Am I overtrained, or something else?

A light bike doesn't replace good fitness.

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AW84
Posts: 93
Joined: Fri Aug 15, 2014 7:04 am

by AW84

This is a bit long, but I'm hoping for some input to help my situation and salvage the summer.

I've been averaging about 8-9 hours of training a week this season, with a peak week of maybe 11. It comes out to around 175-200 miles a week, which has been customary for me over the years. In the latter part of this spring, I encountered some occasional leg fatigue (not so much general body fatigue) on some rides, but a couple days off and I was riding strong again. But no part of my training thus far this year exceeded or even met the overall effort + volume that I've done before. Three weeks ago, I head out for a short interval ride, feeling good and motivated, and 10 miles in my legs and body just shut down in a way I'd never experienced before. My legs felt like they'd just been 1,000 miles, completely drained, sore, and it was everything I wanted just to ride home. So I opted for a rest week, cutting my mileage back by 50% and riding flat roads at a slow coffee-ride pace.

A week later, I felt mostly rested and headed out, rode really well for about 15 minutes and then my legs and body crashed out hard again. Same scenario...could barely make it home. Unwilling to sit on the couch and miss the nice weather, I rode an easy-moderate pace the next couple of days, and just battled through fatigue and soreness, a total lack of power (as in, not even enough power to pedal up a small hill), and abnormally-high heart rates. At that point I took four full days off, and again felt ready to go. This time I headed out and took it easy to gradually work my way back into form, but discovered right away that even going slow wasn't easy -- my heart rate was very high and just going 16-17 mph on a flat road, the lactic acid build-up/general muscle soreness was akin to how I usually feel going almost all-out. And even going easy, within 30 minutes I was back to being so fatigued that I couldn't muster the ability to get home. The only thing I can compare being on the bike to is when you're sick with the flu and that sensation of not having the energy to lift yourself out of bed....there's nothing in my legs at all. Post-ride muscle soreness is also significantly beyond any norm I'm accustomed to. So I've just put the bikes away and shut it down now entirely.

Throughout all of this, I've been getting 8+ hours of sleep a night, eating well, still consuming electrolytes and protein, my resting heart rate is normal, and once the muscle soreness subsides, generally feel as well as I have at any other time during the height of riding season. But when I get on the bike, there's nothing there, and it shows no sign of coming back.

This whole thing set in without any warning, and at the time I felt great and was riding strong, so there was no reason to suspect that I was even overreaching, much less overtraining. I've had times where I was potentially overreaching, and it was nothing in scale to this. A couple days and I was good as new. So, I don't know if it's really this simple to cross from good form to completely overtrained, or if there's a medical condition in-play here. Thoughts?

by Weenie


ericoschmitt
Posts: 74
Joined: Fri Apr 21, 2017 7:47 pm

by ericoschmitt

If I were you I would not be worried about bike or training. Go see a doctor, and get your blood tested. I'm no specialist on anything, but thats really weird! Wish you the best! Post updates.

antonioiglesius
Posts: 290
Joined: Sat Oct 15, 2016 9:08 pm

by antonioiglesius

It kind of sounds like the lactic acid isn't being removed at the usual rate. I don't know why though (not an MD), I second seeing a doc.

Shrike
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Joined: Fri Jun 03, 2016 5:08 pm

by Shrike

Quick question, have you been dieting/losing weight recently?

glepore
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by glepore

3rd on the doc. Get a Lyme titer while you're at it.
Cysco Ti custom Campy SR mechanical (6.9);Cannondale SS Evo Di2 7970 (5.79); Willier Cento Uno Air Di2 9070 (7.0); C40 Mk2 DA 7800 ; Anvil Custom steel Etap;1996 Colnago Technos Record

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protocol_droid
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by protocol_droid

Look into adrenal fatigue. Sounds like you're overtrained. I"m currently going through this. Stress of all kinds leads to this outcome. You will more than likely have to train only aerobically with low heart rate for some time to get back into being healthy, not just fit...assuming all other outcomes are ruled out by a general practitioner.

Read about Dr. Phil Maffetone. He's trained ironman triathletes and has over 30 years research on this topic of overtraining and adreanl fatigue. In addition, some simple adrenal fatigue videos like from Dr Berg on youtube can also get you started with background.
naked 3po, the first weight weenie.

AW84
Posts: 93
Joined: Fri Aug 15, 2014 7:04 am

by AW84

Shrike wrote:
Fri Jun 22, 2018 10:07 am
Quick question, have you been dieting/losing weight recently?
No dieting or weight loss.

AW84
Posts: 93
Joined: Fri Aug 15, 2014 7:04 am

by AW84

protocol_droid wrote:
Fri Jun 22, 2018 3:32 pm
Look into adrenal fatigue. Sounds like you're overtrained. I"m currently going through this. Stress of all kinds leads to this outcome. You will more than likely have to train only aerobically with low heart rate for some time to get back into being healthy, not just fit...assuming all other outcomes are ruled out by a general practitioner.

