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  1. #1
    GMM
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    Help: T-1 Week and in Trouble

    So the race I have been training for a few months is next Saturday (8/03/13), and I feel like I have zero power the last couple of weeks. I have followed a base-build program, and have averaged about 9 hours a week on my "on" weeks. I have been riding for a long time so this isn't a case of riding a bunch more than I typically do although my hours are certainly up this year.

    The last two weeks I have backed off on intensity and volume. But my legs feel heavy even on my easy rides-- and even sore the next day. Last week I wanted to try to get some volume in so went on a 3 hour road ride, but kept my HR in the low 130's. My legs were toast by that evening.

    I pre-road the XC course this weekend and absolutely blew-up. I literally had to find a shady tree and rest for 10 minutes up the climb. I didn't ride at all during the week hoping to get a complete rest

    At this point, I think maybe the race isn't going to happen, although I would Hate to miss it. Any advice? I haven't felt this bad in years. Btw, I am a mid-pack sport rider in this event. To be fair, it's a tough race-- Downieville Classic for those in Northern California. Starts off with a climb that is I think 3,000 ft over the first 8 miles.
    Last edited by GMM; 07-29-2013 at 11:50 AM.

  2. #2
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    if you dont already have one, you need a foam roller.

  3. #3
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    Hydrating properly and eating enough (healthy fueling carbs as well)? Are you getting enough sleep at night?

    Maybe also just need a short hard ride to re-awaken the body/legs if you've been taking it easy? Maybe you're fighting illness?

  4. #4
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    What Ms. Mann said. Hard ride to wake up the legs.

    Only time I ever tapered for a race or series of races, I got physically crushed in the first race (SuperWeek...100km Pro/1/2 crit). After that, I kept on feeling better and better over the course of two weeks.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by miss rides a lot View Post
    Hydrating properly and eating enough (healthy fueling carbs as well)? Are you getting enough sleep at night?

    Maybe also just need a short hard ride to re-awaken the body/legs if you've been taking it easy? Maybe you're fighting illness?
    I found lately that eating enough "real" food was part of my dead leg syndrome.

    Mix in not getting enough sleep and these two were really slowing me down. This is pretty good advice by Allison.

  6. #6
    GMM
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    Good advice all! Yes, I have a foam roller. I am definitely looking at nutrition and sleep. I'm covering all bases. Even just got a blood test at my doc. Am going to focus on sleep and nutrition this week. Both haven't been optimal, but my performance falloff seems very disproportionate. I will definitely try to open the legs up this week. I certainly have nothing to lose. Resting isn't helping. Thanks again.

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    Quote Originally Posted by GMM View Post
    I will definitely try to open the legs up this week. I certainly have nothing to lose. Resting isn't helping. Thanks again.
    I'd intersperse maybe 2 short hard workouts with easy days, and get that sleep and nutrition back to optimal. Unless there's something in blood work hopefully you'll be feeling much better by the weekend.

    It helps to find a tail wind

  8. #8
    Bro
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    I found this article to be an interesting perspective on the traditional pre-race taper. Here's another vote for a hard ride to get your legs moving again. To peak or not to peak ? and why our bodies can fool us - VeloNews.com
    I've made some bad decisions like taking the gears off my bike. So here's the warning: Do not as I say, nor as I do.

  9. #9
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    Per Joe Friel:
    "In a classic study conducted at the University of Illinois a group of runners and
    cyclists who greatly cut back on their training by reducing the frequency and
    duration of workouts while keeping their intensities the same improved their
    aerobic capacities, an important measure of fitness, and endurance performance
    significantly. Those who reduced intensity but kept frequency and duration the
    same lost fitness. Do not decrease the intensity of training as you approach your
    most important races."

    See "Peaking to race by Joe Friel" below
    joe friel | Love Cycling

    I also read by Friel (blog or training bible) that if you are tapering a few days before race to do this:

    Example - If last hard ride is Wed for Sunday race:
    Thurs: 3 intervals @ race pace or slightly above x 1.5m with 3m recovery
    Friday: 2 intervals @ race pace or slightly above x 1.5m with 3m recovery
    Sat: 1 interval @ race pace or slightly above x 1.5m with 3m recovery
    Sun: Race

    The reason for above is Friel's example is you do not "lose the feel of the pedals"

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by GMM View Post
    So the race I have been training for a few months is next Saturday (8/03/13), and I feel like I have zero power the last couple of weeks. I have followed a base-build program, and have averaged about 9 hours a week on my "on" weeks. I have been riding for a long time so this isn't a case of riding a bunch more than I typically do although my hours are certainly up this year.

