Exhausted for days - why?


i am an enthusastic user of TR for two years now. I try to sit on my Kickr 3-5 times weekly usually working out on 30-45 min units aiming at strengthening muscles, working on my anaerobic capacities and keeping power arpund 80-120% FTP (240).

I usually go through the workouts offered in the Speciality/Enthusiast/Time Crunch 30 or 45 plans and am quite happy with it.

But too often i feel exhausted and tired for days after completing 2 or 3 workouts in a time span of 3-5 days. Very exhausted, could sleep a lot…

How come? I am fit, sporty guy of 40y, in ideal weight and with good diet. And I also take care not to overdo things. Beinh used to hilly/mountaineous outdoor rides I am surprised to feel such exhaustion by these 30/45 min workouts.

Who can help? Thx! Tomi


Have you got your blood (hemoglobin, ferritin etc.) checked, that it’s all ok on that front?

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Thanks JS for your reply.

I am a Diabetic dependend on insuline injections per day. I have a Constant Glucose Measuring device on my body and have regular blood tests and further checkups - i would have heard of it in case something is wrong. So, the insuline dependency aside all fine so far.

Ok. That was just a thought from me, as it is very usual that the ferritin level is not checked, and they just monitor the Hb, which doesn’t tell exerything. One (incl. myself at one point) can have an ok Hb, but even very low ferritin level at the same time.

Sounds like a ton of intensity. If I did 3 High Intensity workouts in 3 days, I would be crushed for several days. That can really pull it out of you.

There are 7 days in a week. What else is happening the other 2-4 days a week?

How much stress do you have elsewhere in your life?

Are you getting adequate rest? what else is going on in your life? (are you a delivery person on your feet all day vs someone binging TV shows all day).


I think Coach Chad touched on this subject in a few podcasts back where he said the Time Crunched plans were designed more for people to maintain or keep some fitness when time becomes an issue and is not supposed to be a long term plan as the amount of stress would be too much. Think trying to keep doing build all year. I’d try to integrate some Z2 or even recovery rides in between workouts and maybe drop back to only 2 high intensity workouts a week to see you your body copes with that.


Thank you for your comment.

Is that really so much? 3 sessions? The workout plan suggests even more? Are the 30/45 min time crunch plans high intensity?

What about those 90-120 min rides? Who does those? Or are this “milder” because they offer more in between relief during the workout?

I have normal stress as everybody else - work, kids, all fine and not over the edge… the Kickr/TR Workout is something I am enjoying a lot and looking forward to it (unless I am supertired as described).

I take some rest although I am mostly “on my feet” and not really a couch/TV guy.


Good points - I will try to include some recovery workouts every week.

So far I had a bad feeling skipping workouts or exchanging the workout my plan offered me with a recovery workout.

Doing high intensity / muscle building workouts regularly decreases my need for insuline shots enormously since the muscles take the sugar out of the blood directly and would not need that much insuline. This is a major part of my health therapy to keep my Diabetes under control.

How many years have you been training, how many indoors?

What’s the rest of your life like?

Are you fuelling the 3-5 sessions?

How about rest and sleep?

Hey JoeX,

I am a sportsman all my life, have played quite high level of team/solosports since childhood throughout studies and now.
I bought my first racing bike some 20y ago and have been driving it intensively since then.
I got my Kickr in summer 2018 and am working out regularly on it since then.

Yes, I am refilling, although I eat much less carbonhydrates since my diagnosis in 2018.

Rest and sleep? As much as a working dad of two little girls can do :slight_smile:

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Wow, can’t believe you’ve managed to keep on those time crunched plans for 2 years! Looking at the plans, most weeks have 2-3 workouts with an IF of 92+, so it’s not surprising you are tired. These plans are like polarised training, only reversed!

My advice would be to follow a low volume base and build. If you want to add another two workouts to keep it 5 a week, then make them zone 2, or around 55-70% ftp.

I should add that it may also be worth splitting the base periods up so that you do 3 weeks followed by a recovery week, instead of the full 5 weeks.


And potentially, if you don’t have the 60 to 90 mins the LV plan requires, try to shift down to the tone-down version of the same workout, or find workouts targetting the same systems, but with shorted duration, to swap with.


Ha ha, sound okay then so assuming it’s just the workouts and no other factor at all affecting your fatigue levels, I’d agree with other and Lebowski get onto an LV plan instead and/or go to -1 versions

I’ve got three and one sleeps in our bed, so I remember having a couple of continuous nights of sleep back in December. Ah, those were the days. :joy:

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Sounds like your base fitness is gone.


Yep I’d agree with that just need to simply step the intensity back and do the zone 2 riders a with zone 3 strength work.

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Thanks to all of you - great and helpful comments.

@Aaron_Wright : what di you mean by “zone 2 riders a with zone 3 strength work”?

@lebowskii98: If all of my training so far is so demanding… how come my FTP is “only” 240?

thank you!

Yep as above - you have NO base to support the intensity - you can’t spend all your time at 80-120%FTP even for short sessions with no solid endurance training in zone 2 - endurance sports don’t work like that. You need a solid 3 months of zone 2 and SS riding with more volume and nothing higher than 90% FTP - then you can add back in your shorter high IF sessions if you like and you will have the muscular endurance not just to cope with the session you are doing bit also to help you recover for the next session. That said if you are massively fatigued a blood test is always in order to rule out any underlying health issues - good luck with getting one of those in the current climate :upside_down_face:


and on your last point - your FTP is only 240 because you don’t have the muscular endurance or the cycling experience - it takes years to develop - there are no short cuts - lots of miles and a mix of different training stimuli


To build fitness you need to develop each part of your system and can’t just work at top end all the time not even the pros do that they spend most of their time in zone 2 so they can hit the harder session hard. Obviously you dont have there time to train so need to be much smarter. Zone 2 work is what builds up your mitragrontua which is your base think of like the base of a triangle and the wider it is the higher your potential is. Ideally want able to carry out with a nice steady heart rate showing an economical body when doing keep cadence at 90 to 100 then do zone 3 for 10 to 15 minutes at cadence of 70 to 80 and it will build your muscle endurance.

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Thank you all very much.

I still dont get one thing: even base phase low volume plans habe most workouts at IF 0.80ish.

Do you guys buikd your own plans? Where would I find an appropriate plan for me?

And where do I find my zones, so the data for zone 2, zone 3 etc?

IF isn’t everything. Nor is TSS, or even kj burned for the workout. The high intensity workouts in the maintenance plan are simply going to be very fatiguing over time. They’re fun, and you can have the strength to motor through them, but you’re not necessarily building cardio fitness with them.

I don’t see any specific goals, other than staying active. With that in mind I think you’d be better served with workouts that are just long sweetspot sustained efforts, and limited surging above threshold. Definitely more boring. Sweetspot base low volume would be perfect. If you can’t fit in 3.5 hours per week, just do 2 of the workouts per week and stretch it out over 9weeks instead of the scheduled 6.