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Tough workouts and post ride exhaustion

Old 11-28-20, 05:19 PM
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SeattleRider57
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Tough workouts and post ride exhaustion

Like all of you, I will do a tougher workout a 2-3 times per week, but I have noticed that I'm not recovering well, or maybe I'm going too hard for too long and I feel like I'm not especially functional the rest of the day. Case in point is today. After a solid 8hrs sleep last night, no drinking the night before, I got up and had a little coffee and a light snack. Then, I hit the trainer for a moderate 2hr workout - right around 62% ftp. I felt a little 'puffy' due to some salty food last night, so I wore a base layer to sweat it out a bit. I did sweat a lot today, but I've been so tired post ride that I not as mentally focused as I'd like to be. There are a couple of lingering work related tasks I wanted to do, but as soon as I start, I'm almost asleep. Any suggestions avoiding this? Sign of overtraining? Dehydration(lost about 7.6lbs of water, even though I took in about 3lbs during the workout)? I'd like to have these types of efforts in the future, but I don't want to sacrifice a day of production if I feel this tired. I'm also terrible about taking rest days. Thanks!
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Old 11-28-20, 05:46 PM
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Recovery is mostly a factor of two things - rest and nutrition.

First off, you should've probably eaten a full breakfast and took a short break before beginning your workout. As well as something to eat shortly afterwards, even if you are not feeling like eating due to lactic acid buildup.

In general, nutrition is a major factor when it comes to fueling yourself both short term and in long term recovery.

Ensuring an adequate amount of rest, not only after workouts but in general on a nightly basis is also super important.

Ultimately, take as much time off from hard workouts as you need to. But make sure that you are always doing something light throughout the week (walking, basic full body excersises, gentle cycling, etc. )

The beauty of biking is that you can set your own pace, and whether you are cycling more for cardiovascular endurance or strength training. Switch things up and make sure to train upper body as well.
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Old 11-29-20, 05:24 PM
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62% FTP shouldn't knock you down. Unless you're doing specific heat training for a hot summer event, you never want to get warmer than not feeling chilly on the bike. Research has shown that cyclists perform best at about 55. And guess what? It's 55 at lot in the PNW! So we're really lucky. Isn't there somewhere cool you can ride indoors? Open the door, shut off the heat? I have my indoor equipment set up in what would be equivalent to a garage where I can keep it at 55-58 for my off-season workouts. Plus I use a 24" box fan blowing on my head and torso the whole time. I wear shorts, a poly sports T-shirt and a headband. In a 2 hour ride, I'll go through about 3/4 of a bottle of HEED. I'll drink about a cup of sweetened water with whey protein before I ride. After the ride, I'll drink a little more water, nothing much. I will have a small puddle on the floor downwind of the fan, but nothing huge. I usually eat something about 3 hours before I ride, nothing after.

So almost for sure, your symptoms are of dehydration. Dehydration doesn't just affect your blood plasma levels, it also affects the secretion of certain hormones. You don't say if you took in electrolytes along with the water. Electrolyte imbalance will really mess with your system, which is the reason I use HEED sports drink for indoor riding. Outdoors, I use Endurolytes, 1-2/hour, along with plain water but don't want to bother with capsules indoors.
Indeed, dehydration of as little as 1% body weight (2 lb for a 200 lb person) is enough to reduce both endurance and strength performance as well as cognitive performance.
https://www.precisionnutrition.com/a...ut-dehydration

This Covid fall, I've gradually worked up to being able to do 1-3/4 hrs at 75% FTP almost every day. Hoping to be at 2 hrs. by mid-December. Instead of riding, I lift dumbbells twice/week. You can't overtrain at the effort level at which you rode. You can get tired, but that's the idea. You should be able to recover by the same time next day. That said, my practice is to ride before dinner, not first thing in the morning. Though I think I could do it fine then, too. I often do chores, computer work, and this craziness after riding. I never feel sleepy, more likely invigorated.
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Old 11-29-20, 08:32 PM
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I should have mentioned what to do if you can't get 55: Ride in just shorts, shoes, and socks and have two 24" box fans, one pointed at groin, the other at head and torso, turned up high enough that you have to wear glasses to be able to see your instruments. It's impossible to put down much power if you can't get rid of the heat. It's like having 200w bulbs burning in your chest.
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Old 11-29-20, 08:32 PM
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You know, that 62% effort, I wore a long sleeve thermal layer and no fan, so I'm sure that my water loss there was a problem now that you mention it. On the flip side, I rode at 74% for 2.5hs, but just wore the bib and did have a fan - heart rate was only 134 avg. Plus, I lost more lbs of water on that 2hr 62% effort. As much as I like seeing a lower number on the scale, I need to rethink things as that's not a great approach. Thanks for the info!!!
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Old 11-29-20, 11:11 PM
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Same, past couple of months. I suddenly hit a wall after September and felt exhausted. I could manage a full effort ride maybe once a week, maybe only a couple of times a month. Most rides were just moving the legs around, barely enough effort to overcome wind resistance.

