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  1. #1
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    always tired....

    This has been a good season for me. With plenty of group rides, my technical skills improved significantly, leg strength improved (now riding 1x9 or SS), and I raced in my first two races, finishing mid-pack beginner at both. However, all summer and even now I seem to be dragging all the time - hard time concentrating/focusing at work (always thinking about bikes ), yawning, feeling weak, lack of energy. It's probably the classic over-training scenario, but I can't seem to find a good base.

    Currently my weekly routine is something like this:
    M - rest
    T - 2.5-3 mi run (9:30 pace, maybe a touch faster)
    W - 2.5-3 hr technical trail ride (plenty of hills)
    R - rest
    F - 2.5-3 mi run
    S - 2.5-3 hr technical trail ride
    S - maybe another shorter ride, maybe a 90 minute (30 mile) road ride, maybe rest

    The challenge I'm having is balancing the biking with running. I want to be able to run the occasional 10k, and running is much easier to do in the winter, but the real fun is on two wheels.

    Of course there's also nutrition. At 38, I've learned that I need to eat a little bit on the longer rides, like clif blocks or honey stingers. And post-ride I typically chug a chocolate milk and eat a protein bar before eating a bigger meal with a good 3:1 carbrotein ratio.

    For the record, I've been running and biking for over 10 years, though the intensity of the mountain biking has definitely turned up this season. In the past, rides were more casual in nature, but these days it's mostly "go go go" with only short stops for everyone to catch their breath.

    So I don't know what to do, how to get things back on track. What can I do?

  2. #2
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    If you're trying to not be tired then I'd suggest taking another rest day or cutting back some (or sleeping more). If you're trying to get faster at cycling I'd suggest riding more and running less. You are only riding two days a week.

  3. #3
    mnoutain bkie rdier
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    IMO, you are not overtrained. Diet and sleep patterns might need an overhaul? Get some blood work done at docs too if this continues..

  4. #4
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    Yup. You're not over trained. There's nothing tough about your weekly schedule for the amount of time you've been riding. I agree with the poster before me, get some blood work done, maybe you're lacking something. Try to sleep better, eat cleaner and mix up your routine more.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by BmoreKen View Post
    This has been a good season for me. With plenty of group rides, my technical skills improved significantly, leg strength improved (now riding 1x9 or SS), and I raced in my first two races, finishing mid-pack beginner at both. However, all summer and even now I seem to be dragging all the time - hard time concentrating/focusing at work (always thinking about bikes ), yawning, feeling weak, lack of energy. It's probably the classic over-training scenario, but I can't seem to find a good base.

    Currently my weekly routine is something like this:
    M - rest
    T - 2.5-3 mi run (9:30 pace, maybe a touch faster)
    W - 2.5-3 hr technical trail ride (plenty of hills)
    R - rest
    F - 2.5-3 mi run
    S - 2.5-3 hr technical trail ride
    S - maybe another shorter ride, maybe a 90 minute (30 mile) road ride, maybe rest

    The challenge I'm having is balancing the biking with running. I want to be able to run the occasional 10k, and running is much easier to do in the winter, but the real fun is on two wheels.

    Of course there's also nutrition. At 38, I've learned that I need to eat a little bit on the longer rides, like clif blocks or honey stingers. And post-ride I typically chug a chocolate milk and eat a protein bar before eating a bigger meal with a good 3:1 carbrotein ratio.

    For the record, I've been running and biking for over 10 years, though the intensity of the mountain biking has definitely turned up this season. In the past, rides were more casual in nature, but these days it's mostly "go go go" with only short stops for everyone to catch their breath.There it is

    So I don't know what to do, how to get things back on track. What can I do?
    None of your work outs are recovery mode....or at least enough of a recovery mode...

    You also did not do any periodization...

    So yeah a light case of overtraining is starting to happen...

    Take some time off ride only recovery rides for a say three weeks (obviously you still need to ride hard enough to have some fun maybe one of the rides 1/2 effort).

    Then begin to ramp up the effort level on maybe one of your rides and leave the other a lighter ride...

    Course you could read some training books as well

  6. #6
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    Agree with Mr. Scott. Another vote for not enough easy days. Lack of periodization.

    Maybe I see it this way because I'm older. I got best results when planning "easy days/weeks" better.

