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  1. #1
    GMM
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    overtraining syndrome

    So I don't think I train enough to really have overtraining syndrome, but when I look at the symptoms, I seem to check the major boxes: Unable to get my heart rate elevated on the bike lately, feeling tired, trouble sleeping, lots of upper respiratory illnesses-- especially this year.

    On Saturday, I went out for a 40 mile road ride with about 3,300 ft of climbing. I wasn't pushing very hard, but felt really fatigued, and then on the climb, I felt as though I could barely make it (yet my HR was in Zone 3, maybe beginning of Z4).

    I haven't ridden since Saturday and hope this goes away, but wondering what others have done when "overtrained" if that is what it is instead of just numerous back-to-back illnesses. My resting HR in the morning has been normal (checked every morning beginning Sunday).

    I have been riding about 7 - 8 hours a week and doing yoga and other core work about 3 hours a week. Not too much different than last year. And in reading about overtraining syndrome, I do have a lot of others stressors that I won't go into.

    What should I do? Last thing I want to do is stop riding. Hoping to do a gravel race (probably the 60 mile option although was hoping to do the 100) first week in June. Only Mountain bike race I care about is early August. So far this week, I have slept 9 hours each day (which feels great) and of course watching my nutrition.

  2. #2
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    Could be a lot of things... cumulated fatigue, sickness, iron deficency, or something else.

    Initially I'd say you might be going through a breaking down period. This is a time when your suceptible to injury, burn out etc but if you can train in a healthy manner through it you can get some awesome rewards. I would keep training unless it continues for more than a couple weeks without any good days or if it just goes horribly wrong.

  3. #3
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    Would you think about overtraining if you were just riding? Just ride! You are talking about 8-10h a week; there is no overtraining, only some fatigue. Relax and ride your bike.

  4. #4
    GMM
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    Thanks Guys, that is what I would like to do-- continue riding. I am guessing that people with true overtraining syndrome ride 15+ hours a week, but when I read up on the symptoms, the consequences of riding through true overtraining syndrome seem dire (like possibly needing to take months off if pushed too much). For me, I was really more concerned that maybe cumulative stresses (job, "other things", 2 hour daily commute-yuk) have had a physiological training effect. I may take a few more days completely off and just ride a bid without thinking about "training" although I really want to train for my targeted upcoming events.

  5. #5
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    Here's a thought... use the strava related extension "stravistics" to help keep track of training load. Its not perfect but based on Friels principals they crunch some of your numbers to determine whether you are rested, optimal or over training. Might want to check it out as its free

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    Quote Originally Posted by khardrunner14 View Post
    Here's a thought... use the strava related extension "stravistics" to help keep track of training load.
    I will second the "Stravistics" recommendation. You want to reference the 'Mutisport Fitness Trend' tool. You'll need to have used a heart-rate monitor or it will not include your rides. If you have used a HRM, it will pull-in your history and graph your Fitness Fatigue and Form.
    Of course this is all load based... it cannot assess whether or not something else is at play... iron deficiency, etc.

    Two other tools I use with my Apple Watch: Autosleep and HeartWatch. They gauge your sleep patterns and heart-rate throughout the day, including resting (or waking) heart-rate. Waking heart-rate is a great gauge of recovery.
    TTUB - Ventura County California

  7. #7
    GMM
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    I didn't know about Stravistics, but I just checked. I do use a HR monitor and I guess it provides a good starting point with Stravistics. I see my form (fitness - fatigue) peaked in mid-February which makes senses as that is when I last felt pretty good. My calculated "form" in the last couple of weeks has been negative. Wish I had a power meter but don't really want to drop $500+ right now. Thanks for the suggestion on this tool.

  8. #8
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    If you have all your rides logged in Strava I'd have a look at the summaries there (Training - Training Log) and just scroll back down through what you've done so far this year.

    Does every single week look about the same? 7-8 hours riding, plus 3 hours a week of yoga and other fitness work) What often happens is that if you're limited on time every ride ends up being a hard ride. 7-8 hours of riding hard all the time is enough to wear yourself down doing that week in week out, especially if you're doing high intensity work and intervals.

    It might not happen straight away but if you've been doing a typical early season build period (eg: pushing hard since the start of January without much in the way of rest) this is around the time of year where it will all start to catch up with you.

    Along with that you mentioned that you've had recurring upper respiratory illnesses all year. Are you actually healthy at the moment? It sounds to me like there's a possibility you could have picked up an illness earlier in the year, and then never properly recovered from it?

