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Are pros overtrained?(6 posts)

Are pros overtrained?Fez
Sep 19, 2002 8:37 AM
Have read a few training books, including Friel's, and read about how common overtraining is. The question is, are pros overtrained, or are they operating at a much higher level than us.

Take the Tour de France for example. That averages over 100 hard miles per day with just a few off-days. Chris Carmichael said those off days were not the greatest thing for the team and that USPS had to ride for a few hours even on the off-days so they wouldn't get messed up the next day. Sounds like the opposite of what I read about rest and recovery.

Are these guys operating at a totally higher level than us so they can go much harder and longer (in intensity, distance, and days) before they need any rest?
re: Are pros overtrained?Lactate Junkie
Sep 19, 2002 9:26 AM
Like anyone else pro's can become overtrained. However, they are operating at a higher level than we mere mortals. As well, once the pro's get off their bikes all they have to do is lay on their bed, get a massage, get hooked up to IV bottles with saline and glucose and eat dinner. This helps recovery greatly and helps avoid over training. If all you have to do is ride and recover, you can teach your body to absorb an awful lot of training.
re: Are pros overtrained?LC
Sep 19, 2002 9:35 AM
Yes they are on a different level of fitness. It is also partly genetics in where they are able to recover quickly from hard efforts to be able to train for stage races. It takes many years of racing (not just riding a bike) to get to to that level. Once they get where they are used to training every day, a day off really hurts. They can't do it all year though. Coaches also give them a periodization plan so they peak at the right time of the year.
re: Are pros overtrained?tigermilk
Sep 19, 2002 11:51 AM
I can't remember where I read it, but essentially they suffer from some of the classic symptoms of overtraining during the 3 week classics. One of the symptoms of overtraining is your heart rate not being able to become elevated. I read that the pros can still generate the same power, but they just can't get their HRs up no matter how hard they try. The article/posting I saw was pushing power training versus HR training and said the HR could drop as much as 20 or so bpm at the end.
re: Are pros overtrained?Lactate Junkie
Sep 20, 2002 10:56 AM
Tours are 3wks. Classics are mostly one day--two or three at most.
Define overtrainedKerry
Sep 19, 2002 4:19 PM
Overtrained means you can't put out the power, that you've lost motivation, that your HR remains elevated or can't be elevated, that you get sick easily, etc. Riding high mileage doesn't mean that you are overtrained. If it did, then us mortals could whup the pros at the end of a 3 week tour. Do you think that's possible? I don't either. Just like super models, the pros are there because they are genetic mutants. Even with all the training and support they receive, only a tiny fraction of "the rest of us" could ride at their level. This is not a case of "if I could only get more miles in, I'd be in yellow next summer." And even then, many people tour at 100 miles per day. In my youth, I rode 5400 miles in just over two months one summer, carrying a full load. Did 3000 miles in a month the next summer. I showed no signs of overtraining in either case, so it is not total mileage or total work.