    Could be solved by making every 3rd week like this:
    M - rest
    T - 2.5-3 mi run (9:30 pace, maybe a touch faster)
    W - 2.5-3 hr technical trail ride (plenty of hills)
    R - rest
    F - 1.0 mile, easy jog
    S - 1.0 hr easy spin
    S - maybe another shorter ride, maybe a 90 minute (30 mile) road ride, maybe rest
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  7. #7
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    Just wanted to say 9:30 pace is a pretty slow pace for a run. Those runs on Tues and Fri already amount to extra rest days based on the info about how long the OP has been biking/running (10yrs). So I'm echoing the previous comments that the OP is not over training.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by jeffscott View Post
    None of your work outs are recovery mode....or at least enough of a recovery mode...
    gonna disagree here, a lot. he has 2 full days of recovery a week, and then 2 full days where he's only exercising for 20-30 minutes at a pretty easy pace.

    to overtrain in the 2-3 days a week he is doing somewhat serious exercise (which even here is debatable since we don't know what these technical rides are like in terms of elevation, stop time, avg hr...etc) ...the OP would have to be absolutely killing himself for 2-3 hours. and it's hard to aerobically kill yourself doing technical stuff on a group ride because you just can't consistently put down enough power for it to really add up....it's more of an on-off burst thing, and then wait to regroup or all try a specific drop/climb...etc.

    not to mention the idea of 'recovery rides' is highly debatable, especially concerning amateur athletes. that time would probably be best spent actually recovering....which he already does 3-4 days a week.

    and periodization for a mid-pack beginner who's just having fun doing some group rides and short runs? geez. just ride....your body will adapt. you don't need to start doing base miles and build phases and peaking and rest phases because you're yawning at work.

    i'd look at your sleep and nutrition, and get some type of journal/calendar and log what you do in terms of type of exercise, time exercising, and some type of measure of effort....ie.
    "this ride kicked my butt, i physically couldn't stand up in the shower afterwards"
    "this ride was a mellow pace with lots of stop time"
    "avg hr was __"
    "slept for 8+ hours last night and felt great during the ride"
    "couldn't get to sleep last night and felt slow"
    "ate this before ride and felt like this"
    "ate this food during ride and felt like that"
    etc
    just so you can analyze everything on a deeper level than 'this is about what my schedule is' and try to figure out the factors that are causing problems if you continue to have energy issues.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by BmoreKen View Post
    And post-ride I typically chug a chocolate milk and eat a protein bar before eating a bigger meal with a good 3:1 carbrotein ratio.
    You could be over doing it on the protien and/or dairy. Do you really need all this? Over-stressing your digestive system can certainly make you feel lethargic.

  10. #10
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    I also doubt it's overtraining/overreaching and more likely something to do with diet or sleep and affecting hormone levels and in return affecting recovery and mood (feeling tired and lethargic).
    I've been there at a much younger age than you and it's a misserable existance to say the least, but after finding out what was up and why it was easy to correct and now at 35 l'm more energetic fit and powerful than l was in my mid 20's.
    Exercise is supposed to make us feel better and more energetic asuming were not digging ourselves into a state of overtraining which I doubt is the case here as your training load is just not that high, you really shouldn't be feeling as tired as your say and it doesn't have to be this way,
    I would definitely go see your doc and ask to get your free and total testosterone levels checked as well as thyroid function and a full blood panel; iron levels etc.

  11. #11
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    Good advice, all, even though some bits may sound conflicting it gives me lots to think about. Thanks very much

    More details: The typical group ride would be ~15 miles, 1500 ft elevation gain, average speed 7-8 mph. Terrain is mid-atlantic singletrack, with plenty of logs, short but steep up/down, and rock gardens and stream crossings. On the longer climbs, I'm typically right close to my max effort, but the longest climb is probably 10 minutes.

    And yes I would agree that a 2.5 mile to 3 mile run is not significant, but for me it's a decent morning cardio workout.

    I'd also agree that from my logs it doesn't seem as though I'm over-training, hence my curiousity. Yeah, higher intensity might mean a few weeks to adjust, but if I'm getting sufficient sleep and enough food I should be OK. Not walking around "stunned" all day.

    When I mentioned post-ride choco milk and protein bar then later a bigger meal, I meant the bigger meal a few hours later. What I've read is that you shouldn't be focusing on protein so much as a 3:1 or 4:1 carb-to-protein ratio. I might scour these boards for rec's on post-ride recovery nutrition.
    Last edited by BmoreKen; 09-27-2011 at 05:52 PM.

