I recently ramped up a 3 week crit training session to prepare for a CAT 5 race. I am also coming back after a knee and back injury so this was the most intense riding I’ve done all year. These were mostly two times a week outdoor interval rides and one longer endurance on the weekend. Unfortunately I was riding really well on the third week then planned to take a recovery week before the race on the weekend. My legs never recovered during the recovery week and I was really flat (legs felt heavy and no anaerobic power). I’m guessing this is a sign of too much too fast after an injury? I’m trying to plan recovery weeks better, so maybe a longer recovery period is in order. Thoughts?
Maybe too much. But it’s really common to feel heavy-legged in a recovery week.
I feel sharpest when I do a few days of recovery (i.e. reduced intensity and volume) and follow with a taper (put back in the intensity but keep volume down). Just something I’ve noticed for me personally. Figuring out how your body gets race ready takes some experimenting.
And form can be a funny thing! No sooner is it here, than it’s gone again. Sometimes it comes early, sometimes too late. Even the pro’s can’t always get it right!!
Do you think I should just go low intensity until my legs feel better? I tried an interval ride last night and turned in a pretty poor performance. Trial and error I guess.
I’ve had this happen to me. But it was from a longer training block. In any case the solution was to take a few days completely off the bike.
Well in my instance I needed about 8-10 days off, followed by a recovery week.
I had dug myself a hole with months of training and then did a big block of intervals, which turned my legs into concrete blocks when I had the taper week. Unfortunetly, after I took the break, and after the crit series was over, my form was the best of the year. . (Recap: I trained at too high a volume, then a ton of intensity, I tapered, raced, took a break, then was killing it.)
This was in the summer of 2018. Then I spent a lot of time in the past year building up my aerobic base big time. This is my third year of racing btw.
Turning your legs into bricks is something I think that a lot of cyclists do. I’m sure the pros do it all the time. Its so hard to figure out because you only really notice or care about it when you have your big important races.
I don’t think 3 weeks is long enough time to really get “overtrained” in a real sense, just tired. So yeah, if you did the intervals poorly last night, I’d do an easy spin today, then try something more intense again tomorrow, and I bet it’ll feel better.
I would bet if you do Dans or something today your legs will feel lighter and better the last ten minutes, even if they feel heavy or sore at the beginning. Then you’ll be good to go at it tomorrow.