Severe Fatigue - Management/Recovery Time

Just wondering what others have experienced when fatigue becomes more than just the kind of fatigue you can bounce back from in a say 1 to 3 days.

Thought I’d leave the words Chronic Fatigue out of the title to reduce the clickbait. But I’ve searched and don’t really see any threads about this topic so I thought maybe this could be helpful information to others (pending replies) - Not saying this is but I figure those that have had chronic fatigue potentially would have experiences to share.

Sorry for the long post —

December - Finished build, thought I’d skip speciality as it’s a bit early in my season.
January - SSB1 Low Volume - just cruising, no issues TSS is half where it was in December.
26Jan - Solid MTB ride probably 150ish TSS (Maybe got a bit of heat exhaustion, but definitely was dehydrated afterwards).
Downward Spiral
27Jan - Struggled to get out of bed, totally wrecked - I don’t remember ever feeling as fatigued in my life.
28Jan-3Feb - Recovered okay, got through 2 sessions (ended 1 early) and a light-ish MTB ride Sunday taking extra days off.
4Feb (Monday) - Totally wrecked again, took it extra easy for a few more days.
7Feb (Thursday) - Did a 45min light session - felt fine afterwards & not too fatigued the next day.
8Feb - Out for the evening, fainted & ended up in hospital for a few hours BP was 74/36 apparently (which sounds bad?).
9th -> 14th Feb
Totally off the bike, feeling pretty crappy since, testing hasn’t shown anything wrong to this point - waiting on result of heart check tomorrow.

I don’t seem to have any illness - No viral symptoms as far as I can tell but have felt dehydrated and light headed constantly.

Things finally seem to be turning a corner and I’m feeling a bit of improvement as of the past 24 hours.

So on the assumption this is just pure and simple fatigue - just wondering what others have experienced.

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Ouch… I am not a doctor but I have watched a lot of House MD. Yours does not sound like a fatigue situation. Not sure what tests you took, but from viral infection to metal poisoning to other causes - it could be anything.


Just Full Blood Count and the Heart monitor.
I seem to have a heart issue - Prolonged PR interval but that seems to be quite a common thing so unless I broke it on that particular ride I don’t think it’s that.

I guess I was just wondering if this is what happens when you over-train or chronic fatigue sets in. I.e. you get hit like a freight train

Haha that House MD comment cracked me up :slight_smile:

OP - sorry to hear this, I have nothing constructive to add.

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I had a similar situation November last year, (without the crazy low BP) had to stop a workout early but had no real symptoms and kept trying to exercise every few days but after 3 weeks of no exercise and a week of antibiotics I got better, in my case it was most likely a chest infection without the usual symptoms, blood tests won’t show up everything, especially viruses.
I’m no expert but I don’t think chronic fatigue comes on that suddenly. I’d try to leave the exercise for a week at least to give your body a chance to recover, I know this is hard but I think I may have recovered better/faster had I not kept trying every couple of days.
Good luck with it though.


How is your diet?

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Before concluding in fatigue you need go through the standard tests with your doctor to ensure that the symptoms are is not caused by any organs or infections. If you can exclude those and it does not disappear after a couple of weeks then a longer journey of finding the root cause and remedy begins…adrenaline fatigue, hormone disorder, depression… Before assuming the worst, have a couple of days rest and see what happens. If you feel like doing sports keep it recovery workouts for the next days and see what happens.

Overtraining is not coming from one day to the other. Before running into Overtraining you run into Overreaching, which can be cured by a couple of days test. If you ignore it then you run into Overtraining, which cannot be cured within days.


