Workout nightmare

bit of a nightmare today, started Tallac +3 (SS 5x15min efforts) at 8am. (my normal routine time)
I got into the intervals after 3.5 of them I had to quit. The third interval was hard but not impossible.
Couldn’t turn the pedals over in the 4th - as much as I wanted it - nothing.
I felt like just laying on the floor broken!
Yesterday was a rest day and I had some bad sleep last night, and today I stopped briefly between the intervals and had some energy chews and water.

you lot ever have days like this? any advice?

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Absolutely I have days like this! I work with a coach and we just move on to the next workout. It’s just one workout, so it’s really not a big deal…

…despite what the demon called our ego says :japanese_ogre:


Its really hard for the ego. I have been on a plan now for 12weeks and only had this happen once before. Im trying to understand how to avoid this.

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Yeah - luckily SS seems to be relatively gentle on me, but I’ve learned that I must fuel properly, I can’t treat them like z2 at all, they require more respect.

I was going through some of my indoor rides last year during build and specialty and I had numerous failed workouts in the anaerobic / VO2 max zones. I was having a very hard time staying motivated at that time and I was probably not giving those workouts the respect they deserve. Staying consistent is hard - chalk it up to a bad day, get some rest/refuel and crush the next one.

Sometimes it’s nice to revisit those failed workout if it’s appropriate for you, to get a sense of accomplishment back!


Some-days that happens. Might be more tired then you think you are. Put some easy rides on the trainer this weekend and get back fresh next week.

I had this happen 3 weeks ago. Carried a bunch of stress into Sunday intervals and after the warm up noticed I had no power and shut it down.

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My guess is you didn’t go into it with enough fuel and rest given that you said you had poor sleep. Also, with you needing to stop and get chews and water between intervals and the fact you just couldn’t turn the pedals over may indicate you just didn’t have enough fuel for the workout. I’m just guessing but if that is the case I find have some easy to digest carbs 30-60 minutes before a sweet spot workout and a gel every 30 minutes during gets me through a workout without a fuel energy issue. Also how has your past training been? Have you over done any recent workouts or were you sick recently? All that can factor in to a workouts performance even days after.

Don’t feel too disheartened. I failed Pettit today, yeah that Pettit. Why? Well, my toddler woke up several times throughout the night, I way overdid my Wednesday workout and completed my Thursday workout (Antelope) as planned so had tons of fatigue in the legs and I’m just getting over a cold. When I got off the bike I was a tad bit discouraged, but I knew there were reasons why so I am not beating myself up over it. I do have two 2 hour SS workouts this weekend so I hope to bounce back from that and continue on. Best of luck in your next workouts and this won’t be any hindrance on your overall training plan,


Did you do anything special with your nutrition yesterday (eat less than usual for example?)

Could be that you ran out of carbs. I‘ve had that issue before when I still believed rest days meant I could eat less to lose weight faster…

You still were able to complete 70% of the intervals, so it wasn’t a complete waste of time.

Typically if I have a problem on some workout like that, and the problem comes late say 70% into the workout. I’ll just get off the bike and walk around and let the app run until I get to the next z1 portion. Then I’ll spin through that and try to finish the 5th interval or remaining intervals.

Sometimes you’ll get the power back into your legs and you can bang out one more full interval. Other times you’ll pull the pin and call it good.

The biggest contributing factors to these situations for me has seemingly been stress or demands on my time. The last time this happened to me I had a stressful life event occur and my girlfriend wanted to go do activities afterwards. So mentally I wasn’t able to stay in the game the whole time.

Now, if you had a failure on the first out of 5 intervals, you’re probably better off calling it quits and doing some z2 work for the day, say a pettit. Ya, you lose your day, but you will be fresher to get to work the next week.

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Nothing especially different. I actually ate a lot of pasta in the evening before the work out. But I dunno if that has time to get in my system for the workout.

Im think the poor quality sleep and the off game attitude took me off track. Thanks everyone for the insights.

I had the same thing happen to me with McAdie +1 today.

Mine was poor sleep over the past few days I’m certain.

It happens, and as long as I’m not failing multiple workouts in the same block, or even the same week I don’t think it’s the end of the world.
I move on to the next workout and keep at it.

Good Luck!

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Great workouts happen. Breakthroughs happen. Meh; whatever workouts happen. Poor or bad workouts happen. (Most will be Meh - got it done). Enjoy the great ones. Bask in the breakthroughs. Move on from the bad ones.

I failed Ericsson Tuesday. Body should have been able to do it. Brain simply was not there. Was I happy? No. Did I beat myself up? Nope – I know what was going on in my life and accepted it.

@JS84 nailed it


I bombed carpathian peak +2 today. It’s the second time I failed to complete a workout since starting TR. It sucks. But I’m not surprised. I’ve been shuffling workouts a bunch to accommodate life and sneak in some MTB rides when the conditions and time permits. And so I went into this pretty challenging workout taking it too lightly.

I need to fuel, recover, and sleep better. I think being post holi-daze had something to do with it too. Getting back into a routine will hopefully help.

My main takeaway is that there are reasons I failed it, I can and will correct them, and next time I’ll nail it. (Just like I did with kaweah which was the last workout I failed)

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It is probably really hard to tell why you have failed not knowing all the variables. The only common element with the workout is that they are quite long, sustained efforts near the threshold that requires muscle endurance. They alos require proper fuelling during the workout (for me) and they are somewhat a mental game with the body (especially O/U). If you have failed the only thing you can do is to analyse all the elements to find and maybe find some pattern that leads to this.

Good luck with future workouts and remember that even failed workout (despite being kick in the nuts for the ego) provides some information about your body and elements that need to be strengthened.

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Thanks for the replies. I got some good sleep last night, had good fuel and hit it again this AM, worked out much better. I was also in a more positive mood not dreading the workout like I kinda was the other day. Thanks!

Eating a big meal close to a workout is generally not a great idea. Digestion diverts blood to the gut, whereas bike workouts divert blood in the legs. They are at odds with each other. If the body prioritizes the legs, food is just going to sit undigested. If the body prioritizes the gut, the legs are going to be weak and you may also get food coma.

Best to wait 2-3 hours between a meal and a hard workout. If you don’t have time, then stick to fast digesting energy, which is mostly going to be gels and drinks. My hard workouts always happen in the morning, and I fuel with one gel 10 minutes before, and 100% carb drinks during.

@team_bunty the meal was the night before

We all have those days. I had a day like that last week. 1st one in 6 weeks I’ve been on TR. Hurt my ego but the next day I felt like a beast and the power targets felt so easy.

You can eliminate most of (but not all) the issue by focusing on nutrition. Hard workouts are HARD when done fasted. I don’t think it’s smart to starve yourself before a hard workout and doing it first thing in the morning is pretty much starving yourself (8+ hours of no food). If I HAVE TO ride at 8 you bet I’m waking up at 5am and shoving good quality food down my throat by 5:15am latest.

And if you have to be pedaling by 5am (or 4:30 on 90 min Thursdays) what would you do?

Ah, sorry, I misread.

Going to back to the first post, yes a poor night’s rest can do it. Even worse is two nights for poor rest in a row. When that happens, it’s pretty much game over for me.