Getting Intensity Right- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Getting Intensity Right

    Hello,

    I am new to training seriously,currently 8 months past since I started training seriously.The thing is I take this serious,I am 20 years old and I am not late,actually might be little early to be able to become a good XC racer since not many people racing XC in our country are young,they average 28-30 years old.

    The thing is I am in collage and I also have hard courses,I do not know if the collage is also adding stress on me because I have to study hard,but since I have been training I noticed that I tend to be a lot more tired,usually on the zone of being fatigued.Sometimes after workouts I am so tired that the rest of the day I usually spend not moving and I lose all my energy that I have zero mental energy to do anything.My legs feel so heavy and collapsed that if I have to use the stairs it is like lactic acid can build super fast that my legs feel heavy and I run out of breath.

    The thing is my riding history is like this:I have been riding for 2 years and I logged 6000 kilometers.

    I take everything seriously,sleep,rest,recovery,training,food and all that yet I still may be tired usually.I feel like I am not getting the intensity right since my training time is usually 8-10 hours a week,not much for a XC racing preparation but I can still feel tired.

    Some sources say that %70-80 part of training should be easy like zone 2-3.But I usually spend my time on zone 3-4 as I am used to do like so and train like so and actually I do not make much power at zone 2 or 3.Actually on a climb like higher than %3-4 percent the only way for me to ride on zone 2 is to use the smallest gear(on road bike).

    Since I believe that I do not make much power at all on lower zones,which shows that I do not have good aerobic conditioning,and since I also am not used to long road rides,and since I am tired,I think that my training intensity is high and I should usually do zone 2 rides and shift riding duration to like 1 hour or 90 minutes more.

    Which in turns make me think of that I greatly lack base.I think that it is early to do serious training for me and I should focus on mostly zone 2 rides if I am able to do make the rides longer.

    I believe that I do not have enough heart lungs,capillaries,muscular endurance etc. to stand to the training stress which I have been doing lately.
    As long as the devil is hiding the details,the question remains:Is that all you got?Are you sure?

  2. #2
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    Getting Intensity Right

    When you read about people posting about doing higher volume, 20 hours per week say, big chunks of that riding time are spent at lower intensities, riding up climbs in bottom gear if needed etc. That lower intensity work doesn't beat you up as much as doing every session as a hard and fast day. They probably have additional time to spend recovering in between too. That additional time spent resting makes a huge difference.

    "Just" 8-10 hours per week of consistently hard riding every session can wear you out easily, especially if you're spending the rest of the time working hard in college. At some point if you keep battering yourself week in, week out everything grinds to a standstill and you have to take the time to recharge.

    The skill is in recognising that feeling in yourself and knowing when the kitchen is closed.

    See my posts #206 and #211 (particularly post 211 as it sounds a lot like what you have been doing).

    http://forums.mtbr.com/xc-racing-tra...l#post11737553

    http://forums.mtbr.com/xc-racing-tra...l#post11740985

    From your description it sounds like you need a recovery week or two, including time off the bike completely. Recovery doesn't fit into a neat 7 day structure either. It can take longer than 7 days to pull yourself back together.

  3. #3
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    Getting Intensity Right

    I meant to ask - If you've been training seriously for the last eight months when did you last have a recovery week and what did you do riding wise on each day of it?

    Something that helps me a lot with fatigue is to have an iron / B vitamin supplement each day. I feel a lot better for it. This is what I've been using for the last few years: two teaspoons in the morning and two teaspoons at night before bed on hard days.

    http://www.amazon.co.uk/Feroglobin-F...rds=Feroglobin

    .

  4. #4
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    Quick answer, it sounds like you need more recovery. Recovery rides should be taken as seriously as hard rides.

    Besides enough recovery built into your weekly schedule (easy days), you should also plan in a week of decreased workload every 3 to 5 weeks to allow your body to recover and adapt to that increased workload you placed on it the previous weeks.

  5. #5
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    I would recommend a long group road ride with people that are slower then you are. Yes slower. So you have someone to ride with and keep it interesting and to keep you from going to fast on longer days. Having slower slow days or even a rest day more frequently may help. I find slower slow days make for more well rested and faster fast day.

    I often rate how well rested I feel or how well I slept the night before to gauge how hard of a workout my body can handle. If you wake up very tired or you feel totally hit or your so sore you can't get down the stairs, REST. If I slept poorly or only got 6 hours I know I will have to scale back my workout or take a rest day.

    I use a similar logic for when to cut off interval training. Keep doing intervals until I can't meet the prescribed intensity or duration. At that point further training is just added fatigue.

  6. #6
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    I'm in a similar boat to you, 20 year old college student who does his best to balance training and studying.

    Are you riding for fun, or because you feel like you have to?

    The reason I ask is because two years ago I was in a similar situation, I felt that riding just took all of my mental and physical energy. I had a coach and was on a very structured plan, I really had stopped enjoying cycling, though I didn't really realize it. I dropped my coach and didn't ride at all for 2.5 months. When spring sprung, I started riding again, just for fun, and really inconsistently. I did a couple road races, and realized that I didn't like the racing, I just liked standing on podiums (no way that was going to happen after not riding for months). I have started racing again, but with much lower expectations.

    This winter, I have been riding a lot, about 12-15 hours a week, but after a ride I feel mentally refreshed (though physically tired).

    Unless you're trying to go pro, just ride for fun, college can be really stressful, and there's little point to adding more. I just ride for fun, and still race decently well (collegiate A).
    No man yields who flies on my ship.

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