Read about Dr. Phil Maffetone. He's trained ironman triathletes and has over 30 years research on this topic of overtraining and adreanl fatigue. In addition, some simple adrenal fatigue videos like from Dr Berg on youtube can also get you started with background.
I have suffered from adrenal fatigue previously, generally a result of stress, lack of sleep, and caffeine consumption all together over an extended period of time. I can usually identify it primarily with lower back pain and general full-body fatigue. While I wouldn't necessarily rule it out here, I didn't have any of those causes in-play, nor have seen much/any of the usual symptoms.

One thing I did leave out of my OP: I'm a profuse sweater, and expend a lot of salt regardless of the temperature. Generally I don't start to see my kit caked in salt until 3-4 hours in, but on the ride that set this all into motion, I was covered in salt inside of 35-45 minutes, which was particularly odd.

KWalker
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by KWalker

You're likely not overtrained, but stressing one energy system too often or too much. The sympathetic and parasympathetic systems respond differently to various intensity levels. Maybe you were previously doing too much higher intensity and despite lower volume, not enough easy miles to balance it out? The way you described is how I felt doing one of Chris Carmichael's Time Crunch programs way back in the day. By the end I was actually slower and felt like garbage. Blood tests were fine so I took a week off and then started back fairly low intensity and volume and gradually built up.
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bm0p700f
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by bm0p700f

That why junk miles are good miles. Lots of low intensity are actually essential. If you are riding 200 miles a week in 9 hours that's too fast. The bulk of my miles (nearly 500km per week this last month) are done at 15-17mph. Today I had a faster paced ride with some intervals. Too much fast riding will leave you feeling flat. Rest and learn to love slow. It has simply transformed my performance.

ericoschmitt
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by ericoschmitt

bm0p700f wrote:
Sun Jun 24, 2018 9:52 pm
That why junk miles are good miles. Lots of low intensity are actually essential. If you are riding 200 miles a week in 9 hours that's too fast. The bulk of my miles (nearly 500km per week this last month) are done at 15-17mph. Today I had a faster paced ride with some intervals. Too much fast riding will leave you feeling flat. Rest and learn to love slow. It has simply transformed my performance.
Makes sense really. I had built a new fixie 3 weeks ago, and rode 1200km in the first two with it. Before that I was un-exited with my shitty old road bike (since I'm waiting for a frame to build a new one) so I wasn't really cycling very much. I don't know if I was getting slower, but then I got sick (flu) for a week, and when I got back on the bike I was feeling much faster. So I'll keep my long miles slower and do some intervals instead.

bilwit
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by bilwit

bm0p700f wrote:
Sun Jun 24, 2018 9:52 pm
That why junk miles are good miles. Lots of low intensity are actually essential. If you are riding 200 miles a week in 9 hours that's too fast. The bulk of my miles (nearly 500km per week this last month) are done at 15-17mph. Today I had a faster paced ride with some intervals. Too much fast riding will leave you feeling flat. Rest and learn to love slow. It has simply transformed my performance.
I'm no expert or coach but this is my experience too. You can put in 600-700 TSS week in and week out for a few months but it catches up to you at some point and you can't even really feel it, it just feels like the same old manageable fatigue but in reality you're left plateaued at best, flat and regressed at worst. There's a reason why structured plans like Trainer Road have a low intensity recovery/transition week between training blocks every 5 weeks.

AW84
Posts: 93
Joined: Fri Aug 15, 2014 7:04 am

by AW84

Haven't been able to get in to a doctor yet, but crossed four weeks of this with no improvement. While initially I was fatigued and tired in general off the bike, I feel great now at all times other than pedaling a bike (and after, when 15 miles leaves me as sore as 100+ used to). It's been my understanding over the years that overtraining is a state of low immunity and sickness, constant fatigue on/off the bike, and highly-elevated resting heart rate. My heart rate is considerably increased while riding, but resting has been normal the entire time.

To address some of the recent responses, there was plenty of low intensity riding the first half of this season -- moreso than high intensity, and intensity in general has been lower than previous seasons.

Is there any rhyme or reason here I'm missing? It almost seems as though my body isn't providing needed nutrients to my lower extremeties, or isn't processing nutrients properly at all. But it happened pratically overnight.

zefs
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Joined: Sat Aug 05, 2017 8:40 pm

by zefs

Do you have the correct nutrition plan to support your program? Might want to check your iron,D and B12 levels.

glepore
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by glepore

I ran into a bout of something similar earlier this season and fixed it (mostly) with added carbs-sweet potato etc. In my case it was a combo of not enough carbs and a medication change (for neuropathy related to an old sci, went to Cymbalta).
Cysco Ti custom Campy SR mechanical (6.9);Cannondale SS Evo Di2 7970 (5.79); Willier Cento Uno Air Di2 9070 (7.0); C40 Mk2 DA 7800 ; Anvil Custom steel Etap;1996 Colnago Technos Record

by Weenie


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