But I was also simultaneously having muscle spasms in my neck, shoulder, lower back and hips. Home PT wasn't helping. PT clinics, massage therapy, etc., are out for now due to the pandemic. I was getting slower, suffering more and enjoying it less. My heart rate was crazy, maxing out on efforts that would normally be zone 2.

I figured I needed a change of pace in fitness activities.

So since October I've cut my rides by about a third, from around 600 miles a month to around 400. No intervals or hard rides for now. I'm giving the aching bits time to heal. And I'm substituting more walking and very light jogging, no "running" -- basically just the recon shuffle, more like double timing than jogging. It's a mix of pavement, loose gravel, grass, some hills. I haven't run in more than 30 years so it'll take awhile to work up to it again.

I started at 2-3 miles, and worked up to 5 miles before the hips and lower back began aching. Friday I did 8.5 miles and only the last mile or two were kinda painful. Did 6 miles Sunday afternoon, with more jogging, and felt fine during and afterward.
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Old 11-30-20, 12:58 PM
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Originally Posted by canklecat View Post
Same, past couple of months. I suddenly hit a wall after September and felt exhausted. I could manage a full effort ride maybe once a week, maybe only a couple of times a month. Most rides were just moving the legs around, barely enough effort to overcome wind resistance.

But I was also simultaneously having muscle spasms in my neck, shoulder, lower back and hips. Home PT wasn't helping. PT clinics, massage therapy, etc., are out for now due to the pandemic. I was getting slower, suffering more and enjoying it less. My heart rate was crazy, maxing out on efforts that would normally be zone 2.

I figured I needed a change of pace in fitness activities.

So since October I've cut my rides by about a third, from around 600 miles a month to around 400. No intervals or hard rides for now. I'm giving the aching bits time to heal. And I'm substituting more walking and very light jogging, no "running" -- basically just the recon shuffle, more like double timing than jogging. It's a mix of pavement, loose gravel, grass, some hills. I haven't run in more than 30 years so it'll take awhile to work up to it again.

I started at 2-3 miles, and worked up to 5 miles before the hips and lower back began aching. Friday I did 8.5 miles and only the last mile or two were kinda painful. Did 6 miles Sunday afternoon, with more jogging, and felt fine during and afterward.
I've found that tracking every workout either by HR or power and putting that data into TrainingPeaks has well, solved those problems for me. I never have to wonder why or why not. It takes time to accumulate enough data to start seeing what's going on, but the sooner one starts . . .
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Old 11-30-20, 07:15 PM
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Originally Posted by Carbonfiberboy View Post
I've found that tracking every workout either by HR or power and putting that data into TrainingPeaks has well, solved those problems for me. I never have to wonder why or why not. It takes time to accumulate enough data to start seeing what's going on, but the sooner one starts . . .
I do that. I don't rely on perceptions alone -- too subjective. For a few years I've used an HRV app, Strava with Elevate and intervals-dot-icu extensions, Wahoo Fitness, etc. All show a gradual decline since my bout with thyroid cancer and surgery, and injuries from being hit by a car.

There are occasional peaks -- good days when I can sustain the same effort I could before the injuries and illness -- but mostly the data show a gradual decline.

There isn't much I can do about the endocrine disorder and consequent borderline anemia, low testosterone, low vitamin D, etc. Prescriptions and OTC supplements can do only so much, and my health care system no longer authorizes stuff like testosterone patches other than for specific cases. And my docs probably wouldn't anyway due to early onset osteopenia related to the parathyroid deficiency. They're concerned about overall health maintenance and don't share my concerns about fitness goals.

I can understand why. Most of their patients my age are obese, sedentary, heavy smokers and drinkers, many of them using canes, walkers or wheelchairs. When heath care professionals see that as the new "normal," anyone who seems relatively healthy is an outlier with no legitimate concerns.

The chronic muscle pain indicated a problem with imbalances due to old spinal injuries. Even though he's young, 2019 TdF champion Egan Bernal is experiencing problems due to injuries from crashes and physical strain, resulting in mild scoliosis exacerbated by an imbalance in leg length and hip/lower back ergonomics. I've had similar problems for years and can't imagine trying to sustain that kind of training regimen.

The neck and shoulder pain was familiar, but the hip and lower back pain were new. I have no serious injuries to explain the latter. It's a consequence of the mild scoliosis and overall skeletal imbalance.

