Covid Catastrophe

I’ve done it! Didn’t listen to podcasts, others or self. Since lockdown I’ve had nothing to do but cycle, low maintenance job and all the time in the world to train, so my issue is I have over trained, lock, stock and broken body.

Over the last 22 weeks I’ve pushed hard, had only 1 real “rest week” and had an average TSS of 675 per week which included 32 Zwift races - normally not an issue but for a 54 year old rider it wasn’t big or cleaver and now I’m suffering.

At first I was getting good gains, got my FTP to 308 and weight was steady at 67kg. Then after a while it started to drop off, and slowly, I thought it was just a temporary glitch, I started to lose power and the ability to train. To the point when at the beginning of August I was spent but by the time I realised it was too late.

No power, no steady heart rate, tight chest with absolutely no capacity for Vo2 max, feel drained and tired and do not want to train. I have had 2 full weeks off with no bike and now gone back to commuting only 40km per day at Z2 for 4 days a week- no more, no other rides, no running, no swimming.

So, diet is good - couldn’t really be better, plenty of good quality food and 4 meals a day. Sleep is OK, could be better (2 elderly dogs need to go out in the night) but generally get 9 hours a night.

No real life stresses, job is good, life is good (except for the obvious) and I have as much time to train as I want - normally 9-13 hours a week.

So the question is how to recover from it, do I:
a. Stop all cycling and not start again until I feel better.
b. Carry on with my commute to work each day at no more than Z2 (4 days a week) have weekends off (really off) and use it as active recovery until I get back to normal?

Probably not what you want to hear: my vote goes to a) stop until you feel good (not just better). Then start slowly with the Z2. Listen to your body and learn what you can train through and when you need rest. I trained myself into a hole a while ago and kept stumbling from one sickness into the next. Main reason: Zwift racing and hard intervals Without a solid base. My cure was cancelling Zwift and signing up with TR.

So if you have a lot of time to train make sure you pick the right plan and start building a solid base. In your case i would at least consider traditional base in order to keep the stress low. Sweet spot base is probably fine as well.

The next pit to avoid: muscular issues —> stretch / mobilize after every session for 5-10 minutes.

Yes, you’ve been overdoing it, however this statement, especially the tight chest, got me wondering if you’ve picked up Covid19 at some point as well?

Thanks, thought the same - tested last week- negative

Noted - thanks

@Shale136 First of all, I hope you have fully recovered and back on the bike! This is an interesting topic nearly mirroring my situation.

I am 57 years old, 67 kg and started TR last November and went from 2.5 to current 3.5 w/kg. Nothing special but I’m ok with it for my age.

Everything was going great until about 1 month ago when I started getting tight chest problems. I don’t think it is COVID. But in the middle of the night, I’ll wake up, cough a few times and then back to sleep. First I thought it was because of training with a big fan blasting in my face. But now I am not so sure.

My FTP has been stable but I expected this. Last Ramp I had a 1 W gain… :smiley: My hope, at this age, is to just maintain.

I took 1 week off, completely zero riding, first time since last November. I thought I over reached or maybe even over trained as I was doing high and mid volume non stop. This week I will keep to just Z2 riding between 1 & 2 hours. I am still stuck indoors because of crappy weather and other issues. I hope to get back to my Polarized sessions next week…

How did everything work out for you? Just as reference as we are all different.



Hi all, So by way of an update, I did take some time out and have lowered my training volume, FTP is still cruising between 295 and 305 but cannot get anymore than that.

I stoppped for a while, went back in at Z2 max and did some steady weeks at around 300 TSS, this seemed to work. I have since got back onto a programme (Mid Volume) and now training for the coming CX season.

Still feeling quite tired and weak on some days but normally after a hard session, to be expected I think!

I try to keep the TSS at 500 a week now or if I have a 600+ week and then drop the following week to 300-400 and this seems to work, legs are getting stronger and I feel good.

As you say, at this age if I can maintain my FTP ill be happy and if I can edge out another few watts next time I test ill be happy!

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