do you feel out of steam on some days?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    do you feel out of steam on some days?

    I was wondering if anyone experienced certain days where you seem to be in worse physical condition, not a flu or sick but for me sometimes the pedals feels heavy and have to downshift and go light and slow. Wind/tire pressure is a factor too I guess.

    I don't eat the same meals everyday or get exactly 8 hours of sleep, so that might be something to do with not having a consistent level of energy. I was wondering if I maybe I need to hydrate better.

    My thighs are sometimes sore from previous day's riding. I try to drink some protein to help repair the muscles.

  2. #2
    Fat-tired Roadie
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    Whether or not you see your cycling as training, it puts stress on your body. Over time that builds up, and your performance suffers.

    If you're not training for something, just limit yourself to no more than six days a week on the bike, and take it easy when your body tells you to.

    If you are working toward something, you might consider breaking up your cycling into blocks of no more than three consecutive days. Make the last one an easy one.

    Taking adequate off time will make you stronger and stronger, and you should also be healthier and enjoy whatever riding you do more.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  3. #3
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    Absolutely - there are days when your body just doesn't have the performance. That's why why racers "periodize" - to follow the peaks and troughs of performance and time them with events. Even if you are training, it is good to take a day or two off throughout the week for maximal gains.

    As AndrwSwitch has offered, it is best to listen to your body and go easy when you feel slow. If you are training for racing - then the inverse is applicable: Go like heck when you feel good! Overall performance will improve.

  4. #4
    weirdo
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    I definitely don`t have the sane energy from day to day. As you suggested, it might be due to sleep, diet, other activities, I dunno. The previous two posters are likely right about rests, though I can`t vouch for that one way or the other out of my own personal experience.
    Recalculating....

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by PoorCyclist
    I was wondering if anyone experienced certain days where you seem to be in worse physical condition, not a flu or sick but for me sometimes the pedals feels heavy and have to downshift and go light and slow. Wind/tire pressure is a factor too I guess.

    I don't eat the same meals everyday or get exactly 8 hours of sleep, so that might be something to do with not having a consistent level of energy. I was wondering if I maybe I need to hydrate better.

    My thighs are sometimes sore from previous day's riding. I try to drink some protein to help repair the muscles.

    Course this happens....controlling it is what matters.

    First of all....after your ride hydrate within 5 minutes, stretch within 20 minutes, and replace calories within 2 hrs.

    Second you want to have little peaks and valleys.....and get out of the comfort zone regularly.....so you will have off days....but they should occur after a build up form a light day to a harder day...then a harder day.....then a rest or recovery day.

    Third....some days are just bad days.
    Last edited by jeffscott; 09-23-2010 at 07:36 AM.

  6. #6
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    I do. On some days, I just feel worn down. Yesterday was not one of those days. I left work late and got home early and felt great the whole time.

  7. #7
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    I too have had this in spades. It was not simply overtraining/exercise in my case.

    Each of us is unique and so my expereince may not apply to you. I am not giving you medical advice, just relating that some of us get these reactions from our food. I have three siblings (of 7) with simalr issues, so it is hereditary. Enough disclaimers.

    Fewer incidents of low energy at lower intensity have happened to me since I discovered that a number of foods increase my blood pressure alarmingly and affect my digestion in adverse ways. Greatly reduced energy levels occur at the same time, frequent migraines or cluster headaches. I could hardly drag myself up stairs, at times. Or forced to climb a grade in Granny gear that I normallly sail on up with no headwind to point to as cause.

    Through identifying suspect foods, eliminating, and then, adding them back again and again, I identified and eliminated most of my issues and got down to normal blood pressure. This may not be your problem, but you may also recognize that it happenes to you after eating pizza or something more often than when you eat something else. Many report it is often things they like a lot or crave (that may be an addictive side effect of the bodies built in endorphins being raised by a reactive food).

    The big problem foods (percent of people wise) are gluten, dairy, corn, soy, monosodium glutamate, peanuts, nuts, shellfish and food colorings, to a lesser extent eggs You don't have to have a full-blown allergic reaction. You can be and likely will be sensitive to more than one if you are sensitive to any. Six for me including a dosage effect with shellfish, that may be a reaction to Iodine in quantity (no anaphylactic shock reaction). The tomato/potato/pepper/eggplant family (Solanaceae) are associated with arthritis-like and muscular pain that can mess up your sleep.

    f you snore, you may already have sleep disturbances. Anything that messes up sleep reallly messes up energy levels. I already snored and had sleep apnea, so this was insult after injury.

    You are wise to listen your body's feedback, I hope you don't have diet issues as they make eating out a royal pain in the... especially if you eat something you should not.


