Am I overtraining?

I’ve been contemplating going down from mid volume to low volume after feeling tired and unable to complete workouts that I’ve done before.
I completed ssbmv1 fine but with virtual power. I then sold my bike and got a new bike and power pedals. After a week without a bike I retested for new ftp and accepted the lower number and just kept on with week 4 of ssbmv2. I was having a lot of trouble completing the workouts in that week so I decided to go back and start at week 2 of ssbmv2. Even at that week I felt that the workouts were getting too hard to complete. I am now back at week 4 of ssbmv2 and feel like I need to do less workouts a week in order to recover.

I try to sleep at 10pm and wake up at 4:30. My job has me driving a truck for 100+ miles a day and lifting 70-90 pound boxes when I’m not driving, also pushing around 2,000+ pounds on a pallet jack. I try to have a regular lunch from time to time but always end up eating cereal in the morning and then eating lunch around 3pm. I get on the trainer around 5pm and have dinner right after that.

Should I keep suffering and needing to lower the intensity at the end of all workouts? Or switch to low volume and do group rides when possible?

Thanks!

Ooof. A lot to unpack here.

If you are truly overtrained the only solution is no training. Switching to a lower volume won’t get you out of the hole, just dig it with a smaller shovel.

How long ago was that week without a bike? How often do you take weeks off? That probably was enough to recover well from a mid-vol base so I’m thinking overtraining is not the thing.

Going from virtual to real power seems like what has probably done this to you. I’d recommend first testing. Take another ramp, try an 8 min a few days later, then another ramp…you are really just getting into training with power and i suspect your FTP is off and thats why you are struggling with workouts.

Overtraining even the easy rides feel hard - what do you fail, what do you pass?

Finally - that is a rough schedule. We sleep at about the same time but I have 2 more hours of sleep. Drive 86 miles each way most days and I did these plans. I’m not pushing anything but keys so I’m feeling for you. Sleep maybe a factor - add an hour for a week and note how rides feel.

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Thanks berto2cj, the last one I failed was carpathian peak +2. Had to lower the intensity at the last intervals. It was 4 weeks ago that I got the new bike and power meter and retested. Today I have Mary Austin -1. I have completed Mary austin before with the power meter and higher ftp number. (Because I had not retested from virtual power). It was the hardest workout I had done but I managed to complete it. I will compare today’s Mary Austin to that last one but from the way I’ve been feeling on other rides I don’t think it will be possible to complete without lowering intensity.
I will try my best to adjust my body to go to sleep earlier and see how I feel on newer harder workouts before deciding what to do about switching to low volume.

I am wondering if it is more “under recovering” than “overtraining”. That is a lot of stress from driving and lifting so you have to take that into account and that little sleep too on top of it. I agree with the comment above about the possibility of an inaccurate ftp but I would also think about your life/work/training stress load. Switching to a lower training volume might help until you get adjust to the total stress load and then increase from there? Just my two watts :slight_smile:

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I suggest…

  1. Really trying to figure out how many calories you’re burning just through doing your job. It sounds hard! Trainer Road will tell you how many calories you burn in each of your workouts. Add them together, and it probably comes to quite a lot. Are you eating enough? Are you eating good carbs, protein, and also veggies, fruit, etc? In short, are you eating enough to fuel work and workout?
  2. Periodising your nutrition so that your lunch meal, a couple of hours before your workout, is the most high energy and high carbohydrate. Keep dinner lighter and healthier, with good protein, pulses, veg, beans maybe, etc.
  3. Having a recovery shake with energy drink and protein powder right after the workout, so you have energy stores for your job the next day.
  4. Like @berto2cj says, getting a bit extra sleep if you can. Maybe even invest in a sleep / health tracker wristband and app like Whoop. I don’t have one myself, but I feel like if anyone’s lifestyle means they should keep on top of fatigue, it’s yours.

If it’s still a struggle to finish the workouts, then maybe low volume is the best solution.

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Those are HARD rides. I too have had to back off them at times.

I’d say you are not overtraining. Rest, recover, and keep going bud

My 2 cents…this has zero to do with overtraining and/or over reaching. This has more to do with first time paying attention to power and keeping sustained power to the pedals. But, before I step in it, how long have you been following a training plan? How long how you been consistently riding? What’s your main goal?

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Thanks to everyone for the suggestions. I am probably not having enough fuel for my job and workouts. I do drink a protein shake on top of dinner after my workout rides. Will need to add more healthy fuel to my day. Fixing my sleep will be the hardest part. The only day I can sleep in is Sunday’s. And even then my friends put on a group ride Sunday mornings and I have to go and have fun outside right?
I have been riding for a year and a half but only started training in January and with a pedal power meter about a month ago. I’m not worried about losing weight. I’m always between 150-160 pounds. My goal is to get stronger, be able to put out more power.

