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Can't figure it out(11 posts)

Can't figure it outPaul
Jul 2, 2002 4:02 AM
On the past two club rides, I've been miserable. Cramp in my left calf, overall poor performance, no energy. Rode last night, thought I would just spin, but the mind and body had a different thought. Felt great, no cramps, no head or tail wind, down on the drops on my Look kg 386, got to feel what I can really do on a bike. Cheating the wind, holding hi 20's without even breathing hard. Awesome feeling when it all comes together.

Big question, why? Seems the pros have the answer most of the time. Is it certain foods, sleep? My diet is the same, drink sport drinks, my sleep is the same, stretch before and after a ride. Just can't figure it out why I can perform one day, and not the other.

Any suggestions?

When this happens to me......Len J
Jul 2, 2002 4:53 AM
it is usually a result of one of the following:

-Lack of a proper warmup. I find that I need more of a warmup some nights as opposed to others.

-Lack of adequate pre-ride hydration (especially in a hammerfest). The days that I get busy & don't drink enough in the afternoon (While working in air-conditioning), are the days I suffer.

-Tension. What was your heart rate doing? If I'm tense it tends to tense up my whole body, tension (especially in the legs) makes it harder to reoxiginate with proper blood flow. Check & see if you are "clenching".

-Food. I have found that for a mid week hammerfest, I need to eat something about an hour or so before the ride in order to have nutrition available at the beginning of the ride.

-Attitude. Sometimes, the worse I feel at the beginning of the ride, the better I end up riding. I think it's because I pay more attention to my body's needs when I'm hurting. I over-hydrate, suck hammergel, concentrate on relaxing my legs & controlling my breating, and change my cadence to work different muscles. I think all this attention pays off later when everyone else is hurting, I seem to have built up some reserve. Sometimes you just got to fight thru the bad feelings.


Overtraining maybe?Spoke Wrench
Jul 2, 2002 5:38 AM
To do well, consciously taper off on your training during the week before an event.

Back in my running days, I used to run between 50 and 70 miles a week, but I never got to be any better than middle of the pack. Today I attribute that to doing basically the same middle intensity run every day. I think that if I had gotten myself a coach that I would have been faster, probably done less work and had more fun.
Those other guys hit the nail on the head...Matno
Jul 2, 2002 5:53 AM
Differences in rides (for me) come down to a few small details:
1) Sleep. First and foremost, are you well rested? Keep in mind that if you stay up late one night, the effects won't hit you until 2-3 days later.
2) Diet. What are you eating? Surely your diet isn't the same everyday! (If it is, I'm sorry. You need variety). Same with sleep, things you eat can affect your energy for more than just the day you eat them.
3) Stress. Worrying can wear you out like you wouldn't believe. Relax.
4) Overtraining. If you push hard for an extended ride, it will be a few days before you can do the same thing and feel just as good.
5) Timing. Timing is everything. What time of day were your club rides? (Most club rides I know of aren't at night). I almost always feel more relaxed and energized for a ride at night than I do for a morning ride. Just moving around all day is loosening up your joints and muscles far better than just stretching in the morning will do.

Good luck! Keep in mind that everybody has both good and bad days for riding...
re: Weather?cyclejim
Jul 2, 2002 6:14 AM
I have found that my performance drops considerably when the temperature rises above 95 degrees or so. The hotter it is the quicker I get fatigued. I can start out at the same pace as normaly but within 30 minutes I am hurting if I don't slow down.
"Just can't figure it out why I can perform one day, and not theAllisonHayes
Jul 2, 2002 6:24 AM

hmm, sounds like a personal problem to me. Maybe you should take Bob Dole's advice.

...just a suggestion :)
re: Can't figure it outaliensporebomb
Jul 2, 2002 9:16 AM
Hello all, first time poster so bear with me.

I once had a personal trainer and he told me that he could
ALWAYS tells when his clients were just about to get sick
with a cold or the like. He said it wasn't scientific but
he was almost always right.

He said that he could tell because the heart rate would be
elevated and the pulse as well, like the body was already
fighting off whatever it is. He'd have us wear heart rate
monitors to determine how we were doing and what zone we
were in.

I know the other week I took a ride with a friend and my
wife had just had a stomache bug that I was catching. I
was on a 16 mile ride that normally would present no issues
and I felt like I was on a 40 mile death-hike. Horrible.
When I got home I collapsed in exhaustion. Several days
later all symptoms vanished and I was fine.

Then, just a few days later we went on a 23 miler with the
same bikes, same gear, same everything and I felt great.

My friend had his roadie ride with full ultegra and since
my road bike is temporarily out of action I rode my mountain
bike! At one point I felt so good I was holding 25 mph for
long minutes at a time. I had to remind myself to conserve
my energy a little bit since the temperatures were in the
high 90s.

I think lack of sleep or if you're feeling under the weather
can have a huge effect on how you do on the ride.
Higher heart rate.SnowBlind
Jul 3, 2002 11:50 AM
Higher resting heart rate is a sure sign of overtraining, which can lead to getting sick.
What I got out of your responses (including AH's).Paul
Jul 2, 2002 10:27 AM
Tension - You're right, I feel more tension on a club ride due to the competitive nature of the guys I ride with. Sometimes I'll go out with a "fun group", and have a good ride.

Diet - Hell, I'm in a hole, it never varies. Eat the same amount of carbos, protein, day in day out. Plus a lot of yogurt, fruit. All in all, it's a boring diet. Would die for a big, juicy cheese burger, but worry too much about fat.

Morning rides - Our club rides on the weekends start early, and I'm not a morning person. Now that I think about it, my best rides, on average, are after work.

Sex - I try to refrain before a hard ride, feel worned out if i don't. Just put too much into it, like doing a century under 5 hours. Allison, what's your view on this? Do you weaken your men with sex so that you can beat them up on a ride? You are funny!

thanks to all, got me thinking about my riding/eating habits. Think I'll have a burger tonight.
Jul 3, 2002 5:43 AM
Club rides- scheduled, anticipated, you want to ride well... granted attitude won't cause a calf cramp, but I find that generally, the eves that I DON'T feel like riding, but make myself go anyway (solo) I generally have longer faster rides, and feel better when I'm done - because - I had low expectations in the first place. I generally start out slower, expecting a slower ride, then really get into it thinking I really don't feel so tired/sore/whatever after all.

Conversely, the more I "look forward" to a ride, generally the more "let down" I'll feel when I return. For me, at least, it seems mental.-
A lot of truth in that (mental attitude) thanks (nm)Paul
Jul 3, 2002 6:13 AM