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What Am I Missing? (Random Performance Declines)

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What Am I Missing? (Random Performance Declines)

Old 08-08-20, 07:00 PM
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Aerzon
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What Am I Missing? (Random Performance Declines)

I've been training up intervals and top speed runs in hour long sessions as opposed to riding for mileage these last couple months. (Basically more intensity, less distance I guess) I've noticed that lately I start very strong and then I gradually start to feel weak again. This feeling can last for a bit and then goes away for no reason at all. I'm not fatigued as far as muscles or sleep goes, not bored, and in the past I've had no problems going cycling multiple days in a row. I'm just curious if anyone else has had this feeling, or if it sounds like a common cycling problem of some kind that I can correct. If you had to take a stab at it, any guesses? I know this is a total shot in the dark, but I figured the forum is worth a try quick just in case anyone has had a similar problem. Posted here because I have a feeling nutrition could be a culprit. Cheers guys

In summary Of What I Mean: (Last week)
Thursday: Fastest sprints, not tired after even harder intervals
Friday: About the same
Saturday: Feeling weak, having to force myself to achieve 80% as much speed and intervals leave me much more fatigued.
Sunday: Like Saturday but worse, I feel very "clunky"

And then I can't get back to the Thursday/Friday feeling until it randomly just hits me again.
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Old 08-08-20, 08:53 PM
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Higher intensity will inflict more damage to the muscles.

I've once came home, in severe pain, and could barely walk after intense pedaling for one hour mostly in hills.

But I can recover and repair damaged muscles in just 12 hours, going a bit faster the next day. I made a huge progress hard training in just 8 weeks (since I started cycling) daily without day off.

But again, not everyone may have the same capacity or genes to repair and adapt muscles quickly.

Things I do that may help:

- Calcium and Vitamin D food supplement every morning (calcium is good for bones and muscles and vitamin D for bones)
- Sardines (for protein and calcium) and carbs before heading out. sardines and carbs again after the ride. If I had spinach, I'd add spinach to the mix. (no I'm not popeye but spinach is good protein too and fiber)
- Indoor pedaling at very low intensity but high cadence if I still have free time for that.
- work on your core muscles on or off the bike
- Higher intensity training may require some modifications on the bike fit, even a change of saddle.

Won't guarantee this will make you feel better the next day after an intense ride. Is just what I do to satisfy my protein cravings and for calcium.

.

Last edited by cubewheels; 08-09-20 at 02:05 AM.
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Old 08-08-20, 09:21 PM
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Not a bug, it's a feature. It's how you know to rest a bit. My guess is that your return to good performance isn't random, rather is the result of taking it easier for a few days. That's what you're supposed to do. You might look at online training plans to see how workouts are usually structured. A more structured approach is usually helpful.

It's not really your muscles, it's systemic exhaustion. One can only do so much. We are purposely limited by evolution. Otherwise, we'd work ourselves to death.
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Old 08-08-20, 09:53 PM
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Originally Posted by Aerzon View Post
I've been training up intervals and top speed runs in hour long sessions as opposed to riding for mileage these last couple months. (Basically more intensity, less distance I guess) I've noticed that lately I start very strong and then I gradually start to feel weak again.

In summary Of What I Mean: (Last week)
Thursday: Fastest sprints, not tired after even harder intervals
Friday: About the same
Saturday: Feeling weak, having to force myself to achieve 80% as much speed and intervals leave me much more fatigued.
Sunday: Like Saturday but worse, I feel very "clunky"
To be clear: you're doing "fastest" sprints four days in a row, and half those days you're feeling "weak" or "clunky"?

The longer-term stamina at a given level of performance is one of the things that takes a darned long time to achieve. In my own experience, it comes from combining two main things: the longer/slower distance type exercise that yields a good general base of cardio and strength, plus the harder and more-focused sprints/intervals/climbs type exercise that works the muscles differently. Varying which is done, at what intensity, for how long, weaving in suitable recovery between successive "hard" sessions ... in my own experience, that's what yields improved stamina.

