High Intensity Workouts fatigues me a lot

I can hit all the power during HI workouts (RPE 8-10), However, I find myself fatigued for 1-3 days afterward, experiencing noticeable soreness.

Observing others around me, it appears different. While they may express difficulty during workouts, they quickly bounce back. Could it be that they are not exerting themselves to the same extent? I can’t help but notice a lack of similar fatigue in them.

Is it possible that I’m not used to this level of intensity? I am at one HIT / week now and it seems to be working reasonably well. However, on days when I’m feeling particularly fresh, I can achieve personal records, but the subsequent soreness lasts for two or three days, which feels excessive.

Or could the intensity be too high for me? I’m generally comfortable with endurance and tempo rides, and they only fatigue me when done excessively. Over the past 3-4 years of cycling, averaging 300+ hours annually (increasing in recent years), I haven’t consistently incorporated high-intensity workouts throughout the entire year.

I tried to search for this topic, I’m sure it has already been discussed.

What kind of workouts are you talking about when you say high-intensity? Do you mean anaerobic/sprint workouts or are you talking about anything above tempo?

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Ah, good question: Vo2Max, Threshold stuff, several minutes of TIZ. Sprints/anaerobic are totally ok.

And, what kind of cadence are you doing vo2/threshold intervals at?

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On the high side, 90-110 rpm, also depends on other factors. I try to avoid doing this zones (vo2max, threshold) with 60 rpm (when climbing or similar).

What’s your fueling like, especially post ride.

Are you eating enough protein?

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I’m trying to, yes. Also enough sleep and eating good in general. After a good HIT session, I experience a feeling reminiscent of my first visit to the gym. :sweat_smile:

Some people are just more durable than others. You can train it, but everyone has a different baseline. Yours is prob low. Higher frequency of hard riding is the best you can do to resolve it.


Are you also taking in enough carbs during the workout?

I am working on that. I eat carbs during the workout, but not enough probably.

Can this impact soreness even two days later?

I personally definitely feel the effects of hard workouts for longer if I don’t eat enough during them.

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Adding a long cooldown helped me regarding soreness. I usually add 10 minutes at LT1, plus 5 min at least at 40%. If I have time or the workout was really hard I can do even longer (10-20 min at 40%), I look at my heartrate to see if it’s still dropping.
For general fatigue, I just don’t do max VO2max workouts anymore (think 5x5, all maxed), they are too taxing for me. I do hardstart intervals or custom 30/15ish. I target time in HR in the 90-94% zone, and try not to get above. No need to go higher for me if I’m then cooked for 2 or 3 days.

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Carbs during the workout won’t save lack of good nutrition off the bike.

It makes a HUGE difference when one goes from eating to little carbs to eating enough.

Do one week of measuring intake:

  • 2g/kg carbs for the two meals before the workout if it’s a hard workout
  • 1.5g/kg carbs for the two meals before an endurance workout

60-80g/carbs per hour for all workouts except sub 90min endurance rides under 0.65 IF. (like petite)

Try that and see how it goes!

And yes, you need a scale. And yes, it’s worth it. Give it a week to feel the diffference!

And for protein, 20g for each meal is a good starting point :slight_smile:


I was like this not too long ago and thought it was natural, being old (47 atm) and now it feels I can endure hard workouts and weeks in a easy way, what I changed was my daily feed, mainly my daily carbs, basically something like this:

1h wo : at least 6g/kg of carbs per day
2h wo : at least 7g/kg of carbs per day
3h wo : at least 8g/kg of carbs per day

and so on.

Protein at least 1.6g/kg per day and fat I try not to get below 1g/kg but fat is my calorie filler

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Might be of interest


Slow carbs have totally turned this around for me. I honestly can’t believe I’ve dealt with this for years, yes years. I drink sugar on the bike and all that but extra bowls of oatmeal and brown rice have made a huge difference. I’ve played around with faster carbs - white rice and cereal but the slow carbs seem to work better for me.

I experimented with calorie/macro counting and hitting 350-400+ grams of carbohydrate per day helps me recover way faster.

I’ve read about carbs for years, grams per hour, and thought I was eating plenty but I wasn’t.


This has done wonders for me. I’m old and it takes 10 min extra to warm up as well as cool down.


Yep. I’m doing 25 min warm-up. Always the same, so I can see how the legs and heart react that day.

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Yes, get enough carbs, particularly on HIT days, before. during, and after.

And do a good warm down, or better (for me) a 30 minute easy spin later that day or the next morning (or a good 30-minute warmup for the next days workout). I can’t tell you how many days I’ve changed my next days workout, or skipped it altogether, because I was feeling fatigued, but after 30 to 45 minutes of pedaling suddenly feel like I’m ready to do about anything.


Carbohydrates are the key to recovery, not protein.