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  1. #1
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    Fatigue ?

    I've been riding my 29er rigid ss for about 4.5 months now. I have enjoyed it and my riding skills and fitness progressively improved. I've noticed the past 3ish weeks that when I go on my rides, I am actually feeling weaker and more fatigued. I don't seem to be gaining anymore strength or endurance. I had a big goal to change my gear ratio before the season ended but I don't think that's going to happen.

    Any training/improving thoughts or ideas? Have I just plateaued? Is this a sign to cross train more? Road ride a bit more (which I don't love), take a break a few weeks? Your thoughts would be appreciated.

  2. #2
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    Mix it up. Do you have a geared MTB you can ride a bit? Maybe drop down a gear for a few rides, then go back.

    If I only rode my SS in my race gear, I would be tired all of the time. I try and mix it up -- geared MTB and road for me. I enjoy MTB more, but need a mix to stay on top.
    Thanks to www.weavercycleworks.com for my awesome bike frames!

  3. #3
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    Eat more protein and cut the sugar. When I get to that next level I give it a few weeks then I start to push hard again at the beginning of my rides and then back to my normal pace for the finish. Before you know it your at the next level and using that pushing hard pace that you were just using for the beginning for the whole ride. Repeat.

    Did I lose you there?

    BTW I solely ride SS.

  4. #4
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    Nutrition? Sometimes I feel that same "meh" feeling, but the only thing that helped was more riding. I also gravitated toward more LSD (long slow distance) rides. The only way to get to the next level is, "more abuse than the last" motto. I switched to 3 times a week as well. Maybe you are bored? Do some night rides.. some other things that have helped, I take a few ibuprofen, before my rides. I also load up on nutrition, mostly protein, before, and after every ride. Usually 40 minutes before, and within the same time frame after.
    The only regrets in life, are the risks you didn't take.

  5. #5
    AZ
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    Do you ride every day? It is possible to over train , you need rest days . Mix it up , you dont have to go 110% every ride .

  6. #6
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    Take a break. Go to the geared bike like mentioned above. I grew sick of riding my single speed everywhere when I was trying to ride it everywhere. Got my geared bike and go in between the two like a wife and a mistress. Although my mistress is going to get it this weekend!

  7. #7
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    I ride 2-4 times a week, 60 min to 2 hours each ride. During the week I go after work on shorter rides with my night light. The weekend I get in a longer ride (or 2). Unfortunately (or fortunately?) the only bike I have is my ss. Well, I do have road bike that is the wrong size for me.

    So it sounds like I need to decide if I can push harder OR mix it up with other type riding or exercise?

    I'll try the protein idea. I know I don't get enough. What will the ibuprofen do?

  8. #8
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    The ibuprofen helps take care of minor aches and pains during the ride. For muscle and joint relief. I enjoy my time out in the woods much more. I take them 30 minutes before my ride. For easy protein loading before the ride, I like the EAS protein bars, and the Clif builders protein bars. For long rides, I pack a spare in my camelbak. I will shove it in my piehole, during a break. There are better protein options out there, but those are quick and easy. Riding hard burns up to 600 calories an hour off road... so it only makes sense to fuel up before, during, and after. :-)
    The only regrets in life, are the risks you didn't take.

  9. #9
    I don't huck.
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    Quote Originally Posted by MaineSara
    ... What will the ibuprofen do?
    Very possibly a lot of very bad things. Do some research into NSAIDS and athletic stress. Some may poo-poo it as not an issue, but why take the chance?
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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtroy
    Very possibly a lot of very bad things. Do some research into NSAIDS and athletic stress. Some may poo-poo it as not an issue, but why take the chance?
    Actually, they cause a small hemmorhage in the brain, which blocks signals of pain and discomfort. Also when taken daily, over 900 millgrams, can cause problems with kidneys, and the liver. Everything kills you.. :-)
    The only regrets in life, are the risks you didn't take.

  11. #11
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    I hope the op is smarter than to start taking ibuprofen for no reason. Moose, what if the op is like 15 years old? Giving that type of advice is .

  12. #12
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    Sound like it's time for a couple weeks of rest is the ticket...but I am not an expert but most of the training programs I have read call for rest cycles..

  13. #13
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    I suppose. . . ok forget about the evil ibuprofen. But Sara in not 15.
    The only regrets in life, are the risks you didn't take.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by mo0se
    I suppose. . . ok forget about the evil ibuprofen. But Sara in not 15.
    We both know that. Just looking out

  15. #15
    fnar fnar brrraaaaap
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    take a break.

