Dear Trainerroad users
I know there have been similar topics/discussions, and i have read all of them. However i still think this is relevant because in theory, i don`t think what i am experiencing makes sense! Therefore i would really like to hear if someone has some interesting thoughts.
The issue is that every time i have had a recovery week or period my fitness seems to drop a lot.
- Higher resting HR.
- Lower HR variability.
- Higher HR at the same power output at the bike. - This is the case all the way from Z1-Z2 to above threshold.
Besides these measurements. I feel absolutely terrible. I am struggling with my breathing, even at submaximal intensities. And i generally just feel that i can`t recover as i normally do from a session.
I have experienced this lot
s of times. Right now i am starting a sustained power build after i did 5 weeks of sweet spot base high volume 2. Before that, i did 7 weeks of high volume "base" work. Lots of tempo efforts, and some weeks quite a lot of spiked efforts/over unders.
I haven`t had a day off the bike since the 24th August.
The last 12 weeks i have done 20-22 hours cycling per week. 2 of those hours is my recovery ride each Monday. - It is 2 hours of very easy Z1. (150w HR 115-120 bpm) Otherwise i have been working 6 times a week. + I have also done strength training 3 times a week during this 12 week period.
When i started the sweet spot base plan (6 weeks ago now) i just added extra volume so that i would hit around 20-22 hours per week. All the added volume has been easy z1-z2 riding. (most of it fasted, early morning ride)
Despite my high training volume i actually haven’t been used to doing so large amounts of sweet spot work. And definitely not for so many weeks in a row! So i was quite challengeing to start with.
I started the plan with my FTP setting at 325w. - However, i tried to hit 300w in as many intervals as i could.
First 2 weeks i could only do that half of the days, and half of the intervals. Third week i had some VERY rough days and i seriously doubted if i could complete the plan, and i expected that i had to drop the power a bit for the last 2,5 weeks.
Surprisingly the last 2 weeks i was flying. Did 300-315w in all intervals despite the higher volume of sweespot. I guess my FTP to start with might have been higher than 325w, or it certainly did become higher than that during the block.
After the block i was a bit in doubt what i should do in terms of the recovery week. I thought i might try the original recovery week there was in the plan, but just with some added volume. (given my normally higher volume)
So i did that, but i added some easy Z1-Z2. 14,5 hours that week as total volume, and i kept the intensity as low as it should.
Mid week i could start seeing my HR rise a bit during workouts at the same poweroutput, i still felt fatigued though. So i kept to the recovery week plan.
Now i am in the new week after the recovery week, and i just started the substained build high volume plan. But as mentioned i feel terrible, right now i would not be able to do the power that i did in the last week of the sweetspot plan.
I did a HIT session yesterday. 30
/30 + 1x5
VO2 (for a total of 40) as a more gentle HIT session than the 7x5
all out there was in the build plan. Today my HR at 250w in andrews was just as high as 300-315w the last week in the sweespot plan. (probarly a loss of plasma volume, but still) Breathing and feeling is awful. Besides that i feel like i cant recover from the sessions, so now i actually feel like taking a recovery week just after a few hard days… Whereas i did´ent feel the need to take a recoery week after the bigh fifth week of the sweespot base plan.
But yeah i did the recovery because that was the logical thing to do, and i thought it was needed after those 5 weeks. (and in general after 12 weeks of building base, i have had 1 recovery week in the earlier 7 weeks of base, but still kept volume high 20h and some intensity)
Is there any sense in what i am experincing? Why do i feel like i lose shape so quickly?? Is this normal?
A few days with easy riding seems to be ok for me after a hard period. But more than that often makes things worse…
I am a bit unsure what to do going forward…
I really apreciate any thoughts!
All the best Malte