Am I overtrained?

hi 742,

when i see a cyclist with a BP problem, i ask how is your diet? are you by any chance eating a high % of processed food? how is your fibre intake via fruit n veg? i’m reading a book (metabolical) which puts a lot of blame for such problems at the foot of diet (processed sugars).

most are not overtrained, but under-recovered, which sounds like this might be the case for you, since you’re on the feet allll day when working. That’s tough on the body! a 9.5h race is a BEAST (kudos on that), I would have taken 2-3 days to recover from that!

sounds like more rest is a good thing to experiment, it can’t make it worse! Then ease back into things.

1 Like

Good advice. Thank you!!

How do you distinct the two from each other?

really take a look at what the recovery week is. under-recovered athletes just don’t focus on recovery as training. they don’t sleep enough, don’t eat right when there aren’t workouts that follow, might only take two days off then start ripping again (too soon),

or, they simply never even take a rest week

true over training is hard to do, and rarely happens for anyone training less than 15h a week which is a lot.

4 Likes

I see, but what about objective biological markers?

This article is really interesting but I’m not sure how it all lines up.

Edit: link to this article by Asker Jeukendrup for reference.

i’m not saying you can’t be overtrained, just saying most are not as far down as shown in Asker’s article of Overtraining Syndrome, which is what “overtraining” is. That takes MONTHS to recover from, and truly recover from, it’s bad.

Most are overreaching then not recovering.

if u can get biological bloodmarkers and info that is wayyyy above my head, go for it. Or just rest regularly and you will most likely be fine; much easier.

1 Like

As a coach—and someone who has a ton of experience—I’m curious if you’ve ever found yourself or an athlete go into over-reach (too much training, not enough recover), take some time off the bike to rest, attempt to come back (when they think they are fresh) and still feel residual fatigue.

If so, what’s the protocol? More time off the bike? A week of Z1, maybe Z2 riding?

I ask because I can almost guarantee many amateurs who find themselves overly fatigued and try to rest probably cut it too short or sabotage their recovery week in some way to get back to training. Thus wasting time and actually not getting fully recovered.

1 Like

100%. A lot of times when we feel good, and we are starting to fly, we think “let’s add more!” And eventually just fizzle and possibly plateau…wondering, how did I go from great to just meh. And that’s hard to accept, and people add on more, thinking it will make things better. Been there, done that!! :wink:

It’s impossible to make a blanket protocol, but I don’t think you need a full week of zone 1. I’d try:
Day 1: OFF. NO RIDE
2: recovery ride, SOOO easy. See how you are feeling.
3: off or recovery
4: 60% endurance…does this feel as easy as it should? This is a great litmus. If you’re hungry to push harder, DON’t, but you’re prob good to go after this. If not, rest more! For the reasons you said: cutting the recovery short and never really recovering.

I rather take 6 days and come back 100% than dilly dally around always cutting it short, and training and racing at 90%, only to 2-3 months later finally admit that I need a serious rest period.

And getting in that overreaching point is not a bad thing and something to be embarrassed about. Truly finding your limit involves that. Kind of as mentioned above: when you’re going really well and then kind of fade, it’s not that you “peaked” and aren’t “peaking”, it’s more often people are tired. I force rest, and then they come back RIPPING again.

Hope that helps!

When in doubt, take a day of rest.

7 Likes

@brendanhousler you are a great asset to the forum! Thanks! (And a great pod too…. I prefer your longer ones, but it sounds like the short ones get good feedback… thanks!)

2 Likes

Definitely donating blood will result in a performance hit for several weeks.

While fluid volume is restored a few hours after giving blood, and plasma a few days, it takes several weeks for the red blood cells to regenerate (and they are the ones that carry oxygen).

1 Like

Thanks!

thanks for the kind words! longer ones will make a comeback! going to start doing the Pro interviews as one wack.
which other long ones do you like, or is that what you are referring to?
have a great day!

1 Like

This a very interesting thread as we are all facing this issue at some point. I also need help !

