The Form Hump

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The Form Hump

Postby rogan » Thu Oct 07, 2010 8:25 pm

So, I've been going well the last 6-8 weeks, beating my best times, etc. Last week on Tuesday and Wednesday I went out with some mates, and did a hard 90km each day. Tuesday I was flogging everyone. Wednesday less good, but still good enough and feeling strong. Then the rain and family commitments so not much riding for a week.

Got back on the bike yesterday, went out with the same mates, and I was mid-pack. And struggling. Went out today on my own, and confirmed that yes, times are tough. Not feeling dreadful, but a minute outside good times up Bobbin Head and Galston Gorge. I think I'm over the hump and the form is dropping away...

I'll do a 40 km spin on Saturday before racing on Sunday. Not much else I can do... is there?
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by BNA » Thu Oct 07, 2010 8:55 pm

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Re: The Form Hump

Postby twizzle » Thu Oct 07, 2010 8:55 pm

Have you been having a rest week every third or fourth week? How hard did you ramp up the training?

Because if you go out hard all the time and don't build an aerobic base, you only get about 8 - 12 weeks before needing a few weeks break. I just spent six weeks doing endurance/tempo (12 - 14 hours a week on the 'on' weeks) and managed to do a series of PB's the first time I did a hard interval session last Monday. Last year I went hard all the time and I was burnt out after two months.
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Re: The Form Hump

Postby Uncle Grumpy » Thu Oct 07, 2010 8:58 pm

You have good days. You have bad days.

Looking at it from a short term perspective is pointless. 6-8 weeks is nothing in the scheme of things. Measure your performance when you started and measure it again in a year. Sticking with it and training right and you will see improvements over time. Don't let a bad day get to you, we all have them and they can be the result of several factors. Stodgy lunch, stressed at work, sleep wrong, illness, clothes not fitting right and irritating you, etc.

When you attack a climb, you will hurt. Sometimes that hurt will get you up it in record time, other times you'll hurt like a pack mule and be as slow as a wet week. Embrace the good days and shrug off the bad days because after all, they are simply bad days.

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Re: The Form Hump

Postby trailgumby » Thu Oct 07, 2010 9:03 pm

+1 for a recovery week. One in four if under 40yo, one in three if over 40.

Get yourself a copy of The Cyclist's Training Bible by Joe Friel and learn about periodization of training.

Introducing the recovery week (every third for me) helped me to start improving again after being plateaued for maybe a year
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Re: The Form Hump

Postby twizzle » Fri Oct 08, 2010 8:12 am

I knew my form was gone when after putting in some awesome performances my peak power output dropped by 20% two-thirds of the way through the summer race season. :(
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Re: The Form Hump

Postby drubie » Fri Oct 08, 2010 11:08 am

I had a great start to the year - was training hard several times a week over 4 months. Was climbing beautifully for the first time, high point was a fast 100km over hilly terrain, racing well, knocking on the door of B grade. Hit July, weighed 79kg, should have been in the form of my life but suddenly couldn't cycle to save myself.

Took an enforced break (got sick, had some other responsibilities), took a few weeks to get back in the groove but 4kg heavier and suddenly I'm cycling well again.

Frankly, I don't understand it, other than maybe some kind of virus or something.
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Re: The Form Hump

Postby goneriding » Fri Oct 08, 2010 11:30 am

Its happened to me before as well. Riding really good times, awesome legs and then I just hit the wall. I blew up on every ride. I backed off to almost nothing and what I did do was at absolute minimum effort. After a couple of weeks I started to come right and then I started to get even better gains.

At the risk of starting a flame war, I've been told that if you don't back off every now and again (e.g 4 on 1 off) you'll eventually hit an adaption where your body needs to have a break to recuperate and adapt to the changes that are going on.
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Re: The Form Hump

Postby twizzle » Fri Oct 08, 2010 11:34 am

drubie wrote:I had a great start to the year - was training hard several times a week over 4 months. Was climbing beautifully for the first time, high point was a fast 100km over hilly terrain, racing well, knocking on the door of B grade. Hit July, weighed 79kg, should have been in the form of my life but suddenly couldn't cycle to save myself.

Took an enforced break (got sick, had some other responsibilities), took a few weeks to get back in the groove but 4kg heavier and suddenly I'm cycling well again.

Frankly, I don't understand it, other than maybe some kind of virus or something.


Overtraining.


