Overtraing/Over reaching.

Discussion in 'Cycling Training' started by tomUK, Sep 3, 2009.

  1. tomUK

    tomUK New Member

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    Somewhat an difficult question to answer; however, how do you know when you've recovered from this syndrome?

    I guess the problem is knowing how deep you've dug yourself in. It seems (worse case scenario) that 12 weeks will fix an athlete.

    Is there any way to tell when you have recovered from overtraining? Or should I just wait 12 weeks and know this number will do it?
     
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  2. daveryanwyoming

    daveryanwyoming Well-Known Member

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    How did you arrive at the conclusion you're clinically overtrained as opposed to just tired and needing some extra rest?

    FWIW, a number of very experienced coaches have weighed in here and on other boards stating that of the hundreds of athletes they've worked with very few have actually fit the classical description of overtraining and most bounced back quite well with just a bit of extra R&R.

    If you truly are overtrained in the long term sense then your season could be shot and 12 weeks might of rest and easier riding might not be enough. But it's just as likely you need a week or two away from training and then a slow ramp easing back into sustainable work before resuming any high end or short interval work/racing.

    But regardless the first step is the same, get away from the bike and training for a week or two. Go do some fun stuff you've put off and enjoy your 'vacation'. After a couple of weeks you'll likely either be chomping at the bit to get back on the bike or you'll still be fried and that should tell you a lot about how deep a hole you've dug and what to do next.

    Good luck,
    -Dave
     
  3. tomUK

    tomUK New Member

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    Thanks Dave -

    I read this article and really had a think about things:

    Overtraining

    Aside from this i've had a massive drop off in performance. What is more, I have a lot of trouble sleeping and just really don't look forward to training anymore.

    I think this has been a on-going thing. Three to four years ago I had an FTP of 292W and I was doing less hours training. Now I can bearly hold 265 for 20 minutes. No illness or any other issue - blood work shows nothing. What is worse is that I just can't seem to improve. Just for a little more info I'm 33 years old.

    I've wondered, am I over-trained or over-reached. I guess maybe i'll have a better idea in 2-3 weeks? Is there any way to know when your body is ready to come back?

    Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks
     
  4. Wlfdg

    Wlfdg New Member

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    As Dave said, rest is certainly in order. Get a massage. Do some contrast bathing.

    Something else to consider is nutrition. Have you been eating enough? Are you eating high quality calories or just food? Are you sufficiently hydrated?
     
  5. 64Paramount

    64Paramount Active Member

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    Just to throw out some more ideas, how is your mental health?

    Job related stress, marital problems, or any situation that might trigger depression can certainly affect your physical performance, your normal sleeping patterns, and your overall mental outlook which might include a lack of enthusiasm for a sport you used to greatly enjoy.

    Or maybe you're just a bit burned out and need a change of pace...

    I don't know, like I said I'm just throwing out some ideas to consider.
     
  6. EuroG

    EuroG New Member

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    Gauge it by feel, power numbers, resting HR and when you "feel" normal again on the bike. Compare these vaulues to previous rides and note the changes.

    I went through a bout of overtraining this past off season in Maui, HI. Sucked terrible but I made it out after a couple weeks off. I knew I was better when I could take my HR to zones 5A and beyond without a problem, a high HR is difficult to attain while overtrained. It's a tough hole to dig out of but take it noice and easy and your body will tell you when your ready again.
     
  7. tomUK

    tomUK New Member

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    Thanks for the reply guys.

    I'm wanting to err on the side of caution and not swing back into it too soon. Last summer I took 3 weeks off and I don't think that fixed it fully. It would be nice if I could fix this in 4 weeks but I think that 2 months is probably the min. It's tricky as I don't want to be away longer than essential but i also have to bear in mind that the more recovered i come back the better chance I see of getting that 300W ftp back.

    Wouldn't it be nice if there were a simple blood test?!
     
  8. swampy1970

    swampy1970 Well-Known Member

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    So what training/riding have you been doing? You may be tired and lacking enthusiasm but is it really due to excessive riding?
     
  9. tomUK

    tomUK New Member

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    probably 170 miles+ per week. I think - if you read the thread - you will see that I used to have an FTP of 292W. Now, its probably 250W. Also, the 292W felt much easier to punch out than the 250W does, in addition i've do more training now than when i have an FTP of 292W!
     
  10. swampy1970

    swampy1970 Well-Known Member

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    How hard do you ride the 170 miles per week?

    Just because you're putting out less power and feel tired doesn't necessarily mean that you're overtrained...
     
  11. tomUK

    tomUK New Member

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    I guess I'm getting old before my time. Why are so many people afraid to accept its overtraining? One of the big factors is that my mood is strongly affected after a hard interval workout. I used to feel great after these efforts. Now I feel very much similar to how i feel on the morning of a hangover.
     
  12. longfemur

    longfemur New Member

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    If you just rode the bike instead of "trained", you could probably ride every day, ride farther, and never have any problems. It does sound to me like perhaps you have overtrained and you need a good long break. Or you could just ride more moderately and enjoy it for a while. Don't make every ride a performance -- nobody else cares anyway.
     