I was flying in April and May and after the Pfizer vaccine I am strugling to find back my form. I took multiple easy weeks and I mange to get back to an acceptable level. However, as soon as I resume training hard, I felt exhausted again. In summary this is what happened:

I was collecting ~800TSS weeks in April mostly Z2. Did my 4hours PR on the 2nd of May.

Got Pfizer 1st shot on the 12th and feel really tired.
I continued to push through May (~600TSS) mostly Z2 and some tempo. I did some good performances. I also did a 220km ride at the end of that month and feeling great.

Because I was starting to feeling tired in June, I back off to 400, 500 TSS week but adding some intensity. I was hoping to collect the benefit of the base works done in April an May. However, I felt empty the whole month and that start with the vaccine shot.

I was feeling great again in the fisrt week of July. Did some PR (10min Power) again and increase the load to 700 and 600 TSS weeks.

Got my 2nd Pfizer shot on the 7th of July, this time I intentionally back off to prevent collapsing again. Did 2 weeks at 450TSS and still felt miserable.

Fisrt week of August, I was feeling okish again so I did one good week in preparation for a race plus 1 week taper. In the week leading to the race, I manage to do my all time 5min power by a large margin . However, my race was awful as I was not able to put down the number I am used to, and I now feel totally exhausted.

My next race is in 2 weeks and my A event is in 1 month from now. Honestly, I felt way better in May than during the whole summer always trying to recover or regain shape. Any suggestions on how I should approach the next race and my A event?

My feeling is that the vaccine shots affected my recovery. I was still able to deliver good power when fresh but I lost the sustainability that I developed during the spring.

I have planned 2 days off and will resume with low intensity at the end of the week. Should I focus on intensity and skip long ride? I am lost and need help :upside_down_face:

Phil,

I’m no trainer, but maybe you should skip the next race so you can fully prep for your A race. With the amount of volume you do, I wouldn’t think you’d lose much fitness.

I eventually went to the doctor and found out that I’m anemic. I started iron and vitamin d supplements last week and feel a lot better. My power’s still down about 10% but better than the 15% from a couple weeks ago. Good luck!

Thanks for your answer. My next race is actually my A* race. State championship followed by the national at the end of the month.

I guess I could use it as a prep race, so I wouldn’t train hard until then and use it to get in shape.

I also have a doctor appointment for tomorrow and I will ask for blood check.

No advise from me, just wanted to say I had a similar response. One-off efforts and rides were great but overall recovery seemed to be impacted and I felt more fatigued after the shots. I got Pfizer shots in mid-March and early April. I felt bullet-proof coming out of a base phase when I got the first shot and was able to mostly execute key workouts during the following build but had cut back other rides and overall did not feel great. Repeatability and recovery felt the most impacted.

Personally, I started another base phase 1 month ago and think the lower intensities have been beneficial. I feel like recovery is moving in the right direction finally and am moving towards that bullet-proof feeling I had back in March.

I am glad to hear that it’s moving in the right direction. In any case I will go back to Z2 as I don’t feel that I can handle intensity right now. Base seems the best solution.

Well shit, why don’t you just hit me in the face if you’re gonna attack me so personally like that. Haha

But this describes my last several years to a T. Do and feel great through base and beginning of adding intensity, then as intensity and summer ramp up I keep at it till I start to crack and then spend several weeks treading water while I have races coming up and I feel like I need to keep training for them while also knowing I need to rest more.

It’s the biggest thing that is possibly driving me to get a coach for next year.

2 Likes

amen to that dude. I’ve been there. I used to race Nats in June then say EFF IT I’M TOAST!!!

then had mediocre results July Aug Sept, and raced because I felt like I had to.

One of the best things about a good coach is helping us see the big picture, the forest, and not be ready TOO soon. It’s hard, our ego is like “I MUST DESTROY EVERYTHING IN APRIL” then June comes LOL.

good luck with the rest of the year!

3 Likes