  9. #9
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    How much recovery were you taking as part of your training? And, how often have you been doing high intensity rides or even sweet spot or temp rides? They all add up to fatigue, which is good, but you need to recover to get adaption from the training.

    Lots of people burn out on 7-8 hours, maybe not full over training, but certainly burn out after a few months and feel like crap & performance goes down, so they train even harder, which does NOT help.

    You might be getting burnt out. The thing to do is LISTEN to your body & recover. The worst thing you can do is "push through", specially if you've been sick.

    Good luck.

  10. #10
    GMM
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    Thanks guys, I think it may be the case that I never did fully recover from some early year illnesses. I live in the SF Bay Area and we've had a historic rain year and I think half my rides have been in the rain (probably just feels that way). I have really only started with intensity as I was trying not to get sick again. Ironically though, my yoga class is "strength" yoga and is very high intensity-- like I feel like I may pass out sometimes. Eventually, I think it will benefit me from a stronger core but I am going to just attend the stretching classes until I get back to normal. Based on all the feedback, I think the best plan is to just listen to my body and do some easy rides and maybe just play around on the trails.

  11. #11
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    how much are you sleeping? I found I sleep better by using ear plugs.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by GMM View Post
    Thanks guys, I think it may be the case that I never did fully recover from some early year illnesses.
    I used to live in SF (in the city) and recently moved to DC which is pretty flat. I noticed i was more fatigued and needed full day+ breaks because of all of the climbing. I could also get more out of shorter rides too, but the hills are killers.
    Now I can put in more hours with out getting fatigued.
    Point is if you should try to have dedicated hill days and then flat recovery days. It might work out that perhaps you are not a climber and the hills stress your system to where a moderate 8hr week puts you in an overstressed training load that TSS does not track.
    Also, your additional 3 hours of activity need to be counted too even if its z1/2 HR zone...its still stressful on your system and should be taken into account. If 3 hours a week is not a ton in the off season but in the heart of race season my extra-curricular activities dwindle to an hour a week at best.
    Plus one on the strava fitness/freshness metrics. Its not perfect and the real coaches will balk and even call F&F laughable at it but if you consistently train with power and heart rate and consistently look at the metric i think its a great tool.
    MyRides - Santa Cruz Tallboy CC, Van Dessel Ramble tamble SS, Look 986 1x10,

  13. #13
    GMM
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    bob13bob, I am actually sleeping very well this past week. Best I have in a long time. I haven't ridden in 8 days, and plan on starting back up tomorrow slowly.

    mackdhagen, I have been doing plenty of riding on flats during the week, but that will change with better weather finally setting in. I prefer to climb, even if I don't excel at it anymore. In any event, my target events have lots of climbing so that's what I need to train.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by GMM View Post
    So I don't think I train enough to really have overtraining syndrome.
    There seems to be a misperception that only pro-level athletes are able to overtrain, but it just means you're continually training beyond your ability to recover. Person A might be overtraining at 300 miles a week while person B is overtraining at 50 miles. It all depends on the base you've built those numbers on.

    As others have mentioned, look at your Strava numbers. Are they all over the place or are they steadily increasing? You mention that you haven't ridden in 8 days, that's a pretty long break even for the overtrained. But it also sounds like you have plenty of time before your key events and you probably have more fitness than you might suppose.

    My suggestion is to rewind and begin to build a more solid base of fitness. If 40 miles with 3k of climbing kicked your butt then go for some 20 milers with 1.5k of climbing. You'll recover much faster and soon you'll be ready to add some miles rather than feeling the need to take several days off because you pushed it too hard.
    Last edited by Sizzler; 05-30-2017 at 01:42 PM.

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    I dont know a lot about endurance training, but I found out i over trained for lifting. used to do 90min gym days 5 days doing all kinds of crap a week and saw poor results. Then i read up in bodybuilding rippetoe's guide, and reduced each day to 3 compound lifts only, making sure to alternate muscle groups. I slept more and dieted better. I saw a lot better results while training less.

    Nino said in his video's he trains 6/7 days, 2x per day, 1000 hr/year. At his extreme pro athletic level he's averaging two 1.5hr sessions/day. That's not a lot. Quality over quantity. He does very interesting training methods which u can find on youtube. His gym workout below is only 30minutes, but it's full on.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EC-tA1ZqWlU

    btw, even though his squats might not look 100% deep (can't see his lower half of hte body), he's doing 6 plates which impresses me for a guy his size.

