Back in the fold

Back in the fold after losing about 1.3 W/kg from my FTP last year following overreaching and underrecovery.

I’ve been riding on zwift academy and I’ve noticed that my lactate tolerance is still there. No sign of burning in the legs. Good signs as far as muscular endurance.

My cardio system though is completely behind. My HR is very high.

I want to know what I can expect; will I ever get back to the same form? What type of plan should I use to get there given where my physiological systems are at right now?

Any advice appreciated. Thanks in advance.

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Almost certainly, yes….unless you are an older Masters athlete (over 60), reaching (and exceeding) previous peaks is very common after breaks. It can serve as just a big taper.

I always recommend just putting in the miles first and add structure later. I disagree with the term “training to start training” that is often used. Any riding is training if you are improving. Logging the miles is about rebuilding the aerobic engine first.

I’ll definitely be in the minority on the 2nd point, though…


What have you been doing in the last couple months in terms of volume and intensity? Especially considering why you took such a long break I would do at least 2 weeks before introducing anything over Z2 and then slowly introduce the higher intensities while monitoring how you feel and don’t be afraid to back off and slow the progression.

I agree with @Power13 that you don’t need to “train to start training”. You can have a training plan with structure but I also think it might be a good idea to avoid something like a SSB plan for at least a couple weeks till you feel out where you are with the overtraining thing.

I just realized my last post was unclear due to a typo…I revised it. To clarify, I am not advocating doing any structure at this point for the OP. I think they just need to start logging the miles and rebuilding the aerobic engine. That isn’t “training to train” it is actually training, IMO.

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Last year I was overreached both physically and mentally. I was so bad I was on the cusp of quitting the sport. I took 3 weeks off the bike. In the 4th week I added 2 unstructured easy rides and in the 5th week did 3 unstructured rides. The 6th week I did 4 rides and finally the 7th week I did 5 rides. I followed that with a traditional TR recovery week and then on the 9th week I started Sweet Spot Base. Although my fitness was down over 10%, I felt ready to train. I consistently improved my fitness throughout base and all of 2021 hitting all time power PRs and breaking all measurable markers.

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Low blood volume so your heart needs to beat more often to pump the same amount of blood. Your stroke volume is probably a little lower. Up the volume and intensity gradually and everything will be OK.

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