Unexpectedly off form

So, I had an XC MTB race two weeks ago that went well. Not 100% on form yet, but I had a good result. Over the past 2 weeks I have been tapering for an important race in October, and not riding hard at all. However, on one of my recent rides, I felt horrible. My legs were on point but my breathing got out of control very quickly and my lungs were hurting. This is the worst i’ve ever felt for a long time, and I’m wondering what could be the cause of this and how to fix this.

Hey! I’m going to take a look at your calendar now. :+1:

Can you let me know your TrainerRoad username so I can check it out?


I’m not on a trainerroad plan, this is just a good place to find information I’ve found. I am following a training peaks plan to the dot though.

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Have you tested yourself for Covid?

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:point_up_2: :point_up_2:

This right here is exactly why you SHOULD be on a TR plan. A world class rider/coach/TR team member (and legendary podcast host) offered to specifically look at your data. That’s an intangible that’s not mentioned enough about this platform, and Ivy is an incredible human for offering to do so. I wish I could review TR over and over - it’s an absolutely incredible platform and community.


Holy cow this is so nice, thank you so much!! We’re stoked you’re with us! :star2:


Got it. It’s good to want to ask other athletes for their experiences in being off-form like this, and getting into those off-the bike influencers like stress, nutrition, recovery, and sleep hygiene can really help provide context to those offering advice. We certainly have a lot to learn from the community on those fronts!

More significant than off-the-bike factors that can impact training, understanding a plateau or fatigue at a granular level requires a pretty intensive look at the full scope of your training plan and history, the progressions and structure of your workouts, compliance for your workouts completed (ie checking out the work you’ve actually done within assigned intervals), and more.

As @Jhardisk mentioned, this is something we’re stoked to do for our athletes at TrainerRoad, but you can see how the lack of visibility to all of that information for you might not result in getting the best, most applicable advice to address what you’re experiencing in training.

We’re here to help in any way we can, though!

Have you tapered like this before? Doing a full multi week taper for a big race can be pretty weird, I nearly always go through a period of feeling pretty terrible before the freshness (hopefully!) starts to kick in for race day. And not riding hard at all isn’t a great way to taper in my experience. General advice is to reduce volume week on week but keep the same mix of intensity so that you’re still feeling sharp.


No but that could definitely be a factor, I might do that. Although I don’t really feel sick. Just not riding well.

Well thank you so much for the offer, I will definitely consider TrainerRoad in the future. I am still a junior so do not have the money for it currently though.

Yes, I have had tapers for a while now and I understand that tapering can make you feel crappy. I feel like this feeling was different though. Also, I have been doing intense rides, just not super often, maybe once a week.

I’d be curious to know how your other rides are feeling- was it just the one bad day or is it part of a larger pattern? (Either a gradual decline or just generally feeling crappy?)

Positive Covid test seems to be the answer, my other rides were feeling bad, but I am better now that I have recovered mostly. Unfortunately I had a bad race cause of it.