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  1. #1
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    Cool-blue Rhythm Middle of season slowing down

    Hi there,
    This thing happens to me for the second time: last year it was the same and this year I notice that I ride slower than the beginning of the season. I race XCOs, marathons and one 24 hours solo (but I rested 6 hours during the night).
    In 2 weeks I have an important race: a marathon and I wonder if a whole week's rest would do me any good or things would go for the worse.
    SO, here's the plan: this weekend Saturday and Sunday 2-stage race and next week: Monday- 1 hour slow recovery pace, Tue, Wed, Thur and Fri - rest days; Saturday - 1 hour slow ride with some sprints. Sunday - big race.
    I supplement Vit. B complex for my anemia. Do I need more supplements or other vitamins to recover?
    I am 35 years old, I've been riding and racing for 5 years now, female.
    I would appreciate any other ideas for middle of season "reset". I want my power and freshness back

  2. #2
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    Subscribed as my wife has the same conditions. Hoping for any insight as well.

  3. #3
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    Hitting that second peak takes some planning. People talk about burning matches in a race, but I find that a person can also burn matches throughout a season; and by the end of some seasons, there are none left.

    To mitigate this, I do a couple of pretty standard school-book things:
    -Take a week off mid season
    -Base train again after that break (actually, base training has now become my default solo riding mode)

    Sure you'll be out of shape a bit after a mid summer break, but after month or two of building up, you may hit your best performance of the season.

    I think the plan you have layed out seems the best at this point. Taking a week off now will only get you out of shape. There just isn't enough rebuild time for this upcoming event. It typically takes 2 weeks to get back where you were (after taking 1 week off).

    But results may vary considering week-off prior to a "fried" condition. You'll likely just have an "just under par" performance, but unlikely a peak performance.
    Head Coach, Ben Lomond HS MTB Team
    www.utahmtb.org
    Cycling Team and local Club:
    http://www.roostersbikersedge.com/

  4. #4
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    I had the same/similar issue year-over-year and never quite the got of it. For 2012 I was shooting for a slower build-up, but still feel like my best races were in March/April. I think I was going fairly well in June, but wasn't feeling as fit or fast.

    I think part of it is just building that good strong base consistently, and also, it's tough to maintain all summer. You wind up probably building up more fatigue doing more intervals and races, and it may just be difficult to climb out of that hole. Like what Ponch is describing.

  5. #5
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    Middle of season slowing down

    You mentioned anemia. Is that iron deficiency anemia? Do you have regular tests at the Doctors to keep on top of the anemia?

    http://www.irondisorders.org/iron-deficiency-anemia

    Do you drink a lot of coffee (high caffeine intake can result in wild swings of energy levels during the day.) Coffee can also interfere with iron absorption.

    http://thedietitiansdiet.blogspot.co...interfere.html

    Are you vegetarian?

    How many hours a week riding have you been doing?

    If the fatigue and low energy levels are from hard training and the priority is the race the weekend after next Sunday 29 September (today being Thursday 19 September) How about:

    Today (Thursday): Off
    Friday: Off
    Saturday: (Off have a lie in and sleep all day, skipping the stage race)
    Sunday: (slow social group ride, rather than the stage race not trying to prove anything, just enjoying riding)
    Monday: (1h30 road ride, endurance pace, slightly above recovery ride. If you feel tired skip this ride altogether and sleep instead)
    Tuesday: (Off)
    Wednesday (1h road ride, endurance pace, slightly above recovery ride)
    Thursday (1h road ride, little bit harder)
    Friday (1h30 ride, offroad steady ride with no big efforts but do some sprints)
    Saturday (1h30 ride offroad, maybe pre-ride the course. Do a few good efforts but then really ease off for final 30 minutes of the ride to finish fresh)
    Sunday (Race)

    The main things being to avoid the racing stress this weekend, get the intensive resting out of the way now and then by riding every day Wednesday to Sunday make sure that your legs are still in a racing frame of mind. Too many days off immediately before a race can see your legs seize up and feel heavy when you need them most.

  6. #6
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    Thanks to all of you for the insight!
    I have Vit B 12 anemia, iron is ok. I am not vegetarian but even in winter when I eat lots of meat, I can't raise my hemoglobin above 118-119.
    My team registered for the race and I am definitely racing this weekend. Maybe I should keep a tempo riding on the first day, just trying to finish (40 km) and on the second day I'll be fine (only 30 km), I'm used to riding multiple days in a row.
    WR304, you are right about many rest days will do me no good so maybe I should switch rest days and training days 50-50. It's too late for a big break.
    And I should be more consistent in keeping a diary of the hours ridden and also check my hemoglobin and Vit B more regularly.

