Why would a long Endurance ride leave me so trashed?

Discussion in 'Cycling Training' started by LT Intolerant, Mar 24, 2014.

  1. LT Intolerant

    LT Intolerant New Member

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    I've decided to turn myself into a human lab rat and give Polarized training a go (see link).

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3912323/

    I've done a mix of SST (base building) and Polarized in the past (vo2/TH w more rest as race season approaches) but I'm more or less trying to follow the protocol in the study. The study approach calls for 4 Endurance rides, 2 for roughly 90 minutes, and 2 that run 2.5-6 hours, and 2 high intensity rides.

    I did two, 3 hour 45 minute rides last week, and I was surprised at how much glycogen (2030 kj) I burned w an intensity factor of ~ 65%, and how trashed my legs were the next day. Most people I know see these as easy rides but IME they are pretty draining, almost as draining as a slightly shorter, hard, group ride (3:30 ride burning 1942 kj).

    Anybody else experience the same thing with long Endo rides?

    Thanks!

    gene r
     
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  2. swampy1970

    swampy1970 Well-Known Member

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    That study sounds very much like a regular early season training plan that emphasizes longer easier rides.

    Is a sub 4 hour ride at .65 really an endurance ride, or something you just do to make sure that your bars and saddle are in the right place and won't give you untold gyp on a double century, a 400km or longer ride? I typically find that .64 to .68 is the relm of 9+ hour rides. My last 400km was 0.685.

    Endurance comes pretty quickly. When you're starting off, you may need to watch your carb intake like a hawk and err on the side of a bit too much rather than too little (don't be afraid to experiment) and have something pre-prepared to eat and drink sitting in the fridge if you're getting back feeling smashed. That said, you shouldn't really be smashed off a ride like that unless you took it way easy during the ride and did some hard intervals in places.

    When you get back you need the carbs right away - BEFORE you take a shower. If your legs are trashed because you're not used to 4 hour rides then using a foam roller on your legs after a shower/bath will probably help ease the 'next day' woes. I find that doing that before my main meal helps more - not sure why, it just does. Keep the carb and protein content of your main meal where it needs to be.

    You can't say how much glycogen you "burned" just because of the KJ reading, if that was the case the last 600km I did and racked up over 9000KJ, I'd have been downing Coke and chowing down on snickers bars and donuts for days to replenish all those sugars. I actually ate surprisingly little.
     
  3. LT Intolerant

    LT Intolerant New Member

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    Thanks for the input. From what I can tell the study doesn't specify a specific period of the year (ie, base, build, etc).and I think most people would say that a 3:45 ride with an IF of .65 is an endurance ride. In fact its the endurance intensity that many world class athletes do the bulk of their training in (see link).

    http://www.sportsci.org/2009/ss.htm

    It may be an on-the-bike or post-ride refueling issue, or it may be that I'm carrying too much fatigue from the HIT sessions..

    Last, IME the kj burn, in the range of 500/hr, isn't that far off the mark based on all that I've read, observed, and experienced.

    gene r
     
  4. swampy1970

    swampy1970 Well-Known Member

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    The link may show that world class endurance cyclists do a ton of training sessions at that level but the fact is, you're not a world class endurance athlete. I'm not a world class endurance cyclist. World class endurance cyclists regularly do 3 to 6 hour rides and you don't. By default this means that they're well trained for a period of time at a level relative to their threshold power that you're not. It's not a bad thing, it just means that you're not as efficient at extended efforts relative to you threshold power that they are. If you've spent a ton of time doing L3 and higher efforts before then a meager L2 effort for 4 hours will be troublesome. Congrats - you've identified it as a weakness. Slowly, work on it. Slowly is the key word.

    If you struggle at .65, back off and ride at 60% of your threshold. When you ride be careful of your effort on hills, uphill drags and bridges/overpasses. Keep the effort in check by using your gears and letting the speed fall if required and feed/drink well. When you go downhill, keep the effort up if you can. The drinking/feeding is a double edged sword. If you ride too hard, you'll have trouble with the nutritional side. Back off until you find the balance and train, not strain. If a well paced 65% leaves you with dead legs either go to 60% for the same time or chop 1/2 hr off the duration. Something has to give.

    You train to get better, leave the straining for race situations where you're hanging on for grim death and hoping for a result. Target each training session with a specific purpose - do not exceed the requirement for the session. If you can't hold it then it's either unrealistic or you're tired. If it's too easy, complete the session as planned and see what happens next time. Test and reevaluate if required.
     
  5. LT Intolerant

    LT Intolerant New Member

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    Great observation and advice. Thank you very much. I received the same advice/insight of-list from a highly respected coach.

    BTW I'm crushed to learn I'm not a world class cyclist! I blame it on my parents and send them my therapy bills ;-)

    Thanks again.

    gene r
     
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