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Overtraining question... recovery and training through...(14 posts)

Overtraining question... recovery and training through...funknuggets
May 29, 2003 8:23 AM
Not sure if this is just a product of the season or what, but are there classic symptoms of "overtraining"?

Right now, no matter how easy I take a ride on my recovery days, and if I take days off... my thighs still feel relatively dead, OR as if deep in the muscle they are still sore from some past ride and I cant quite seem to dial into what is causing it. I had a super hard saturday two weeks ago, and that seemed to be the start. Since then, Im not riding "bad", I just don't feel... "cheeky" as Liggett would say. I'm not slow by any means, I just don't feel quite right. Im trying to train through it and get adequate sleep and not trying to overdo any of my recovery rides. Is this common and should I just train through it or do I need to just get off the bike for a week?

Im not sure what to chalk some of my current symptoms to, but I have not ridden excessive miles. I only average 8-10 hours a week on the bike. I do train hard on the hard days.. but something just seems amiss.

Do I just suck it up and keep riding hard? Any advice or experience would be appreciated.

So ponders the funk:
May 29, 2003 9:25 AM
'overtraining' typically refers to the physiological impact of too much accumulated physical stress. Typically chronic fatigue, disturbed mood states, Respiratory tract infections, Increased (resting) heart rate, poor sleep are symptoms of OTS; not muscle soreness.

Perhaps you're training too hard, but I doubt you have OTS. Have you considered circulatory problems, or perhaps lymes?

This, coming from a guy who has no medical background whatsoever.
haven't considered that...funknuggets
May 29, 2003 9:36 AM
I just had a blood workup and things look fine... but not sure they checked for Lyme.. but I haven't gotten a tick bite in years.

And again, it isnt outright muscle soreness... like sore to the touch or anything, but just seems like deep in the quad muscle there seems to be some residual soreness that never seems to subside. It only really surfaces on climbs out of the saddle, or sprints when I really try and mash. Once again, it isnt that I cant ride, its more like I cant wait for it to go away, and no matter how much soaking, stretching, or massaging I do, it hasn't resided.
deep tissue sports massage?jeff27
May 29, 2003 9:53 AM
Funk, a deep tissue sports massage may be worth trying.
I've talked to a few friends that highly recommend them,
and a few physical therapists about them. I have yet to
try it myself, but am seriously considering it, it sounds
like a good thing.
Big second this!!cyclequip
May 30, 2003 4:06 AM
I started getting deep tissue massage a year ago. What a difference - it has become a weekly thing, plus I do daily self-massage while stretching. When you have a hard day (like you did) typically the muscle glycogen gets severely depleted, deep-muscle lactate accumulation takes place and this requires at least 24hrs WITH NO LEG EXERCISE AT ALL, to recover fully. You probably haven't rested enough to get deep recovery. Lactates accumulate (like bruising the muscle) and massage breaks it up and stimulates the blood supply to rebuild. But beware - it hurts like hell.
Possibly a mild strain?Jervis
May 29, 2003 9:53 AM
I'm not sure exactly what kind of soreness you're talking about obviously, as I am not you, but it sounds like almost the same sort of problem I had when I ran cross country. My quads would sting or burn when I ran hard, and it eventually got to the point where there was a little burn any time I ran at all. According to the trainer, it was just a mild muscle strain. Just as with Steve_O, I'm not a doctor, but coming from experience this is what it sounds like. I believe that I alleviated the soreness simply by strengthening my leg muscles. Are you a long time rider or are you just getting into the sport? If you've only been training for a brief period of time, maybe you should just ride enough so that it doesn't aggravate your legs and gradually work out the knots. It's worth a shot, I know anything is when it comes to irritating little pains like that.

two things that really suckJS Haiku Shop
May 29, 2003 10:00 AM
are a regular stretching routine and time off.

they suck, sure--but would probably help. i'm talking about 3 or more consecutive days off the bike without physical stressors.

of course i'm guilty of not stretching as proscribed, but with the knee problems and PT early last year, i should. the stretching, icing, and self-massage (whoo hoo!) specified by the PT and Ortho solved the problems and brought me back stronger than before.