  7. #7
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    Middle of season slowing down

    I think it really depends just how tired you are currently. If you're properly shattered already then doing more racing isn't going to help prepare for next Sunday, only digging a bigger hole of fatigue.

    You could try lots of beetroot juice:

    http://www.53x12.com/do/show?page=article&id=128

    What I do when trying to recover from hard training (or hospital operations) is sleep lots and also increase my protein intake, to hopefully give my body what it needs to get going and repair the damage.

    For food after particularly hard sessions I aim for 1.5 to 2g of protein per kg of bodyweight per day, mostly from whey protein shakes but also quite a lot from fish (salmon, tuna that sort of thing). My go to quick meal after a hard ride is often salmon sandwiches with a glass of semi-skimmed milk.

    http://www.chatelaine.com/health/die...summer-recipe/

    The other thing I try and do is sleep more. There's a good saying "don't stand if you can sit, don't sit if you can lie". If I'm really tired I'll go to bed and try to sleep, rather than sitting in front of the TV or similar. Wrapping a blanket around your legs keeps the muscles a bit warmer, which can help them relax.

    What I've been trying for improved sleep is taking 5-htp & melatonin supplements together before bedtime. 5-htp in particular seems to work well for improved sleep quality. If you can get some deep sleep you'll wake up feeling better the next morning.

    http://www.gnet.org/5-htp-a-natural-...o-the-unknown/

    http://www.sleepfoundation.org/artic...onin-and-sleep

    For riding next week I'd consider something like Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday off (I always find I need three consecutive days for post exercise muscle soreness to really subside) and then ride Thursday, Friday, Saturday, gradually building up.

    You could also do the Team Sky warmup procedure before the race to hopefully get your legs loosened up.

    Team Sky Time Trial Warmups Explained:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q3VL5JCqQhQ

  8. #8
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    Quick thread jack...sorry. Regarding beet juice...the stuff is great. Especially for longer distance efforts. Red Ace Organics sells some concentrated shots in whole foods and on line. The difference is noticeable. Lots and lots of articles and studies on the internet. Google away! Here is a recent Todd Wells quote "When I had to pee for USADA after the race it was bright red from the beet juice I drink before the race. The doping control officer said everyone’s pee is red now since everyone drinks beet juice. It use to be an advantage to drink it because not everyone knew about it’s benefits, now if you’re not drinking it you’re behind the ball."

  9. #9
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    I got burnt out mid season this year. Didn't have any power in the legs and overall fatigue. It probably didn't help that I had also bought a house that needed some work so I really wasn't resting at home. The next race in the series was going to be a scorcher (over 100 degrees) followed by the State Championship up high in the mountains. I made the call to skip the heater race and actually force myself to relax. I didn't do any work at home for several days. I tried to eat good and drink lots of good fluids. After my little break I was impressed how much better I felt and I had one of my better races at the State Championship. Sometimes a good cleansing break is just what you need.

  10. #10
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    Middle of season slowing down

    How did you get on at the race on Sunday?

    Were you able to recover enough from the stage race the weekend before to do well?

  11. #11
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    Hi,
    Thank you for asking! I think I was able to recover but some other factors had their influence: I had a puncture and after that a problem with the inner tube. I finished only 2 minutes faster than last year when I had a puncture, too (very rocky terrain). Also I wasn't riding my XC HT but instead I borrowed an AM FS because I wanted to be comfortable (it took me more than 5 hours to finish). Another point to mention: it was my PMS and I was 3 kg heavier because of the unpleasant bloating. The course was really hard as usual but I didn't have strong competition so I finished first in my group
    The week before the race I ate a lot of beet and also lots of meat for the protein. I trained 3 times between the races but not too hard.
    Now the season is almost over and I will rest more but keep biking.
    Thanks again for the support!
    Last edited by MichelleB; 10-01-2013 at 01:30 PM.

  12. #12
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    Middle of season slowing down

    That's good news that you got a decent result out of the race.

    For next season I'd suggest mapping out your calendar well beforehand, so that you can plan your training around the race schedule. If you have a break before you run into the mid season slump it may help to develop better form later in the year.

    Keeping a training diary is useful too. It allows you to look back at what you did each year, learn from that experience and hopefully improve for the next season. I like to put quite a bit of detail about how I felt into each entry, along with weather conditions and anything else that may be useful for comparison such as equipment choices (tyres used, tyre pressures if non standard etc). When looking back in a few years time it's always difficult to remember everything so opting for more, rather than less detail is usually best.

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