Need help with overtraining

So I’m 48 and over the last few years as I’ve moved from sweet spot base into build I’ve managed to dig myself into a hole fitness wise. Basically, my legs just seem to stop recovering.

This time has been no different. I wrapped up SSBLV 2 Feeling like a champ and with reasonable ftp gains. The first week of build was tough - I had to bailed out on the last interval of one of the workouts and my fitness was still improving (according to my Garmin 530 and how strong I felt) on my weekend ride.

The second week of LV build was also tough. I had to back off of the intensity in the final intervals but completed the workouts although my legs were feeling crampy.

Today’s road ride was rough. My fitness had obviously gone backwards and my Garmin gave me a -2 fitness and lowered my ftp. I didn’t cramp but I would have blown up if I pushed it.

So here are my questions:

What’s the best way to dig my body out of the overtraining hole it’s in and get back to training? Recovery week? Lots of calories and sleep?

Next, this happens every time in the 2nd week of build. Do I need to switch to 1 week build/1 week recovery protocol? Or should I just keep repeating base blocks?

Thank you for reading.

Short answer IMO.

As much sleep and you can get and an extra light recovery week and see how you respond. “Lots of calories” not unless you are very lean, however lots of veggies would be good.

Are you sure you have over-trained though? Extra Stress, Virus, Anemia are very similar in terms of impacting on ones performance and ability to train.

Oh and if your FTP is over estimated it might not show up in base but will in Build, consider that maybe?

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I’m pretty much on the same boat right now.
April and May I was crushing it. There was power PRs pretty much every week… That was until last week.
After my last recovery week, I started a new block without a new ftp test. So I know I could do the workout because the last block was good… But the first couple of workout was awful finished half ish of the workout, and by Saturday I did sweetspot 92-94% and I had to dial it down to 85-88% thresholds and I was hitting high threshold to vo2 heart rate. (I know HR usually is irrelevant)

After that Saturday anything above tempo my HR is sky rocket… My whoop has been on yellow or red all this week.
I am contributing this downward spiral to sort of post peak syndrome (although I didn’t train to peak but the PRs was the factor) and bad sleep due to weather change. I’ve been blasting my AC at night to sleep and try to take another easy Z2 week with some spikes to maintain. Hopefully be out of this funk by next week. :sob:

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Less threshold, more VO2 Max and Z2?

That’s gonna be my plan any way. Tired of being tired. I love doing work at threshold but I do wonder if doing one every week is productive. Basically I’m gonna cherry pick some aspects of polarized models but add race specific workout and not take out threshold work entirely.

I doubt you are overtrained. Guess that’s not even possible on low volume. I would attribute this to lingering fatigue. Perhaps take a few easy days or even a few days off.

Nutrition, sleep, and other stress might also be a variable influencing your performance. Looking into that could do the trick as well.


Yeah the odds that you’re over trained are low. Cumulative stress from other sources combined with structured training is certainly possible. Eat more, sleep more. Start there and let’s see how it goes.

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I was getting beat up by training last year. I’d do a hard week and then I’d need an easy week. Repeat. I finally did a large 10 week base building block with lots of low intensity and only one intensity session per week. I was doing 9-13 hours per week. 6-7 weeks into this I was breaking all my PRs on Strava and my FTP tested 20 watts higher. So, I’m a firm believer in building the big wide base.

Since that big base block I’m no longer constantly bumping up against fatigue. I can do efforts at threshold or above and they no longer kill me.

Also, as a masters athlete you might want to experiment with things like two weeks hard / one easy.

As myself and others have said over-training is less likely than another causes. All the best in getting to the bottom of it, and come back firing on all cyclinders soon. :slight_smile: :+1:

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Thanks Everyone for the feedback. I started using TR in 2014 and have started TR programs at least 6 times (I suspect 8). I always make it through Base 1&2 feeling great and then crash by week 2-3 of build - even on the low volume plans.

During that six years I’ve had a variety of differing stress levels (although work is admittedly stressful right now) and I don’t have anemia. I have bloodwork done every six months and my blood values and even testosterone are within normal ranges. I’m conscientious about eating high quality food and I don’t mix weight loss with training (I’m eating maintenance calories + most days). The thing that consistently puts me in this state is the build phase.

Should I do a recovery week and the try 1 build week/1 rest week scheme? Or should I just go back and keep repeating different base blocks?

Are you confident that your FTP is set correctly? Could be that you are overachieving (Tests) by a few percentage points which allows you to complete base but not build!

Maybe 2/1 work rest weeks. 1/1 is probably not going to stress you enough and you’ll likely regress. 2 on:1 off is Worth a shot.