  12. #12
    lgh
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    If you're tired, it's related to an imbalance of total stress versus recovery (rest and nutrition). Your total stress includes lifestyle issues such as work and family. Medical issues such as allergies also enter into the stress and recover equation. These other things can be more stressful than training and should be considered.

    Larry

  13. #13
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    Can't recommend enough to get blood work done if you can swing it with your doc. I had a Vit D deficiency I found out about last year and taking a daily supplement made a big difference in energy levels.

    I don't think anyone mentioned this yet but how have your heart rate readings been? At waking? At rest? During workouts and recovery? I've heard if you have a hard time getting it up during exercise it's a symptom of overtraining.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by lgh View Post
    If you're tired, it's related to an imbalance of total stress versus recovery (rest and nutrition). Your total stress includes lifestyle issues such as work and family. Medical issues such as allergies also enter into the stress and recover equation. These other things can be more stressful than training and should be considered.

    Larry
    That's good advice. Other people's training schedules aren't a good guide to your own requirements for recovery.

    The overall training volume might sound low in isolation but you should still listen to your body. Doing the same routine with no rest weeks for an extended period of time will result in fatigue building up cumulatively. A small amount of additional fatigue each week adds up over several months. Use periodization in your training to make sure that you give yourself a chance to recover.

    If you're tired then give it a week with no cycling, no running and plenty of sleep and see how you feel after that. Hopefully you should start to feel a bit more energetic again.

    Severe fatigue could also be down to having picked up something like a viral illness (which would affect your recovery from training).

  15. #15
    lgh
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    Quote Originally Posted by Crosstown Stew View Post
    I had a Vit D deficiency I found out about last year and taking a daily supplement made a big difference in energy levels.
    I can virtually guarantee most people in the the northern states will not have optimal Vit D levels. It is important they be optimal. If you can't afford to have it checked, use supplements as directed. It is not likely you will become Vit D toxic. I followed Mercola's recommendations with his sublingual spray a couple of winters ago and checked my lab value in the spring, before I started going out in the sun. (Vit D is normally synthesized via sun exposure.) It was upper range of optimal. Please note that normal is NOT the same as optimal. mercola.com discusses some of this.

    Larry

  16. #16
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    Hydrated well?

    I can tell you that every time I start feeling tired like you've described it, it's due to lack of sleep, increased stress/depression/Winter Blues, or being dehydrated. How many hours of sleep do you get per night? Do you suffer from the Winter Blues or depression? What color is your urine and how often do you urinate?

    I hope I'm not getting too personal here. With depression and/or Winter Blues, you might not realize it as that because the symptoms are often very physical and not recognized as symptoms of depression. I believe that a Vitamin D deficiency can contribute to this as well. Some people who suffer from this actually use tanning lamps.

    It's really easy to be chronically de-hydrated if you don't stay on top of your water intake too.

    I'm no training expert, but I put in a lot more effort than what you've described and don't have any real energy problems that couldn't be explained by the things above.

  17. #17
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    You guys are definitely hitting all the right questions. The thing that seems to be the most likely candidate right now is my sleep schedule, which is frequently altered by my dear wife, bless her heart. I'm a big routine person, trying to go to bed and get up the same time every day, but she is the complete opposite - she sleeps, eats, wakes up when the mood strikes her (seeming at random). When I'm winding down after a long day, she's ready to stay up all night and talk about all the minutae of our everyday existence. And if I miss that window of opportunity to get to sleep, where I crawl into bed and I'm asleep within minutes, then I'm awake for an extra hour or two, yet still needing to get into work early the next day.

    I'm going to look at this more closely. This and stress (from work, etc.) - I never really considered how this in combination with exercise could lead to fatigue, but it certainly makes sense. I suppose after a stressful week at work, I might want to dial the workouts back a notch, or ensure that I can get the extra sleep I need.

    Other than that, perhaps accumulated fatigue, since there are some weeks where I'll get out for longer rides several days in a row, mostly due to good weather. Between hurricanes and torrential rains, we've been getting hammered here on the east coast, and it puts you into a mode of "get out and get it while you can" in between storms. The trails near me don't recover very well from the rain.

    All of your opinions and advice are GREATLY appreciated, even if it's just to reassure me that I'm not over-reaching. Big thanks!

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