Sounds like DOMSTNSquared
May 29, 2003 10:01 AM
or "delayed onset muscle soreness"....and no, I'm not making that up. I don't know if DOMS is officially a medical condition, but is a topic that Pete Pftzinger(former Olympic marathoner with a physiology degree) writes about fairly often in Runninng Times.

Simply put, a super hard effort such as the one you put in two weeks ago causes "miro-tears" in the muscle tissue. As scary as that sounds, it apparently is normal and to be expected. However, it takes time to fully recover, and consistent hard efforts delay the recovery further. Eyestone's basic advice was to take it very easy for a few weeks after a super hard effort such as a race or all-out training ride. In running terms, he recommended an easy day for every mile raced.

Don't know how or even if this converts to cycling exactly. Part of the damage in running comes from the repetitive impact, which is not experienced in cycling.

My completely unqualified guess is that if you continue to ride your normal mileage and simply omit ANY hard riding for a week or so, the soreness will begin to subside.
Sounds likeHorace Greeley
May 29, 2003 11:16 AM
nothing more than a bit of fatigue. Unless you have a very solid base, a few hard efforts will have a cumulative effect, making it difficult to make a full recovery. If my legs don't feel 75% fresh, then I know it's time to take it down a level. If I still can make a decent recovery, than a full day off (or more if I've really done an all out hard effort) is required. As I get older, this has become more of an issue (I need more rest). Everyone is different, but I try to have an easy or no ride day before a very hard effort. What happens is I don't want to pass up a ride if the weather is good, but I do pay for it later. What most people view as a "recovery ride" isn't really easy enough, myself included. For me, that's why I very often go for the day off. As an aside, I've started taking protein supplements (don't know if you subsribe to newsletter), and it actually has helped speed daily recovery.
Easy recovery rides...jtolleson
May 29, 2003 11:28 AM
I think that most of us don't realize how little recovering we do during our recovery rides. I have found two things help: forcing myself to stay in the 39 cog and spin, and using an HRM to stay under 120.

When I've managed to do that, I've gotten great benefit.
Easy recovery rides...interestingfunknuggets
May 29, 2003 11:47 AM
Interesting... I think you may be onto something. Responding to the other recommendations above, I do have adequate base, and I dont think quad strength is an issue. I have been riding off and on for 10 years and doubt this is DOMS, after a past stint at bodybuilding... I truly know what DOMS is (a-hem... especially from SQUATS... ).

However perhaps I am not recovering properly. Man, my recovery (Friel E1) puts my HR in the 127-147 average for the ride. However, I asked a similar question a few months back and everyone seemed to say that if you cant breathe comfortably through your nose, then you are riding too hard, and I can do that up to 140 or so... so perhaps I am hitting the recovery rides too hard.... still.

Thanks all for the advice. Invaluable as always.

Easy recovery rides...interestingrogue_CT1
May 29, 2003 9:42 PM
Hey Funk-- I've got the same problem. In preparation for a race on this Sunday I started an intense training program. I took almost a 3 week vacation and rode constantly. On some days I rode so hard that my legs ached and on one occassion they were sore for three days. I took the mandatory days off and I did some recovery rides but now I can't seem to get my legs to fully recover. I can't climb for crap and climbing is my strong point. I'm going to just take off the next two days and hope that my strength comes back by Sunday.
re: Overtraining question... recovery and training through...McAndrus
May 29, 2003 11:42 AM
Others have suggested rest and I concur. This spring I had some fatigue in the upper thighs that I could feel in a hard effort. Coincidentally my latest business trip occurred during my rest week so I couldn't ride for five days.

When I got back I went for a recovery ride the first day back then an interval ride the next day and then one day off. By the fourth day back I fealt great. That was two weeks ago and my legs still feel fresh even though I've been riding normal amounts and intensity since.

I don't think anyone would have called my condition overtraining. I just needed some time off.
LOL and I thought I was distracted! (nm)LC
May 29, 2003 12:24 PM