Hey all! I am hoping someone has some ideas here. My background for the last few years has been to compete in obstacle course races (ocr). Mostly running. I am in good cardio shape coming into my first season of cycle training. I also did a ton of structured training for running.
I decided I wanted to buy a mountain bike and race XC this year until I can fix an issue with my ankle that put a pause on my ocr racing. I started training on the bike in December. Immediately felt good. Planned out the season on TR based on a local XC series. Went into SS base 1 in January. Went with Mid Volume so I could add outside rides. I am used to 500-800 tss weekly when training for ocr.
At the beginning of SS base 2 I had my first (and turns out only) race and finished 6th in cat 3. Not great but I loved it. Continued with the training and when I had a race scheduled, I would hit a local 5 mile climb segment at race pace since at this point all of the races I had scheduled were postponed or canceled.
Every time I did a ramp test my ftp went up. I got through build and felt like a million bucks. Every ride I went on I was setting segment PRs and crushing people I would ride with. I PR’ed the 5 mile test segment and could not wait to go into specialty phase and prep for my “A race”. I had a goal on the 5 mile segment and was looking forward to it.
Then things went south. Specialty was painful. There were several workouts I had to bail on. My outdoor rides were suffering and I started to question if I was actually going to peak for the race. I persisted with the training but maybe, after looking back, I should not have.
On “race day”, after doing the work, I felt meh. I got up early and went to post a time on the segment. I was pushing hard but the effort level felt really really hard. I ended up pushing the most power I ever had through the segment but ended up finishing a minute off my previous pace. Not a big deal but I felt like the tank was on empty.
I rested for the following week with only endurance rides. However, since then, my rides have gotten worse and worse. I have a pain in my legs that basically starts out with what feels like a strange lactic acid buildup and turns into me not being able to push the pedals. My legs just lock up with pain. It’s at the point where I can’t push my heart rate up without my legs hurting badly. My last ramp test had me down on power about 27w. It only seems to happen with sustained power efforts. Short, punchy climbs seem fine.
Has anyone else experienced this? I have rested plenty and it does not seem to sort itself out. Not sure what to do at this point.
For reference, I am 46 and I went from 176 to 238 ftp on the trainer. Outdoor ftp is about 5% higher.