Definitely look at your rest and session nutrition, to ensure you're well-rested and sufficiently fueled to support such intensity. And definitely consider the amount of recovery period your own body needs given the duration and intensity of such "hard" sessions. Ensure good recovery nutrition (and nutrient-dense nutrition in general, beyond sufficient protein to aid in rebuilding). Everyone's different, with how much of all of this is needed.

Basic change I'd make, for starters: add a couple of days of recovery following each of your "hard" sprint/climb sessions, and instead focus on a different type of riding or exercise. You'll be providing more repair and rebuild time for the muscles, and you'll also be helping the body to gradually improve overall stamina levels given those harder sessions. Takes time. Longer still, as we get older, as recovery isn't nearly so effective.
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Old 08-09-20, 04:08 AM
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You're doing too much interval training too frequently....Try doing some longer duration lower intensity rides..
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Old 08-09-20, 04:49 AM
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You're missing rest and recovery.
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Old 08-09-20, 05:56 AM
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Originally Posted by cubewheels View Post

But I can recover and repair damaged muscles in just 12 hours, going a bit faster the next day. I made a huge progress hard training in just 8 weeks (since I started cycling) daily without day off.

But again, not everyone may have the same capacity or genes to repair and adapt muscles quickly.

.
The progress that you made is called " newbie gains " and it has nothing to do with your superior genetics or your magical recovery abilities...Everybody who starts training experiences rapid gains but those gains are only temporary. Eventually your progress will slow down and you will need to make changes.
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Old 08-09-20, 06:35 AM
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Originally Posted by wolfchild View Post
The progress that you made is called " newbie gains " and it has nothing to do with your superior genetics or your magical recovery abilities...Everybody who starts training experiences rapid gains but those gains are only temporary. Eventually your progress will slow down and you will need to make changes.
I'm going to find that out in a few months if my work schedule don't change.
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Old 08-09-20, 07:40 AM
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You have some great guidance here.


I think with cycling or any type of fitness, you need to take a day off or dial it back after a high intensity workout like you’re doing

Last edited by CyclingBK; 08-09-20 at 10:46 AM.
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Old 08-09-20, 10:03 AM
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Originally Posted by wolfchild View Post
The progress that you made is called " newbie gains " and it has nothing to do with your superior genetics or your magical recovery abilities...
It's the glutes.

Originally Posted by cubewheels View Post
It probably helps that I was born with big glutes and I only weigh 128 lbs.
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Old 08-09-20, 10:53 AM
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General consensus seems to be rest days. Can a rest day involve taking a long walk, or should I quite literally not do much at all?

My rest days in the past I just took walks instead of getting on the bike.
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Old 08-09-20, 10:58 AM
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Originally Posted by Aerzon View Post
General consensus seems to be rest days. Can a rest day involve taking a long walk, or should I quite literally not do much at all?

My rest days in the past I just took walks instead of getting on the bike.
Do some upper body strength training ; )
Thats what I do on days off the bike. Hey, it’s a “rest day” for your legs, right? 😃
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Old 08-09-20, 11:41 AM
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Originally Posted by Aerzon View Post
Can a rest day involve taking a long walk, or should I quite literally not do much at all?
Everybody is different, some people like to do nothing and others prefer active rest or active recovery.....I prefer doing some light and easy physical activity on my rest days... I never liked the idea of just doing absolutely nothing all day. Personally I need to do something physical every day or else I feel like crap.
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Old 08-09-20, 03:47 PM
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Originally Posted by Aerzon View Post
General consensus seems to be rest days. Can a rest day involve taking a long walk, or should I quite literally not do much at all?

My rest days in the past I just took walks instead of getting on the bike.
For me, rest days are for catching up on housework chores, extra time spent chasing around my littlest, and catching up on any extra work I've put off.

I.E., rest days are the least restful days I have each week.
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Old 08-09-20, 09:12 PM
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Originally Posted by rubiksoval View Post
It's the glutes.
Ok. I did notice my glutes never got sore even if I've doubled my time out of saddle pedaling. It's always the quads that get sore a lot and a little bit of hamstring (getting used to the pain). It's my quads that are growing fastest, followed by hamstring, and just slightly bigger glutes.