See your Dr…that said it’s virtually impossible to get chronic fatigue training at the volumes we do…


I went through a 10 year period of full blown chronic fatigue syndrome (ie 3 flights of stairs wiped me out), so I’ll throw in my two cents worth (disclaimer - this is not medical advice, just what I learned over the years). There is a blurring of lines btw over training syndrome (or UUPS - unexplained under performance syndrome) and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome/CFS (or ME - myalgic encephelomyelitis (sp?)). I had the latter, possibly caused by the former, or maybe from Gulf War service, who knows? I would: start with rest and see if the symptoms improve; see your doc and have TSH (thyroid stimulating hormone) levels checked - if it’s high (like >3.5), it may be a symptom of something larger; a lot of athletes w/ UUPS respond well to rest and Prozac (or for me Wellbutrin), even if there is no depression component. If all that fails, then you may need to look more at at adrenal stress and/or CFS/ME. There’s a company in Austin called Neurogistics that has a home test kit for neurotransmitters; they will recommend treatment based on the results. If that fails, possibly test for re-activation of childhood viruses such as Roseola, Mono and (if I recall correctly) a human form of Parvo (about 40% of CFS patients have reactivation of a virus; I had mono and roseola). Also, if possible, test for inflammatory markers like cytokines and interleukins (all of mine were 2-3 standard deviations above normal); you can also look at natural killer cell activity that would indicate a virus. Another problem can be metabolic - a graded exercise test w/ gas exchange can reveal a problem w/ your aerobic metabolism (for example, I was hitting anerobic threshold at a HR of 107, so I was not burning fat at all and was constantly glycogen depleted). Hope that helps. Keep us posted on your progress


Btw, re-reading your post, orthostatic hypotension (blood pressure drops w/ positional changes) is another hallmark sign of CFS. I had to keep a b/p log (sitting, then standing, then 3 min after standing). My doc had me pushing 2-3 liters of fluid/day along with 2,000mg of sodium. That’s one of my lingering symptoms

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Yeah - it’s 90% there, not perfect

Thanks everyone for the replies - I’m not too worried about my prognosis (maybe I should be), I think things are starting to improve & hopefully with some more tests get to the bottom of the cause.

My thinking with this topic was mainly just around that I went searching for info and nothing really came up. I’m trying my best not to self diagnose but it’s good to hear experiences of others that have had similar issues.

I guess the Take-away seems to be Chronic Fatigue or Over-training won’t generally hit you just in a single day - it’ll be more a case of getting repeatedly knocked down before not being able to continue.

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Please go see a doctor.

That part is ongoing - never fear :slight_smile:

Dis you solve the isaue? How ? I am having the same.

Austin, may i know the cure for your aerobic metabolism at 107 hr?

Steven Seiler in one of the Velonews podcasts mentions tha amateur athletes are often found to exceed VT1 just getting off the couch. His recommendation is LSD type training a la MAF or polarized. This isn’t medical advice, but maybe food for thought

Thanks for replying - exactly why I put the post here in the first place so there could be some information shared on this kind of search.

For me - I have put the whole episode down to a combination of factors. 1. Virus 2. Over-training and 3. Stress from work.
Something just came along that dropped an extra straw onto the camels back and from that point on it was a slow motion train wreck.

Only having 6 months of structured training under my belt I probably missed all of the warning signs when you’re nearing your limits. The big thing I now notice is irritability and getting overly snappy about the little things.
Changed my job a few months back which has reduced overall stress massively, I’ve been able to be a bit more consistent with training and things have improved now back to roughly where I was 8 or so months ago.

Assuming you have a similar scenario to what I had.
My advice now would be to let go of your training plans entirely, leave a blank space in your calendar for at least the next month or two.
Get 8 hours of sleep per night as the main priority and that is about it.
Don’t ditch exercise entirely - but if you go for a ride/run etc make sure it’s short and watch the intensity. You’ll learn very quickly if you overdo it when you’re back unable to get out of bed again.


Hi, I just found your post after doing a search. I also made a post asking about something I’m going through as well.

Not only did I almost faint but I’ve been experiencing pretty bad irritability. The smallest thing with my kids set me off. For example, my eldest just touched my shoulder lightly and I basically yelled at her and was seriously angry about it. I felt so bad for doing that and apologized to her.

Is this similar to what you experienced?