The "Time Crunched Training Plan" by Carmichael goes into some detail about what happens when you choose intensity over saddle hours and years of aerobic base. I'm mapping my rides out four weeks in advance now so I can see the long term implications of training on performance. I'm still worried that I've been training too hard... but I had a fitness goal and only six weeks to get there. And I'm due another easy week next week.

"Daniels Running Formula" also has some good stuff on periodisation and recovery, and how training adaptations occur. Interestingly, a lot of the stuff from running appears to pre-date the same concepts in cycling, but running was easier to measure as aero doesn't play such a big part so HR and pace were a good measure of training loads. But now cyclists have power meters.
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Re: The Form Hump

Postby drubie » Fri Oct 08, 2010 3:05 pm

twizzle wrote:Overtraining.
...
Interestingly, a lot of the stuff from running appears to pre-date the same concepts in cycling, but running was easier to measure as aero doesn't play such a big part so HR and pace were a good measure of training loads. But now cyclists have power meters.


Yeah, maybe. One particular ride I was doing was a hammerfest with much faster guys that has a monster climb at the half way point. I've since started monitoring things with a HR meter but the normal formula of 220-42 = 178 max doesn't seem to work for me (I regularly see 185 and peak higher than that but have a resting rate in the 50s). So I find it a bit hard to make sure I'm in the 65% zone on the days I'm riding.

I suppose nothing really beats a good long period of distance stuff as a base - now that the days are a bit longer it's what I'm planning to do rather than a series of short hammerfests.
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Re: The Form Hump

Postby Chuck » Sun Oct 10, 2010 2:50 pm

twizzle wrote:Have you been having a rest week every third or fourth week?


Do you still commute on your rest week ?
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Re: The Form Hump

Postby casual_cyclist » Sun Oct 10, 2010 7:07 pm

twizzle wrote:
drubie wrote:I had a great start to the year - was training hard several times a week over 4 months. Was climbing beautifully for the first time, high point was a fast 100km over hilly terrain, racing well, knocking on the door of B grade. Hit July, weighed 79kg, should have been in the form of my life but suddenly couldn't cycle to save myself.

Took an enforced break (got sick, had some other responsibilities), took a few weeks to get back in the groove but 4kg heavier and suddenly I'm cycling well again.

Frankly, I don't understand it, other than maybe some kind of virus or something.


Overtraining.

The "Time Crunched Training Plan" by Carmichael goes into some detail about what happens when you choose intensity over saddle hours and years of aerobic base. I'm mapping my rides out four weeks in advance now so I can see the long term implications of training on performance. I'm still worried that I've been training too hard... but I had a fitness goal and only six weeks to get there.

I reached an overtrained state last year. I took on too much, too soon, without adequate rest. This is what it felt like: after a break I started riding again and I felt fine and felt like I had a lot of energy. But my legs felt dead (didn't have any energy) for any rides. Rides that I found fun before became a struggle and I was being left behind by riders that I previously dropped. I felt fine but my legs just wouldn't perform. I backed right off my riding and I reckon it took 6 to 8 weeks to come good. Because I am inexperienced though, I didn't realise I was reaching and overtrained state.
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Re: The Form Hump

Postby twizzle » Sun Oct 10, 2010 7:11 pm

Chuck wrote:
twizzle wrote:Have you been having a rest week every third or fourth week?


Do you still commute on your rest week ?


Yes, but veeeeery slowly. The trick is to stay below 50% power, ie. barely raising sweat.
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Re: The Form Hump

Postby Chuck » Sun Oct 10, 2010 7:45 pm

twizzle wrote:
Chuck wrote:
twizzle wrote:Have you been having a rest week every third or fourth week?


Do you still commute on your rest week ?


Yes, but veeeeery slowly. The trick is to stay below 50% power, ie. barely raising sweat.


Thanks for answering :)

I have also experienced the "hump" but I really enjoy my commutes.
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Re: The Form Hump

Postby trailgumby » Sun Oct 10, 2010 8:09 pm

twizzle wrote:
Chuck wrote:
twizzle wrote:Have you been having a rest week every third or fourth week?


Do you still commute on your rest week ?


Yes, but veeeeery slowly. The trick is to stay below 50% power, ie. barely raising sweat.

I find that really hard to do. When riding in traffic the urge to go hard is really difficult to suppress. It helps a bit if I leave early or late and avoid peak hour.
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Re: The Form Hump

Postby BarryTas » Tue Oct 12, 2010 11:29 am

have a break :(

trust me you will feel better and will be faster !!!!
when do we stop for coffee???

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