    BTW medical science is just starting to catch up on the food angle but many more are discovering gluten sensitivity. Your doctor may not be in favor. "It's just food, how can it hurt you?" Mine can't argue with my improved blood pressure, something drugs did very little to help, so he has been great about it. Of course ditching 50 pounds that did not lower blood pressure at all, until the diet change was pretty forceful evidence I was on the right track.

  8. #8
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    for commuting specific issues, I think making your routine very... well... routine is a way to battle that. So, even if you don;t "feel" up to the commute, your body will go on auto pilot. Sure is will be slower sometimes, but should be almost the same after the warm up period. I don't have a job right now, thus no commute routine, but when I did, I had to leave my house at 5:20 to get to work on time. My routine started the night before packing my panniers and placing my lights, cleaning my glasses... going to bed. So waking up at 5:05, I went in sleepy eyed auto pilot. By the time my 5st 5 miles were behind me, everything was same as it ever was (in Talking Heads fashion). Lining up 3 days of commute did require a break however. I rode 16 miles one way and worked 10 hour days in a restaurant kitchen. The work alone without the biking needed a rest day. But with 2 quick runs to the grocery, 3 work trips, that is 100 miles every week. In addition to working 55 hours and only driving twice a week, Not too bad.

    If I were offering advice, I'd say push through and make a routine of it.

  9. #9
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    I appreciate the thoughts and advice on this thread. I commute 5 days a week, adding up to about 150 kilometres each week. When I started this spring, I had more off days than on. Usually Monday's were my good rides, and usually a Thursday but the other were tough.

    Now that I've managed to get somewhat into shape after a summer of riding, I am happy that I tend to have more better days than not now. Usually I will have 1 day a week where I feel heavy and slow. Often that follows the day I felt the best and pushed really hard... :P

    I totally agree with the "auto pilot" thought as well. I often find myself just "going through the motions" on tough days.

    As I never know when a tough ride is coming, I tend to give myself a 10 minute buffer every morning. This means I generally arrive at work 10 minutes early, but on those off days, I can take it easy and not worry about being late.

    Brian, diet is my next hurdle. Now that I'm in shape (somewhat) and lost a bunch of weight (30lbs), I've plateaued. I know I need to address my diet next if I expect to continue getting better, loosing more weight and making my heart stronger (I have a family history of "minor" heart problems, if you can call any heart problem minor). Now I must address my dietary habits!

  10. #10
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    I dropped for 200lbs to 180lbs... (not sure the metric equivalent) by cutting out soda pop and bread. and I am now trying to work on proper portions.

  11. #11
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    I do once in a while. I ride every two days for my body to recoop.
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  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheoDog
    I dropped for 200lbs to 180lbs... (not sure the metric equivalent) by cutting out soda pop and bread. and I am now trying to work on proper portions.
    The pop I'm fine with dropping out of my diet (and other unnecessary sugars), but bread I struggle with!!! Toast and peanut butter has been my staple since I could walk... But I know many people lose a lot of weight by taking bread out of their diet. For now, I've at least switched to whole grain and multi grain breads rather than white, that counts for a bit right?

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by csmac2004
    I've at least switched to whole grain and multi grain breads rather than white, that counts for a bit right?
    A lot. More fiber and less finely ground super easily digestible starch. You slow down build rate and peak of blood glucose levels and spread a better lower level out longer. The body crams excess blood sugar into fat cells, to deal with it. Don't cut it out, but maybe reduce the amount per day and use some it to have more, smaller mini meals.

    Sugar's in everything. Once you start really cutting it out, your tast buds adjust and sweet things will taste nauseatingly sweet.

  14. #14
    Monkey Junkie
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    It's pretty normal to have off days. I don't have a strict training regiment for riding/commuting because my schedule is all over the place, I'm not great at managing my time, and I just ride whenever I have the opportunity.

    I usually commute 3-4 days per week plus a couple "fun" rides during the week and atleast 1 on the weekend. When it comes to commuting, I'm usually in a rush. The commute is 5.4 miles each way, and I generally start sprinting from the second I leave the house up until I get to my destination. I don't really have time to stretch usually but I do drink water right after.

    Some days feel better than others. I would imagine it is due to sleep, weather, tire pressure, diet etc..I don't know. Lately I've been trying to play it smart with my commute to save energy on the rough days. It also helps a lot to leave early if possible, haha.

  15. #15
    Which way? Uphill.
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    A lot of good points here.

    When I first started commuting I had these days often, now not so much. Early on I found that if once a week I went to bed early, at least 1 hours earlier than usual) I did much better. Never have I gone to bed early and had a bad ride the next day.

    This last winter I would notice that once or twice a week I would be in a real funk for my ride home. The rides in were fine, but home was rough. I think part of it was the lack of sunlight, but also a lot of it was diet. I had pretzels at my desk for snacking on throughout the day, and every time ate a lot of them my motivation just crumbled for the ride home. Pretzels are gone and so are the bad rides home.
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