How to know when it's time for a rest

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How to know when it's time for a rest

Postby orphic » Thu May 13, 2010 3:41 pm

How do you know when your body is asking for a rest?

I've had an odd couple of weeks. After completing my first 100km's off road the weekend before last, I was feeling great for training on Tuesday - but really suffered on Thursday. Took Friday off and did a crit on Saturday afternoon where I was feeling good, and an 80km ride on Sunday - that's when I started to feel off. Monday is a rest day anyway and I decided to skip training on Tuesday due to feeling tired. Went for my normal easy group ride on Wednesday but my heart rate was 10-15 bpm higher than usual for most of the ride. Tried to train this morning and had an epic fail.

I'm 2 and a bit weeks out from my first ever road race, and I'm terrified that taking more time off is going to mean a loss of form. Although I guess I don't really have any right now anyway... Is it time to take the weekend off or push through it?

I've been told in the past to take your heart rate in the morning as a guage, but I haven't done this in the past so I can't really use it as a measure now. Think it's time to start doing it for future reference...
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by BNA » Thu May 13, 2010 3:55 pm

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Re: How to know when it's time for a rest

Postby ClownBoy » Thu May 13, 2010 3:55 pm

If I cannot maintain my usual performance during a session - I know it is time for a rest.

But don't be afraid to learn to taper. That is where you deliberately scale down your training during the week or 2 (depending on the size of the race) prior to an event. If you race is in 2 weeks and you feel like you describe - take a few days off, do 1 more big effort then do middle size opr smaller ones during the last week.
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Re: How to know when it's time for a rest

Postby Missy24 » Thu May 13, 2010 4:02 pm

Take 3 days off and don't do anything, you wont loose form, possibly you over trained, IMHO.

I always gage my training by how well I sleep if I don't sleep well more than two nights in a row I know something isn't right and normally in my case its cause I've over trained.

Nothing wrong with taking a break when your tired, probably the best thing that you can do.

You know your body is asking for a rest when you begin to feel like you do now.
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Re: How to know when it's time for a rest

Postby toolonglegs » Thu May 13, 2010 5:29 pm

Over reached...not over trained...big big difference.You want to over reach...you don't want to over train.Luckily over training isn't very easy to achieve.
Orphic,have a few quiet days and EAT...when you are feeling drained don't carry on with the diet,for a skinny girl like you losing another 500 grams in the next 2 weeks is pointless if you have no energy come race day.
I would forget the diet for the next 2 weeks...still watch what you eat but stay at a maintenance level instead of a weight loss level.Keep the workouts easy for a few days and then if you feel better ramp up the intensity but keep them short...no more than 90 minutes to two hours.
If you are not feeling stronger in a few days then it is time to look deeper.
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Re: How to know when it's time for a rest

Postby Missy24 » Thu May 13, 2010 5:44 pm

toolonglegs wrote:Over reached...not over trained...big big difference.You want to over reach...you don't want to over train.Luckily over training isn't very easy to achieve.
Orphic,have a few quiet days and EAT...when you are feeling drained don't carry on with the diet,for a skinny girl like you losing another 500 grams in the next 2 weeks is pointless if you have no energy come race day.
I would forget the diet for the next 2 weeks...still watch what you eat but stay at a maintenance level instead of a weight loss level.Keep the workouts easy for a few days and then if you feel better ramp up the intensity but keep them short...no more than 90 minutes to two hours.
If you are not feeling stronger in a few days then it is time to look deeper.

Your wisdom please TLL... Over reach and over train, what's the difference?
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Re: How to know when it's time for a rest

Postby toolonglegs » Thu May 13, 2010 6:10 pm

Over reaching is basically what you achieve at the end of a hard training block...you over reach,then recover and then come back stronger.So over reaching is good.

Over training means digging too deep when you shouldn't for too long.Usually you will get sick or come down with something and if you keep pushing thru and training hard you will deplete the body so much that it will basically collapse.It will basically be similar to the symptoms of "chronic fatigue".If you get that far you won't be coming back to fitness in a hurry.So over training isn't very good.

To me it sounds like Orphic just did the "Dirt Works 100" ?...if so I would have been taking a very quiet week off afterwards.That is a hard 4-5hour race (probably more).
And then as so often happens she felt great afterwards and pushed it hard...result great Tuesday...crap Thursday...then hmmm..race Saturday and hard ride Sunday.All the while dieting hard...doesn't sound like an easy week to me.
Take a quiet 3 or 4 days with sub hour recovery rides....no hills,no nothing!.
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Re: How to know when it's time for a rest

Postby Wayfarer » Thu May 13, 2010 8:01 pm

Sounds like you want a recovery ride.
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Re: How to know when it's time for a rest

Postby sogood » Thu May 13, 2010 9:05 pm

There are plenty of indicators for rest...