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    You're body is telling you it's lacking something - and given that you only ride 2-4x per week, it's probably not over-training. I ride 5-7 days per week without fatigue. Sounds like a dietary issue.

    I've been weight training for about 16 years (competeing in both body building and power lifting - and yes, I'm straight!) and noticed that resistance training along with plyometric excercises complements bike riding in a big way. The only thing with me (and this is just my body type) is I pack on muscle very easily, so I try not to do bulking excercises. I also skip rope a lot, which has improved since I started riding SS entirely . So, complementing your riding with some weights and other excercises is a good idea, just make sure you take in the right amount of calories for the increased activity.

    I supplement a multi-vitamin and Creatine, the only supplement I believe that works if used correctly. So maybe you're lacking vitamins like I was. Experiment a little with diet, maybe increase calories one day and see how your ride feels.

    Oh, and never under estimate the power of SLEEP! If you're not getting enough sleep, all that diet and excercise stuff won't work, if you can't get it at night, try power napping.

    Hope it works out for you, nothing sucks more than feeling like you're sucked dry of energy.

  17. #17
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    Fatigued? Ride more

    I had this problem back in the spring. I did quite a bit of research and decided that I needed to "empty" my legs between rides so I started riding for an hour, or so, on pavement, real easy.

    The thought being that, at an easy pace, I would ride out the lactic build up in my legs so that they would be fresher for the next ride.

    It worked for me. About an hour of easy (zone 1/2) riding on pavement a couple of few times a week should do the trick.
    Sometimes, with a very strenuous effort, I will fatigue.

  18. #18
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    I suggest you take a break. You might be overtraining. Take a break man! Maybe sell your road bike and upgrade your SS with nicer wheels or cranks?

  19. #19
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    Listen to Motor Head all day every day problem solved!

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by baycat
    Take a break. Go to the geared bike like mentioned above. I grew sick of riding my single speed everywhere when I was trying to ride it everywhere. Got my geared bike and go in between the two like a wife and a mistress. Although my mistress is going to get it this weekend!
    Let me guess, your SS is your mistress?

  21. #21
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    Do something different. I mix it up by hitting the pool for a few hours a week, gets the upper body nice and stretched out.

  22. #22
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    +1 for Dion's post. Your body should be able to handle what you are throwing at it. It could be diet, it could be sleep, it could be stress. I don't know unless you want to start writing a diary of food intake, sleep, etc every day.

  23. #23
    ss= 800 lb. gorilla
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    i find that i get much more fatigued mentally, than physically. this happens if i go to the same park and ride the same trails too much. always mix it up. and also, i cross train a lot, and i defenitely feel better and always have a lotta wind when i ride my ss which, as u all well know, u need very much!! bike riding alone does not tire me out, i get 2 much of a charge out of it. if i get tired, i cut down on the running b 4 i cut down on riding.

  24. #24
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    Snack before the riding (high in carbs because that's what your muscles burn), drink tons of water during your ride and suck down a gel or enjoy a sports drink, and have a healthy snack afterward. I was bonking all the time last Spring until I increased my calorie intake. During race season I ate like a I was going through puberty again and still lost 15 lbs. Hope you feel better.

  25. #25
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    Mixing it up and rest. I don't getuch rest and it's too wet and cold to road ride lately so I'm slacking! :P

    but when I mtb twice a week and road ride twice a week, I was improving very noticeably
    Just get out and ride!

  26. #26
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    When I start to feel like I hit a wall. I'll usually take a couple days off and then go on a big ride. This year I did a 150 mile ride to the beach, and did a bunch of 4 or 5 hour MTB rides. I always feel like a million bucks after. Yesterday I went on a 3.5 hour ride and right around the 1.5 hour mark I really felt warmed up. For me an hour long ride just doesn't do a thing for me, I try and do a minimum of 2 hours whenever I get out unless its a break in the middle of a work day.

    Try taking a break and then do an epic ride, just make sure you eat right before, after, and during the ride.

  27. #27
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    Thanks!

    Thank you for all the suggestions... I will likely try them all.

    I did go on a long, challenging ride yesterday, on trails that were new to me, with a new group of people. I ate well before and felt really good on the ride. So I was trying something new and was well fueled. Hopefully this trend will continue.

