometimes leads to performance gains.

    Have some fun with it,

    -CG
     
  4. CatSpin

    CatSpin New Member

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    Thanks J-MAT and CG !

    Since my poor performance the week before, I got my legs back and nabbed 2nd the following week. I attributed my poor performance previously to a week's worth of squats, one light recovery day and then off to the races...BAD IDEA to prepare for my first race in 5 years, but the following week I felt super strong in the final sprint. For the most part, five years ago I was strictly a crit racer (consistent top 10 finisher) as weight and muscle mass keep me from attacking on the hills in 100K plus races. I plan to stay the course with the crits this year and beyond. I will heed both your suggestions and try to "be conservative" when I train my clients on the spin bike. It's tough though...once a good tune kicks in I have a tendancy to go flat out. I have determined it is virtually impossible to spin at less than 120 rpm, geared up and at 85%-95% MHR when Van Halen is being blasted on the stero in the spin studio. I will have to become as good an actor as a spin instructor to keep my HR at 60% and still appear to my clients I am about ready to pop a lung. Will do though.

    On the recovery thing, what are your thoughts on the recovery drink. Do you suggest a brand or blend I should try to obtain to keep the recovery diet on track?

    Back at em' next week,

    CatSpin
     
  5. J-MAT

    J-MAT New Member

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    CatSpin:

    Excellent choice in music!!!

    Glad to hear your form is coming back. You know what to do. Keep up the good work!!!

    Drinks are helpful when you don't feel like eating, like the few minutes immediately after a race. Coca Cola works real good and is easy to find. You can buy a carb powder if you want. Most of them just don't taste that good, even though the makers say they do. Look around, experiment and find what makes you(and your stomach) happy.

    What's your favorite: David Lee Roth or Sammy Hagar??? Any VH make me happy!!!

    Later!!!
     
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