- Scheduled periodisation (as dictated by a structured training plan).
- Physiological abnormalities eg. High resting HR, insomnia, disturbed sleep.
- Mental eg. Loss of interest, loss of urgency.
- Performance eg. Deteriorating performance despite adequate training.

Obviously the amount of rest required varies by circumstance and person.
Last edited by sogood on Thu May 13, 2010 9:32 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: How to know when it's time for a rest

Postby toolonglegs » Thu May 13, 2010 9:12 pm

...or like me...super hard weekend...tuesday felt weird...mercredi sick sick sick...and I had my rest week last week :oops: .
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Re: How to know when it's time for a rest

Postby orphic » Fri May 14, 2010 9:32 am

Thanks for the words of wisdom guys. TLL, I might just have to rename you to the BNA Oracle. You seem to have the answer to all of my questions :) You are correct, twas the DW 100 that potentially broke me. Took me longer than 5 hours... But I have only ridden off road a handful of times.

Interesting what you say about getting a good sleep Missy - I haven't had much of those recently.

I also had a loss of interest this week. Funny how quickly it happened - 3 weeks ago ALL I wanted to do was ride a bike of any kind and was absolutely loving it.

So I slept in this morning, and I'm going to do the same tomorrow! Is having a beer allowed during periods of time off? I have almost forgotten what it tastes like. I will have to make it a really really good one....
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Re: How to know when it's time for a rest

Postby orphic » Fri May 14, 2010 3:55 pm

PS - I am so eating beyond maintenance today TLL. But you know... What difference can a day make, right? ;)
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Re: How to know when it's time for a rest

Postby toolonglegs » Fri May 14, 2010 4:11 pm

A couple of short days or days off won't hurt too much...sounds like they are needed.
I did a similar thing last year.I had a mate over who rides pretty hard (he did the dirt works 100 this year in under 4.30hr).He came over to do the Etape du Tour with me...so of course we rode some serious mountains before hand...then I cooked myself totally on the Etape.Should have known that taking 2.5 hours to climb Ventoux in 35C plus was a bad sign,especially after 7 hours.I raced the next weekend...380NP for 1 hour 350 for 2,so pretty good numbers but I had to dig really deep.Think I did another race after that but basically I had fried myself...not quite overtained but it took me over a month to be even able to 5 minute interval at a level above my average hour power.
I think if I had had a full week off after the Etape and not raced that following weekend I would have been able to bounce back better.
Hey but this year I see the bigger picture much better... :D .
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Re: How to know when it's time for a rest

Postby alchemist » Fri May 14, 2010 4:21 pm

toolonglegs wrote:To me it sounds like Orphic just did the "Dirt Works 100" ?...if so I would have been taking a very quiet week off afterwards.That is a hard 4-5hour race (probably more).


4 hours for the best male mtb riders in the country,
5+ hours for the best females (Zoe King is the only one to ever get under 5 hours in the 6 years of the event),
anything under 6 is fairly good,
7 will put you mid field,
sub 8 is still not too bad,
longer than 8 is a hard day (even if you're just riding with some else and well with in your limits)
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Re: How to know when it's time for a rest

Postby toolonglegs » Fri May 14, 2010 4:34 pm

Yeah I have never done it...so was just guessing.I didn't think Orphic had done it under 5 hours...but who know's :wink: .
4 hours for the best male mtb riders in the country,


So when I say I rode with my mate...well I actually meant I started the ride with my mate :lol: .
Scenario was sort of like this...he would say bye bye to me on the first ramp of Alpe D'huez or somewhere on the way up to Galibier...he would be waiting for me at the top after having a nice nap :oops: .
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Re: How to know when it's time for a rest

Postby orphic » Mon May 17, 2010 8:52 am

Well I had the weekend off. Going to go for a bit of a light ride this evening (I decided yet another sleep in was in order..) and then the plan is back to normal training tomorrow.

