lauantai 30. syyskuuta 2017

One of the deadliest sins of a cyclist

Kuusijärvi CX race in 2015.
You and I most likely share one trait. It usually leads to a certain – and inevitable for most of us – training mistake that Joe Friel, the author of The Cyclist's Training Bible describes in this way:
"This may be the most common mistake cyclists make. Nearly everyone who is even slightly serious about training ends up doing it sooner or later. (...) They learned at an early age that hard work produces results. So when things are going well, they work hard. And when things aren't going well, they work harder." (p.283)
Cyclists with a set goal ignore the symptoms of fatigue and don't rest enough.

After the Ireland hills, I took some days off the saddle and thought that'd suffice. And most likely it would have been enough, had I not taken first a 10x hill climb repeat on next Saturday and then a club ride in the fastest and longest group on Sunday.

Next week I did almost my weekly average in hours, but reduced intensity to some extent. Same this week. Only that the reduction hasn't been enough. I feel myself tired and hungry all the time. My legs aching and muscles are spastic.

As it normally takes some warming up to get legs working properly, at times it is difficult to realize when they reach the desired fitness and when they don't. So, only gradually I've realized that these heavy legs do not need more warming up but more recovery.

Of course, overtraining does not result only from exercising. Other ordinary life hassle and health issues take their toll. Age is one factor here too. I'm 51 now, and it does take longer to recover than it took ten years ago when I started cycling more seriously.

"As the stress of training increases, the need for rest also accumulates. Most cyclists pay lip service to this commandment; they understand it intellectually, but not emotionally." (p.18)

My Kuusijärvi CX race BPM.
Usually my resting heart rate in the evening is around 41-46 bpm. As long as it is less than 52 bpm, I consider everything's fine.

As I finally internalized that my body needs the rest that my mind is not willing to grant, I decided that the resting heart rate would have the final say. It was 61. It was way too high considering my plans to participate the HelCX race today.

I had planned that this cyclocross race would be the last hard exercise before Taiwan KOM race. Sad but true, it's better to skip this now, or the loss of fitness will be at its worst just when I should be in top form. This is 'limit the damage' tactics.

Instead of plain resting heart rate I've read about orthostatic heart rate that reacts quicker and more accurate to overtraining. In the morning, you take your resting bpm, then stand up and after a minute take another reading. The difference is what you are to monitor on the long term. 

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