    The last two weeks I have backed off on intensity and volume. But my legs feel heavy even on my easy rides-- and even sore the next day. Last week I wanted to try to get some volume in so went on a 3 hour road ride, but kept my HR in the low 130's. My legs were toast by that evening.

    I pre-road the XC course this weekend and absolutely blew-up. I literally had to find a shady tree and rest for 10 minutes up the climb. I didn't ride at all during the week hoping to get a complete rest

    At this point, I think maybe the race isn't going to happen, although I would Hate to miss it. Any advice? I haven't felt this bad in years. Btw, I am a mid-pack sport rider in this event. To be fair, it's a tough race-- Downieville Classic for those in Northern California. Starts off with a climb that is I think 3,000 ft over the first 8 miles.
    I just had a similar episode, been racing quite a bit (2x per week) and started to feel low energy and my legs felt heavy. Went back to the basics of diet and sleep, started to do more tempo and threshold work on the trainer and left the hard rides for race day. I couldnt get rid of it. Then I got a sinus/inner ear infection, my wife had been sick about a month prior. I was down a week and went on a Z-pak. After a week, I feel like my normal self. My guess is your body may be fighting off fatigue and illness and is using all its resources trying to keep you healthy, therefore there are no resources to fuel your riding. I'm racing Dville this weekend, what class you in? I'm in Sport Master Men 45-54.

  11. #11
    GMM
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    [QUOTE= I'm racing Dville this weekend, what class you in? I'm in Sport Master Men 45-54.[/QUOTE]

    Haha... same class. I'll be the guy on the old Titus Racer X wobbling up the big climb.

  12. #12
    GMM
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    I just get my blood test back. Doc said everything is fine, except I did see my glucose level was 68 and the standard range is 70 - 99. She said it was fine, but that kind of seems like a problem to me. Vitamin D was low and she recommended supplements which I will buy today.

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    Ha...fellow Titus rider. Cool. I will most likely be on my carbon Rockstar although I've been entertaining the idea of riding my El Guapo so I can have fun on the DH. Get some glucose tablets at the drug store while you are there, while just out of range, the low number cant be helping. Your muscles are fueled by glycogen.
    Glucose cycle - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

  14. #14
    GMM
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    Just wanted to follow-up here since so many of you were kind enough to share your wisdom. Hydrating well and getting a couple of short intense rides in before my event were helpful. I also learned that it's a real bad idea to lose weight on a calorie restricted diet as race time approaches. I think this contributed to low glucose and low red blood cell counts. I really loaded up on protein And carbo loaded for 2 days prior to my event. This really seemed to help. Still felt a bit sluggish at the start of the race, but I felt better and better as the race progressed, and finished strong for me. I went from feeling 65% of normal strength a week ago to 90%. So I'm glad I didn't pass on the race as it was really fun.

  15. #15
    Bro
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    ^ Nice job. You'll often hear that race season isn't the time to drop weight through calorie restriction. That, combined with the physical stresses of racing, will be too much stress for your body to handle. Take the off-season to restrict calories and ride at low intensity and lose weight that way. You'll probably still lose a bit of weight during the race season, but it's much better to lose weight when you don't need those extra calories so badly.
    I've made some bad decisions like taking the gears off my bike. So here's the warning: Do not as I say, nor as I do.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bro View Post
    ^ Nice job. You'll often hear that race season isn't the time to drop weight through calorie restriction. That, combined with the physical stresses of racing, will be too much stress for your body to handle. Take the off-season to restrict calories and ride at low intensity and lose weight that way. You'll probably still lose a bit of weight during the race season, but it's much better to lose weight when you don't need those extra calories so badly.
    YMMV, but I always lost weight base training and started the season out lean; had good races, and then wound up gaining a little through the summer race season. Never raced as light in July as I did in March. Not saying it's the way to go (summer races weren't always as good for me), but I definitely didn't restrict calories as much when doing the race efforts more frequently.

    OP - Glad you felt better and had a good race!

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