Mental issues when TSS high

Hi Guys,

I’d like to get your opinion on my problem.

I can manage a lot of training stress physically. I also love the longer races and perform quite well in them but I have problems with the mental processing of my TSS.

I attached an image that gives an overview of my daily and weekly TSS as from July last year. I’ve been struggling with stress and sleep last summer and that triggered me to keep this log. The first column in the table represents how I’m feeling and sleeping. It’s obvious that my mental health is related to my TSS.

I’m not sure if the issue is related to the weekly TSS volume or to the usual Saturday race or ride (200+ TSS). I was in preparation for an end-of-season race during the last weeks so this was my last attempt to have a few 600+ TSS weeks in succession. It didn’t go well so I suppose I should stay conservative next year.

This will probably result in a stable TSS volume throughout the year with around 400/500 TSS weekly. I don’t see any point in trimming down the TSS any further. I enjoy spending time on the bike and I’ll do some bike-packing in december and January so this will be a good base-foundation.

I live in the French alps where there’s basically a great cyclosportive every week from May to September. This means that I’d prefer not focus on 1 or 2 events. I’d rather finish 10th 5 times than winning one race.

Doing the long parcours / grand condo’s will give me probably too much TSS and recovery time so I’m thinking about focusing on the shorter versions (small parcours or medio-fondo’s) which will be a good substitute for normal weekend rides, TSS-wise.

Any insights on what causes the mental issues? The 200+ rides or the 600+ weeks? And how would you deal with it if your physical capacity and available time isn’t an issue?

And how would you plan the next season?