  16. #16
    GMM
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    Sizzler, 40 mile road ride on Saturday with 3k of climbing is an average Saturday ride for me almost year around. I should have emphasized that. That's why I was surprised I was laboring so much. I usually ride dirt on Sundays. In any event, your point still applies. I am going to do flat easy 20 mile rides next couple of days and hit the trails both days this weekend with a little more intensity (7 hours total). Hopefully, full on back at it next week.

  17. #17
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    On Strava I'll change the title of each ride so that it includes how I felt.

    This helps to focus on how I'm going and makes it easier to work out what the rides were if you look at them again in future. I normally label the rides as Ride type, Wind direction, weather, feeling

    eg: Z2 Ride (headwind on way out and tailwind back, nice day) felt tired

    I use Going well (top form), Felt quite good (good form), Felt ok (standard ride), felt tired (substandard), felt awful (very bad)



    This picture shows an extract from Strava Training - My Activities from a few weeks ago. I've noted each ride as to how I was feeling, along with adding in the rest days to show they link together.

    You can see how after a few consecutive days I'm starting to use "felt tired", but then after a day off I'm back to "felt ok". Towards the end of the week I need more rest though, one day off not being enough to pull back from the built up fatigue. 19 March 2017 I used "felt tired, backache and saddle sore all ride". After three days completely off I was back to "felt ok" again for the next ride.

    I'd suggest doing something similar with the notes for your rides too. If you read your previous post above this one you're talking about doing 4 consecutive days riding in a row. Adding in a note each day will let you keep an eye on if that is something you're handling in terms of recovery.

  18. #18
    GMM
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    Great idea WR304. I didn't even know I could do that on Strava. I used to do something very similar on excel but stopped several years ago when I switched to Strava. Went out this morning and had a "normal" Z3 HR for me for the first time in weeks. It felt good.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by GMM View Post
    Great idea WR304. I didn't even know I could do that on Strava. I used to do something very similar on excel but stopped several years ago when I switched to Strava. Went out this morning and had a "normal" Z3 HR for me for the first time in weeks. It felt good.
    Depending on the set of zones that you're using a Z3 ride is still trying quite hard. Per the Coggan zones that would be a tempo ride, which isn't exactly a "flat easy 20 mile ride" (scroll down to read the detailed description by each zone).

    https://www.trainingpeaks.com/blog/p...aining-levels/

    Was a Z3 ride what you intended to do? This is something that I'm quite bad for, actually backing off enough on the "easy" days to not be tired on the days when I want to be able to push hard.

    I'd be cautious about going straight back to turning every ride into a hard ride or fairly hard ride, as that will just be repeating the pattern which has been causing you issues this year already. I think you'd probably do better to try and vary it. Eg: plan out two properly hard days (Wednesday and Sunday perhaps) where you'll do interval sessions, maximum commitment on the climbs etc and then treat the other rides during the week as ones where you genuinely keep the intensity down, in order to recover for the next hard day.

  20. #20
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    Recovery weeks should be a regular thing. The LW Coaching 40+ plan has 2 weeks "on" and 1 week recovery. The under 40 has 3 weeks on for each recovery.

    Sent from my SM-G935V using Tapatalk

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    I always find it more beneficial to try and assess how I feel hours after my workout (or next day). During the activity I'm terrible at accurately determining how tired I really am. I used to use my heart rate as an indicator.

    Eventually, I was able to toss away my HR monitor and go strictly on feel alone. Often I was feeling tired if: 1) not enough rest prior to the activity, 2) not enough calories in my system to begin with and 3) not hydrated enough.

    After an intense activity, I found that a good meal with good re-hydration and a nap worked wonders. Especially the nap part. Really helped with recovery a lot!

  22. #22
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    As you mentioned, you are hanging in Zone 3, the "fun-fast, group ride" zone.

    As Friel says, if that's the zone you'll be racing in (marathon distance), good. If you're trying to go faster and harder, you're going to want to polarize your efforts and do a hard day with Zone 4 intervals, alternated by an easy Zone 2 or rest day.

    Joe Friel - Should You Train in Zone 3?

  23. #23
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    I know everyone is talking zones to avoid over training but having been there before one of the things that i've done is to just not focus on them all together and jsut ride hwo you feel.

    Its hard when you are in group ride scenarios and thats when its good to monitor that sort of things (still like HR for this...especially over training) but really just ridign for the joy of it all gets you back on track. my .o2
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