The thing is, my resting heart rate is quite elevated. Thursday was 57, Friday 52 (I think this is what my regular reading is), then Saturday, Sunday and this morning it was 60+. I'm hoping it's down tomorrow morning. I don't want to cook myself, but I don't think more days off can possibly be the answer!?
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Re: How to know when it's time for a rest

Postby sogood » Mon May 17, 2010 9:38 am

orphic wrote:Well I had the weekend off. Going to go for a bit of a light ride this evening (I decided yet another sleep in was in order..) and then the plan is back to normal training tomorrow.

Rains are coming... :wink:

I wouldn't go solely on resting HR as that can be affected by many many other factors including mood amongst other things. If psychologically tired, even a resting HR of 20bpm won't do you any good. So if you feel motivated, then just go and take an easy spin and see how that feels. Try to enjoy it rather than hitting it too hard straight away.
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Re: How to know when it's time for a rest

Postby KillerHeadWind » Mon May 17, 2010 5:33 pm

I've found out in the last couple of days it's definitely time for a rest when:
1. I usually cruise at 30kph and on Sunday struggled with 26kph on the flat.
2. My usual hill climb time trial on Saturday was two and a half minutes slower than my best and my HR was similar in reading while power was way down. What a struggle.
3. I need a triple to climb out of bed.
4. The now cold weather is causing havoc with my hip and winter racing could well be out. I had 3 months off last year due to tendonitis.

On the down side is that I need to continually exercise or else I suffer from breathing difficulties. Some people get exercise induced asthma, I suffer from the opposite, I bludge I get crook (good reason to keep fit :D )

So far one day off and we'll see if I can last until Saturday.
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Re: How to know when it's time for a rest

Postby goneriding » Wed May 26, 2010 1:25 pm

It sounds similar to what I have experienced in the past. I find that after a hard ride I'll be fine for a day or two after the ride (actually really good) and then crash on the Wednesday. The trick for me then is to back right off the pace and do a few recovery rides.

I did push myself into an adaption last year which was interesting. One minute riding along between 30 and 35 the next struggling to do anything. Every time I tried to push through it I blew up. I had a few days off and then started back with some light rides (7-10 days duration). After that I found that I really stepped up in performance and endurance in addition to feeling really strong on the bike. That took a few days to kick in.

The only other thing is that you might have picked up a bug of some variety.
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Re: How to know when it's time for a rest

Postby sogood » Wed May 26, 2010 1:54 pm

goneriding wrote:I did push myself into an adaption last year which was interesting. One minute riding along between 30 and 35 the next struggling to do anything. Every time I tried to push through it I blew up.

Sounded like you "bonked"!

That's what happens when your muscle glycogen store has been depleted.
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Re: How to know when it's time for a rest

Postby goneriding » Wed May 26, 2010 2:35 pm

sogood wrote:Sounded like you "bonked"!


That's what I thought at the time but when I went to ride the next days (actually the next few days) I found I couldn't get out of first gear.

Also, having experienced "bonks" before, this was quite a different feeling.
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Re: How to know when it's time for a rest

Postby sogood » Wed May 26, 2010 2:44 pm

goneriding wrote:That's what I thought at the time but when I went to ride the next days (actually the next few days) I found I couldn't get out of first gear.

Also, having experienced "bonks" before, this was quite a different feeling.

Oh dear... Onset of myasthenia gravis. :shock: :mrgreen: :mrgreen:
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Re: How to know when it's time for a rest

Postby goneriding » Wed May 26, 2010 5:19 pm

sogood wrote:myasthenia gravis


Thank goodness you cleared that up for me sogood! And here was me, foolishly thinking that it was cycling related:)

Is there a doctor in the house? Cough - I've got the plague!

Actually, reading up on the symptoms my eyes are a bit droopy but that might have something to do with being at work!
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Re: How to know when it's time for a rest

Postby wombatK » Wed May 26, 2010 7:55 pm

goneriding wrote:
sogood wrote:myasthenia gravis


Thank goodness you cleared that up for me sogood! And here was me, foolishly thinking that it was cycling related:)

Is there a doctor in the house? Cough - I've got the plague!

Actually, reading up on the symptoms my eyes are a bit droopy but that might have something to do with being at work!

The left eye in your avatar has always looked droopy to me. Does that mean I'm getting it too :lol:
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Re: How to know when it's time for a rest

Postby goneriding » Thu May 27, 2010 10:07 am

Sounds to me like everyone's got it, or, at least has had it from time to time! As long as it equates to paid time off work I am happy to have it:)
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Re: How to know when it's time for a rest

Postby sogood » Thu May 27, 2010 10:10 am

It's contagious and spreads through cycling forums by a yet to be identified vector. 8)
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