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You should check how much protein per kilogram you actually need, you probably need 100 g or more per. day.

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Only riding for 1.5 years then following a MV plan for 5 months and using power for a month is sort of like jumping out of the frying pan and into the fire.

  • Depending on how you rode for the year and half it’s not a lot of time to build a base.
  • Using a smart or dumb trainer to follow a training plan only after a year is where I suspect your body is falling apart. Having little base and asking your body to pedal constantly (no micro breaks) is just a lot of strain compared to riding outside.
  • Now throw in reliable power readings with that little experience and I can just see how you’d easily overdo it.

With your schedule/work I’d easily suggest a LV plan. Modify that if necessary. 2 TR interval sessions/week and a couple outside rides to clear the head, have fun, learn to ride, etc…will do you good.

I’m still thinking this is all being new to trainers and power related. Seen it many times is all.

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Thanks @fenderperry , will check up on how much protein I need.
@Landis you have given me more hope that I can get better with proper training as time goes by. I thought riding for a year and a half was a lot already. Will keep adjusting the schedule and getting used to proper power readings.

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I am going to 2nd @martinheadon & suggest you really take a hard look at calorie intake. I experienced something similar…no matter what I would feel great during the first 2.5weeks and start to really fatigue in the fourth week. Didn’t normally count calories because I wasn’t trying to drop weight.

But when I started keeping track of what I ate…mostly to track macronutrient intake…it became obvious that I was constantly keeping a 300 to 500 calorie deficit on big workout days. Once I started eating enough to keep myself calorie neutral on those 1000-1500 calorie workout days it started to be a lot easier to make it through tough workouts.

@Abdicastellanos, I suggest you take on a coach to take the detail out of situation. Although it looks like I’m advertising my services, like others on the forum I wish to get you going forward. I suggest you simplify things and benchmark what you are capable of. Then progress can be made using a plan that you can complete with your home and work commitments.

@Abdicastellanos Absolutely you can continue to improve. For years depending…

Being a forum and not knowing much detail I (and everyone) have to make some assumptions. While riding for a year and a half seems like a lot it’s all relative. Meaning, is the riding frequency day to day super consistent or more clumped into meaningless blocks; does a lot mean 300 miles/week consistently or 100; during that time were you spending the majority of ride time with pressure on the pedals or did you pedal in burst?

That’s ^^^ all rhetorical and no need to answer. But, most who pick up cycling ride without consistency, in meaningless blocks spread too far apart; perhaps ride what they think is significant time but, miles/work (Kj) is low; and pedal in burst especially downhill and with tailwinds.

On a trainer and with power all of that changes and for the first time it becomes apparent that generating X amount of power over time is work. No breaks and constant pressure…So yeah LV is where I’d start for sure. And don’t beat yourself up. Demanding full time job takes a bit out of you. Becoming stronger/faster is about systematically increasing stress/work over time. Start a little easier and add in more if you feel good.

Good luck.

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It’s a rare person who could do everything you’re doing on such a small amount of sleep.

I’d say your issues are nutrition and sleep. Eat more food and go to bed earlier. I get up later than you and go to bed earlier and I still feel tired quite a bit with my training, and I work in IT.

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how does the tired feel? Just like “man i worked out and I’m tired”, or is it a lingering malaise?

Any changes in Heart Rate during the workouts?

You don’t have to answer this, but sex drive change at all?

10 hours of sleep is awesome, that’s great that you’re getting that!

Do you use Training peak? If so, can you send an image of your page 4-12 weeks of it?

If you need to lower the intensity then you won’t be getting the necessary adaptations that the workouts are aiming for, so it would be better if we figure out the fatigue problem and then move forward

Brendan

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I wouldn’t over complicate this matter. These are the variables that have changed, it’s likely this is the root of it.

Turn down the intensity 5-10% at the start of your next few workouts, see how that goes. If you can complete them, give it another week before bringing the intensity up again when you feel able. I think this will work, but if not absolutely switch to the low vol.

The work and food thing is complex and interesting, but if that’s not changed I would tinker with that later and separately from intensity, but plug that huge gap between your 4:30 breakfast and 15:00 lunch…you need to fuel your work as well as your training(!). Take some tuna sandwiches in the truck and some fruit.

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Sounds interesting. I will try and check how much I’m burning at work plus my workouts like @martinheadon and you said. I got a smartwatch that might help with that.