  13. gn1tmac

    gn1tmac New Member

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    Overtraining is something people over diagnose. If you get on bike for the first time and ride hard too many days you will likely suffer from an over use injury. This could be knee pain, back soreness, muscle stiffness, etc. This is not overtraining!

    Overtraining is going to be more than fatigue, its where your body begins breaking down and you will likely become ill as the immune system becomes weakened. Overtraining is more likely if you are on a calorie restrictive diet. 9 times out of 10 people will suffer from an over use injury before they get to the point of being overtrained.

    Tips to avoid overtraining:
    1. Consume at least .75 grams of protein per lb of body weight. This will help with the nitrogen balance and enable you to repair and recover from training
    2. Consume 30% of your calories from omega-3 fatty acids to help the body deal with the inflammatory response to training
    3. Sleep! Sleep! Sleep! min 6 hours per night with some sort of a nap or get 8 hours of sleep in a 24 hours period. Sleep is the ultimate recovery aid. most if not all of the growth peptides inside the human body peak during sleep
    4. Alternate training intensity! muscle confusion will force the body to handle different loads.
    5. Stay adequately hydrated at all times. dehydration slows the body's ability to counter inflammation
    6. Work through fatigue by dialing back the intensity. give the body a chance to catch up
     
  14. Piotr

    Piotr New Member

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    Keep also in mind that after a few weeks off you will be relatively out of shape, so still not being able to produce power is to be expected albeit now for a different reason. It may take a couple of weeks of easy riding after a prolonged rest to really determine whether there's still lingering fatigue or if it's just normal detraining.
     
  15. swampy1970

    swampy1970 Well-Known Member

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    I'm not afraid to accept that it could be overtraining but I believe that most people don't do enough to be overtrained in the first place...
     
  16. kmavm

    kmavm New Member

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    We're not afraid, just frankly skeptical. Take our skepticism in the spirit it is offered; I squandered a lot of fitness in my first few years of training out of a terror of "overtraining," and we'd like to save you that wasted effort.

    1. Read this (and while I'm at it, anything else you can find by Rushall): Institutionalized Overtraining
    2. In my, and many of my friends' personal experiences, when performances are suffering, we're not looking forward to training, maybe even feeling a little septic, a few days off is a sure cure. I.e., "overreaching" is indistinguishable from "overtraining" in terms of signs and symptoms. In both cases, the prescription is the same: reduced load until enthusiasm to train returns.
    3. Many coaches who have worked intensively with hundreds of athletes have never seen a case of classic "overtraining", where the athlete does not bounce back given a few days of rest and perhaps a few weeks of reduced load, barring occasional endocrine problems (e.g., thyroid or testosterone deficiencies). See Friel: "When I do a talk I often ask the audience how many have been overtrained. Almost everyone raises their hands. My guess is that fewer than 5% in any such athletic audience, even with mostly very serious athletes, has truly achieved overtraining." Joe Friel's Blog: Thought on Overtraining

    Regardless, reduce load a bit and see where it gets you, and don't think too hard about whether or not you're "overtrained." You're obviously sick of the sight of your bike right now, and that's no state in which to make progress. Whether or not you're "overtrained," per se, you need a break, so take it. Just don't worry you'll "overtrain" again once your desire to train returns.
     
  17. tomUK

    tomUK New Member

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    Sure, I totally appreciate what you are saying. I think that just looking at my symptoms alone are a big clue.

    My resting heart rate was 33bpm, now I see it in the late 40's. I'm producing less power with more training. Seems to be a big clue to me. Athletes are so motived to training that time off is one of the hardest things for them. that is well known. I'll read the article. Thanks for sending it.

    A question on the side - has anyone noticed that upon ceasing training for a couple of weeks that they total break out in acne? I feel like a 13 year old right now...about 20 years behind my time!
     
  18. Felt_Rider

    Felt_Rider Active Member

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    As I ponder this question I believe it is possible.....reasoning out loud

    Adrenal fatigue caused by continual stimulation of the adrenal glands from stress or training stress can potentially increase cortisol levels. Increased cortisol levels can lower testosterone levels. The two hormones are antagonistic to each other. Rest can return cortisol levels to a normal level and testosterone may rise back to a normal level or at least seem like a rise since cortisol is lowering. During the period of resting from stress the hormones may be out of balance a little with a rise in testosterone. Testosterone can cause and outbreak of acne. Training can also cause testosterone levels to rise as well, but there is a balance to all things that we strive to achieve.
     
  19. JohnMarks

    JohnMarks New Member

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    Many riders adopt the philosophy of hard work produces good results in order to become better riders. These riders spend long hours in lifting, training, stretching and focusing on improving their performance. Training always helps to enhance the performance. However, overtraining might not be a very good idea. It can result into injuries which might keep you away from the sport for a long period of time. You should be able to balance both recovery as well as training in the best possible manner. Usually, this occurs when you are not able to balance training and recovery correctly.

    So the best solution is to take some days/weeks off. Take a couple of massages within a 3 weeks period. Rest a lot, read, walk, sleep, forget the bike for some time. Or do any other sport you like, swimming easily may help, or perhaps some hiking?
     
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