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What to do?(5 posts)

What to do?noveread
Jul 8, 2003 7:39 AM
Before I get into my question, I just want to say that I am searching for a coach but have not got one yet. So, with that in mind, I'm just looking for a little direction until I can get one.

My body has come tumbling down! I seemed to be on the brink for the last few weeks with my performance diminishing each week and then fell apart last week. My "plan" such as it was, did not have me peaking at all this year but instead, continually building. I'm guessing I got overtrained despite the lack of typical signs until last week (but never a lack of motivation or enjoyment of being on the bike). Finally last week my body seemed to be really tired. Intensity could not be maintained for very long in races or group rides. Despite a rest period the week before, I decided I was still really beaten down so took some more days off last week.

I've been tracking things like my resting HR all year and interestingly, two days ago, my morning resting HR dropped nearly 10bpm from 56 to 47 and then was 46 this morning. This after months of seeing HRs in the low 50s when I thought I was rested.

I got back on the bike yesterday for an easy 45min and despite the days off I still felt tired on the bike and my HR still didn't elevate like it should have eventhough I was riding easy.

So, I'm blowing off my one target for the year, 5 or 6 SUPERWEEK races that start next week and am going to start to build back up. Incidentally, there are no more races after SUPERWEEK in WI. So my season is over. Bummer.

So, my question is, until I can find a coach, what should I do? All "no-intensity" stuff or can there be intensity? I'm gonna skip the next couple of group rides since I can't keep up anymore anyway. Nothing I hate more than seeing the guys wait for me and screw up their rides.

And if anybody can suggest some coaches in my area I'd appreciate it. They guy I was really hoping for just took a coaching position at a University in TX so he'll be moving. Good for him!

Need more info? I can provide it.

The Empty Wrapper
try thisjhr
Jul 8, 2003 12:10 PM
First of all what you are describing reminds me of something that happened to me about 15 years ago. Turned out I had mono. So a doctors appt. might be in order.

Baring that, I would suggest that you stop training for a while. You don't have to stop riding just hide your heart rate moniter and your computer, ride when/where you feel like it for as long or as short as you like (try and listen to your body)(go slow, look around etc).

If you have already paid for the "stupid week" races I would show up with no expectations. Remember cycling (even racing) is supposed to be fun. If its not you should quit doing it. By the way fun does not always equal fast!

good luck

re: What to do?Mr Good
Jul 9, 2003 9:22 AM
This single sentence from your post sounds like the problem to me:

"My 'plan' such as it was, did not have me peaking at all this year but instead, continually building."

Did you have recovery days and weeks included regularly in your plan? While we hope that our training carries us on an upward fitness trajectory, the path is slow and inconsistent with breaks built in for recovery. No one can spend an entire season continually building.

The peaking process, even if it is not a large peak, provodes a target where you ramp up the intensity, try to perform well, then back off and recover before starting another training cycle. This is a very simple description but I hope it gives you the picture that training can't just be constant improvement.

Doing high intensity stuff like hard intervals, sprints, and racing does result in fast fitness gains, but only for a short period of time. If you try to constantly ramp up intensity you'll burn out and "crash." Most training advice (Friel, Carmichal, USCF, etc.) is based on building aerobic fitness through less than max intensity (longer moderately paced rides), then ramping up the intensity and racing as you near a target peak. This harder stuff is like the "icing on the cake" to finish your form.

Beyond this general picture it is hard to recommend one plan for everyone. You can keep a detailed training log and experiment on yourself to see what works over time. This is what a coach is good for: an experienced, objective partner to help keep track of training and recommend where to go with the training.

And to answer your question: yes, take a little time off, ride easy, don't hammer yourself to death on the bike.
re: What to do?noveread
Jul 9, 2003 1:23 PM

Yes, my "plan" did have recovery weeks every 4th week.

First day back on the bike the legs were very, very heavy, but last night they were much better. I'm just gonna chill this week and next with nothing structured and go from there.

The Empty Wrapper
re: What to do?raptorUW
Jul 10, 2003 3:14 PM
if you don't mind my asking, why have you completely written superweek off? are you at risk of getting completely blown out of the water in your category, so to speak? if not, i'd suggest trying a race or two...go to them with not much more than finishing as a goal, and see what happens.

i was in a similar situation last year and getting to the races did huge things for my confidence, especially extended into the next season. a victory, even a moral one, will be a great thing to look back on as you train through the winter. it didn't hurt that i got some good placings and paid for the races, but i would have been happy even finishing.

even this year, i'm seeing a bit of the same thing. i had a great spring season - won a couple races, upgraded. since may however, i've fallen; gotten sick; fallen again....thus have had very little structure for about 6 weeks. i feel like i've lost a step racing too, but i'm at the point where i'm mentally fresh and racing is fun. i've just come off the UCI event in elgin where i was stoked simply to finish the race and to have made the first big selection. i'm coming into superweek excited to race and with realistic goals.

as far as the coaching thing goes, right now i can't think of many people who are coaching in the area - let alone any with as much coaching experience or rider results as gary. lists wenzel coaching (kristy scrymgeour) as a local coach. i haven't met her personally, but her profile lists some impressive experience combined with what i'm guessing are good teaching skills.

if you want to bounce any ideas off me, feel free to email me off the forum (my email is on the WCA site - i'm the VP).