    I'll probably start lifting soon and when the snow comes cross country skiing and snow shoeing.

  28. #28
    nothing to see here
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    It's funny that what works for someone won't work for someone else. I ate breakfast (not a huge meal, just a low sugar wheat cereal & a coffee) 45mins before a ride yesterday, and felt sh!t for the first 2 hours, then came good. A small snack helps me from time to time during longer rides (4+ hours) but nothing substantial within 2 hours before riding for me.
    I see hills.

    I want to climb them.

  29. #29
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    It is funny how everyone is different. I will say my breakfast was about 2 hrs before...About 1/2 hour before I had part of a cliff bar and a shot of OJ. Don't know if that helped me or if it was the fresh trails and people...

  30. #30
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    Fresh trails and people can really help.

    If your nutrition and sleep are good (do as I say not as I do), why not try out that harder gear just for fun? I suspect your body has become accustomed to the level of effort. Maybe a harder gear to work against could make you stronger again? (I'm just guessing) Do you ever have to walk your bike when you ride? If not, some SSer's will say your gear isn't hard enough.

  31. #31
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    Yeah, maybe I will try the higher gear...That was my original goal. My nutrition is a work in progress. I am not a terrible eater but could be smarter about what I eat for energy. Sleep...well, I have a one year old AND a four year old so that is a tough one.

    I do have to get off my bike on very steep technical climbs or at the end of a long ride on a very long climb. Is that what you mean by walking the bike some?

  32. #32
    ss= 800 lb. gorilla
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    yesterday, i went on a nice 2 hour ride through brendan byrne forest, a 34,000 acre forest in the jersey pine barrens, and i had the time of my life, riding with the boss (the wife, NOT springsteen) and my son. nice, soft pack roads, and miles and miles of them. also stopped 4 a picnic. a really nice time, and it goes 2 show ya that u dont have 2 b killing ya self mtb ing to have a good work out, either. it was almost all flat, but we went for like almost 3 hours. thats very good for my 7 year old.

  33. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by MaineSara
    Yeah, maybe I will try the higher gear...That was my original goal. My nutrition is a work in progress. I am not a terrible eater but could be smarter about what I eat for energy. Sleep...well, I have a one year old AND a four year old so that is a tough one.

    I do have to get off my bike on very steep technical climbs or at the end of a long ride on a very long climb. Is that what you mean by walking the bike some?
    Trails are covered with leaves and are softer this time of year, so don't fret if you cannot ride a higher gear.

    It is my goal to never walk anywhere, SS or not. In my opinion, you should be geared to ride everything. This is not triathalon MTB riding, right? I mean, sometimes you might have to because your momentum is off or you get stuck behind a gearie on a hill, but I would not plan to include walking/riding into your SS ride. EVER. Key word being plan.
    Thanks to www.weavercycleworks.com for my awesome bike frames!

  34. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by Manicmtbr
    Trails are covered with leaves and are softer this time of year, so don't fret if you cannot ride a higher gear.
    It's amazing how much speed / energy those little fookers sop up!

  35. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by MaineSara
    Yeah, maybe I will try the higher gear...That was my original goal. My nutrition is a work in progress. I am not a terrible eater but could be smarter about what I eat for energy. Sleep...well, I have a one year old AND a four year old so that is a tough one.

    I do have to get off my bike on very steep technical climbs or at the end of a long ride on a very long climb. Is that what you mean by walking the bike some?
    I hear you about the sleep then!

    If you can ride most of your regular trails without walking, then just try the harder gear. If you usually have to walk, then you might be where you need to be.

    I've ordered myself a harder gear to use, and I'm kinda worried it'll be too hard. But until I try it I won't know what I'm capable of ya know?

  36. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dropout33
    Eat more protein and cut the sugar. When I get to that next level I give it a few weeks then I start to push hard again at the beginning of my rides and then back to my normal pace for the finish. Before you know it your at the next level and using that pushing hard pace that you were just using for the beginning for the whole ride. Repeat.

    Did I lose you there?

    BTW I solely ride SS.
    +1. And go longer. Trust that you're way stronger than you think you are. You are.

    But if you live where the weather's bad in the winter, don't go big now. Just maintain as much as you can until Feb. 1. Then implement your plan. Meanwhile stay healthy & eat right.

    --Sparty
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    We don't quit riding because we get old.
    We get old because we quit riding.

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