I'll have to push a lot harder to make my glutes just a little bit sore but then my quads would be in severe pain by that time.

Anyway, a bit of adopting a certain mindset to sustain hard efforts everyday. It also seems to help chasing fresh roadies on the road or even chasing pros in training (in another lane so I'm not "draft-cheating"). I seem to ignore the pain totally that way and push even harder. I see now the advantage of riding in group. I never got the chance yet, just random chasing someone who is eager not to be dropped.

Yep, the right mindset can help a lot in training hard and possibly some form of good and safe distraction to get your mind off the sore muscles. I wouldn't advice listening to music on earphones. Perhaps, riding with a group that is slightly faster / more advanced in training than yourself.
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Old 08-10-20, 08:43 AM
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Originally Posted by cubewheels View Post
I wouldn't advice listening to music on earphones. Perhaps, riding with a group that is slightly faster / more advanced in training than yourself.
I never ride on my own without listening to music.

But of course, I'm not dodging multiple lanes of traffic the entire time, either.
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Old 08-10-20, 09:01 AM
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Originally Posted by cubewheels View Post
Anyway, a bit of adopting a certain mindset to sustain hard efforts everyday. It also seems to help chasing fresh roadies on the road or even chasing pros in training (in another lane so I'm not "draft-cheating").
1. It isn't a hard effort if it is everyday. Maybe steady state everyday. But steady state isn't hard enough you can't do it days in a row for periods of time. So, just no.

2. Pics or GTFO.

Oh, and if you were JUST posting up as recently taking up riding and asking questions as a newbie...........why are you in here trying to give out advice?

As for the original poster: you need rest days. Especially if doing high intensity work or sprint work. You can't do sprint work everyday. I personally interpret high intensity as above steady state.
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Old 08-10-20, 10:31 AM
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Originally Posted by burnthesheep View Post
2. Pics or GTFO.
I'll have this arranged in my 3rd month. Perhaps, on-bike video even better. We'll see (not making a promise).
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Old 08-10-20, 10:45 AM
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Originally Posted by rubiksoval View Post
I never ride on my own without listening to music.

But of course, I'm not dodging multiple lanes of traffic the entire time, either.
I listen to music in indoor training. Sometimes I even watch movie or just about anything during indoor training.

It really helps if conditions are safe
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Old 08-10-20, 10:47 AM
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Originally Posted by cubewheels View Post
I'll have this arranged in my 3rd month. Perhaps, on-bike video even better. We'll see (not making a promise).
Understand for me I use the "pics or gtfo" as a jesting post. Having some fun. I'm not serious, but if you want to feel free to share!
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Old 08-10-20, 11:09 AM
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Originally Posted by burnthesheep View Post
Understand for me I use the "pics or gtfo" as a jesting post. Having some fun. I'm not serious, but if you want to feel free to share!
You make a valid point there though. I don't have a small camera atm, but I do have a cellphone. Would require some tinkering to mount it on the bike and take the shots in wide angle. Some time eventually.

Anyway, I've been doing lots of indoor "recovery" pedaling lately between rides, in the same day. Our mod Hermes suggested training indoors in between rides and been doing it and it's actually very good. For some strange reason, it's helping to keep my muscles fresh (even avoiding getting sore).
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Old 08-10-20, 11:34 AM
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Originally Posted by cubewheels View Post
Anyway, I've been doing lots of indoor "recovery" pedaling lately between rides, in the same day. Our mod Hermes suggested training indoors in between rides and been doing it and it's actually very good. For some strange reason, it's helping to keep my muscles fresh (even avoiding getting sore).
Back in the day, we used that technique to speed recovery with our performance middle-distance running regimen. Very hard training days were usually followed with much-slower runs and non-running easy activities.

So far as we figured, at the time, it helped boost circulation, speed nutrient delivery, loosened up the muscles but did not strain them, and thus sped up recovery.

Occasionally required another day of "off" activities, but the failure to do the longer/slower stuff in between was clear: invariably we'd be much more sore, have much less "zip" and strength for the subsequent tougher training run.

As you say, for "some strange reason" it seems to help keep the muscles "fresh" and avoid much soreness.
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