So for now I'm switching up my training to minimize stress related to cycling and do more whole-body fitness stuff. I'm trying to stick with only a couple of rides a week for now. It'll take awhile to see whether it improves anything.
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Old 11-30-20, 08:19 PM
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Originally Posted by canklecat View Post
I do that. I don't rely on perceptions alone -- too subjective. For a few years I've used an HRV app, Strava with Elevate and intervals-dot-icu extensions, Wahoo Fitness, etc. All show a gradual decline since my bout with thyroid cancer and surgery, and injuries from being hit by a car.

There are occasional peaks -- good days when I can sustain the same effort I could before the injuries and illness -- but mostly the data show a gradual decline.

There isn't much I can do about the endocrine disorder and consequent borderline anemia, low testosterone, low vitamin D, etc. Prescriptions and OTC supplements can do only so much, and my health care system no longer authorizes stuff like testosterone patches other than for specific cases. And my docs probably wouldn't anyway due to early onset osteopenia related to the parathyroid deficiency. They're concerned about overall health maintenance and don't share my concerns about fitness goals.

I can understand why. Most of their patients my age are obese, sedentary, heavy smokers and drinkers, many of them using canes, walkers or wheelchairs. When heath care professionals see that as the new "normal," anyone who seems relatively healthy is an outlier with no legitimate concerns.

The chronic muscle pain indicated a problem with imbalances due to old spinal injuries. Even though he's young, 2019 TdF champion Egan Bernal is experiencing problems due to injuries from crashes and physical strain, resulting in mild scoliosis exacerbated by an imbalance in leg length and hip/lower back ergonomics. I've had similar problems for years and can't imagine trying to sustain that kind of training regimen.

The neck and shoulder pain was familiar, but the hip and lower back pain were new. I have no serious injuries to explain the latter. It's a consequence of the mild scoliosis and overall skeletal imbalance.

So for now I'm switching up my training to minimize stress related to cycling and do more whole-body fitness stuff. I'm trying to stick with only a couple of rides a week for now. It'll take awhile to see whether it improves anything.
Since you're entering your data into TrainiingPeaks, what was your CTL, ATL and TSB when you found you needed to back it off? How much had your CTL increased w/r to the previous week? IOW is there a training load reason for the problem or is it some sort of metabolic collapse related to diet or these other life stresses or did the training load cause the additional stresses?

There is a lot which can be done about your various metabolic issues. If you like, we can converse via PM rather than mucking up the OPs thread.
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Old 11-30-20, 09:03 PM
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I don't use Training Peaks. Same reason I don't use a power meter. Waste of money and time for me. At this point it's like those 1970s high school kids putting Edelbrock headers and Cherry Bomb exhausts on a rusted out bomb they bought for $75.

I'm not in my 20s, before injuries and illness, at an age when recovery comes naturally and methodical training will result in consistent improvements. After a certain point that doesn't apply any more, no matter how much we try to tell ourselves it matters.

While I pay attention to a reasonable amount of data, there's no cost effective benefit to throwing money at diminishing returns. I don't need that much data to tell me when I need to rest and recover or switch training methods to address chronic injury problems. And I don't need special equipment or data to tell me when I can push harder. I'll know it within 15 minutes of warming up.
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Old 11-30-20, 10:32 PM
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Originally Posted by canklecat View Post
I don't use Training Peaks. Same reason I don't use a power meter. Waste of money and time for me. At this point it's like those 1970s high school kids putting Edelbrock headers and Cherry Bomb exhausts on a rusted out bomb they bought for $75.

I'm not in my 20s, before injuries and illness, at an age when recovery comes naturally and methodical training will result in consistent improvements. After a certain point that doesn't apply any more, no matter how much we try to tell ourselves it matters.

While I pay attention to a reasonable amount of data, there's no cost effective benefit to throwing money at diminishing returns. I don't need that much data to tell me when I need to rest and recover or switch training methods to address chronic injury problems. And I don't need special equipment or data to tell me when I can push harder. I'll know it within 15 minutes of warming up.
I see. At 75, training tools of every kind have become even more important. It's the opposite. I used TP for many years before I got a PM. Yep, methodical and consistent training is what produces results. I find that the first 15' mostly lies to me. That's just my body telling me that it'd really rather do just about anything than what we're about to do. I tell it to STFU.

Right now, I can't think of a cycling purchase that hasn't been worth the money, though I wouldn't buy anything that I can't amortize before I die. As my sig says . . .
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Old 12-01-20, 06:28 AM
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A steady decline in energy levels is not only something to be very worried about, but something totally avoidable with a dedicated nutrition habit and good rest schedules.
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