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overtraining dilemma(5 posts)

overtraining dilemmaup_hiller
Apr 8, 2002 11:27 AM
My first MTB race is Sunday. I have been riding and running a good bit in preparation, but I really ramped it up over the last couple of days since the course was marked.

Now i think I may have crossed into overtraining. I rode fine Saturday, although harder than usual and for a longer distance. I woke up in the middle of the night, which is supposed to be a sign of overtraining, so I decided not to ride Sunday. then a buddy called and asked me to ride, so I went. We did a slow lap of the race course (he is a little out of shape), then after he left I did another lap and a half at race pace. I rode well, so I thought maybe the waking up thing was just a freak incident. Until it happened again (twice) last night. I also feel a little drained today.

Now I am stuck. I am pretty sure I have been overtraining (my body is in the big ring and can't slow down). So I should take today and rest; the problem is, the weather forecast for the next three days looks like crap. Do I just say "Screw it!" and ride today, or take the day off and do have only one good hard training ride on Friday before the race on Sunday?

I should mention I can do some work in the gym with circuit training/swimming/treadmill until the storms clear.

Thanks for any help.
happy trails!
re: overtraining dilemmamixinbeatz
Apr 8, 2002 11:44 AM
In my experience, ramping up the week before the race, may not be a good idea. Last week, I was feeling bad riding on Friday, and said no biggie, and went on the team ride on Saturday with the idea that I would just go slow and recover. After a bit of ridicule from a newly upgraded cat 2, I went with the strong group and did one of the biggest climbs around at a reasonable pace. Moral of the story, on Sunday I felt at about 60% and blew off a local crit(didn't really care that much anyhow). I would not think that waking up is a sure sign that you are overtraining. I wake up at least once a night to take a leak or I know I am not drinking enough water anyhow. I always see how I feel on the bike, if I feel sluggish after a half an hour I get off. As far as the cross training goes, I avoid it at all costs during the racing season. If I ride too hard on my bike I know the result, I will feel sluggish and not really feel like being on the bike. If I go too hard doing something else, (ie. x country skiing, snowboarding, running, swimming) I do not definately know what the result may be. In my best cycling shape, it is not uncommon for a 3 mile run to make me sore enough to keep me off the bike for multiple days. Develop a program, stick to it and realize that development will come weeks and months before a race and trying to fit too much in at the last minute will surely spell disaster. I would much rather ride fresh after a few days rest than roll up at the start line knowing that I am less than 100%.
what does your HRM say?BigLeadOutGuy
Apr 8, 2002 2:43 PM
If your resting HR is 5 or more beats higher than normal you are starting to get into the overtraining thing....take the day off from training all together or do a super easy recover ride. You are better off going into a race undertrained and feeling strong than overtrained and weak. If I have an big race coming up sometimes ill do nothing 2 days before the race just to make sure I'm totally fresh.
no choice but to taper down this weekTig
Apr 8, 2002 4:51 PM
Other than it being a good idea to taper the week before an important race, you may not have a choice if you want to be fresh for the race. The good news is you have all week to do it and it may not be too late to overcome the over training blues.

Don't ride hard, ride long and easy today or Tuesday. If you feel a little better Wednesday or Thursday, ride a little stronger, but DO NOT ride hard. Maybe some medium level efforts would be fine. The thing you want to do is keep the glycogen usage/replenishment cycle going the whole week, but without stressing the body too much.

Don't worry about losing fitness. The one certain way of doing that would be to go out and hammer at or near race pace. Your body needs to recover actively. Not riding at all would make you feel too weak this weekend.

If you ride Friday, start tapering the intensity/power output back down. If you don’t ride Friday, you should ride Saturday, but at a VERY easy pace. If you decide to hammer, you could blow it. I know it sounds like the wrong thing to do, but many experienced racers have proven the value of tapering. Resting well and eating well are just as important. Mineral and maybe even vitamin supplements this week might be good to use.

Don't be afraid to warm up and do some hard but short efforts before the race. This is an individual preference, and everyone is different. Some people don't need much warming up and can survive the super intense opening minutes of an MTB race. Not me. I have to have a few near-maximum efforts mixed in my somewhat long warm-up to not blow up at the beginning of an MTB race! Just don’t let yourself get too hot or dehydrated. Learn what works best for you.

Have fun! To me, MTB racing is the hardest yet most fun racing I’ve ever done. The atmosphere is competitive, but most riders will be cool.
thanks, all...up_hiller
Apr 9, 2002 5:09 AM
Feeling much better today after sleeping long and hard last night. I actually overslept by an hour this morning. I don't remember turning off my alarm, but I guess I was awake enough to do that at some point. I think I was just really worn out from the weekend.

Anyway, I have no choice but to take it easy this week, as thunderstorms are expected for the next 3 days. Maybe I can attach my cleats to a pair of swim fins for the race. My purpose in racing is really just to have fun in the first place. I'm in beginner class, for Pete's sake, and honestly won't be disappointed if I don't finish on the podium. I guess as long as I feel that I am in good enough shape to finish (and I do) I have prepared well enough.

happy trails (roads)!