Overcoming fatigue

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Overcoming fatigue

Postby sunnies » Thu Dec 29, 2011 8:42 pm

My husband and I have taken up road cycling in the last 4 months, at first it was just on the weekends, but we quickly started itching for morning rides on weekdays too.

My husband has started commuting to work - it's a 60km round trip, and he does it about twice a week. I usually ride with him half way then come home and get ready for work (25-35 kms depending how early I need to get to work). Ideally we would like to be doing this 4-5 days a week, but are finding that if we do it 2 days in a row we are both too tired to back up a third day. Although our fitness has massively improved, we both find that when we are riding regularly we're pretty much tired all the time. We also ride on weekends with a group, about 35-40km.

Obviously it takes time for your fitness to develop, but any tips on how to overcome this fatigue or help get us to the next level of fitness would be very much appreciated!

Thanks!
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by BNA » Thu Dec 29, 2011 9:32 pm

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Re: Overcoming fatigue

Postby Marty Moose » Thu Dec 29, 2011 9:32 pm

Eat well all the time plenty of good carbs and protein. Sleep go to bed the same time each night and wake up at the same time each day. I like 7 hrs sleep each to their own, I also find extra magnesium helps. Mix your rides up and have easy days if your tired. It takes time to become a cyclist.

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Re: Overcoming fatigue

Postby ausrandoman » Fri Dec 30, 2011 7:25 am

Rest is an essential part of training. It's not just a matter of feeling refreshed, vigorous and ready for the next ride. The body builds muscle while resting, not while it is working hard.

I happened to notice and buy a magazine yesterday called "Cyling Fitness". It has a lot of information about training and using your ride to work as part of a training program.
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Overcoming fatigue

Postby gabrielle260 » Fri Dec 30, 2011 8:04 am

Sunnies, I have been riding seriously for over 20 years and yet it still took me 6 weeks to get used to a 17km each way commute 5 days a week. Give your body time to adapt. +1 to the comments from the other posters too - some good advice there!
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Re: Overcoming fatigue

Postby gcouyant » Fri Dec 30, 2011 8:19 am

sunnies wrote:My husband and I have taken up road cycling in the last 4 months, at first it was just on the weekends, but we quickly started itching for morning rides on weekdays too.

My husband has started commuting to work - it's a 60km round trip, and he does it about twice a week. I usually ride with him half way then come home and get ready for work (25-35 kms depending how early I need to get to work). Ideally we would like to be doing this 4-5 days a week, but are finding that if we do it 2 days in a row we are both too tired to back up a third day. Although our fitness has massively improved, we both find that when we are riding regularly we're pretty much tired all the time. We also ride on weekends with a group, about 35-40km.

Obviously it takes time for your fitness to develop, but any tips on how to overcome this fatigue or help get us to the next level of fitness would be very much appreciated!

Thanks!



Sunnies I went through what you are going through some time ago in preparation for an endurance event across the Simpson Desert - and I read and read and read article after article. There's great information out there - BUT what I did learn is that what works is a very personal thing so be prepared for some experimentation.

The best thing I did was to make an appointment with a nutritionist who specialised in cycling at the Institute of Sport. The improvement in fatigue resistance was marked straight away and it allowed me to train hard for six to ten hours a day, day after day after day. This was the magic bullet I was looking for.

Be careful though of talking yourselves into feeling more fatigued than you really are. You two have a great opportunity to spur each other on and achieve much.

Also be prepared to listen to your body and recognise when a particular strategy is not going to work on the day. I had a very sobering lesson on the first day of having to ride in high heat where the nutrition plan all went to crap. If your day is slow and have nothing better to do, there's a bit of a journey of a fat fifty something to top ten finisher of the SDBC at http://www.isi-carriers.com/trips/sdbc/
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Overcoming fatigue

Postby sim-o » Fri Dec 30, 2011 9:45 am

I would recommend that you look at your intensity levels. If your riding several days in a row and doing only medium to high intensity riding, then your muscles will get sore and potentially injured in my experience.

You need to mix in some low intensity work. Put it on the small chain ring and just spin. Don't feel guilty about the easy workout, because your still working your cardio system and your allowing your muscles to recover and adapt.

Another thing that helped me was to use a foam roller after each ride. It's the next best thing after having a professional massage.
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Re: Overcoming fatigue

Postby sunnies » Fri Dec 30, 2011 11:49 am

Thanks everyone for your help, it's very comforting to know so many others have been through the same thing and it's not just that we are super unfit!
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Re: Overcoming fatigue

Postby Ken Ho » Sat Dec 31, 2011 3:05 pm

Recovery time is partly related to age too.
In addition to muscle building, anabolic steroids also reduce your re-training time. As we age, our natural sex hormone levels decline. For men this means a mellowing of our temperament, and a longer re-training time. For women it means a hairy lip and some HTFU.
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Re: Overcoming fatigue

Postby Clubagreenie » Sat Dec 31, 2011 4:10 pm

Magnesium chelate , arnica , WPI , fresh fruit and lots of water .

solid sleep , recovery rides and compression clothing to help recover .
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Re: Overcoming fatigue

Postby Addictr3 » Mon Jan 02, 2012 3:58 pm

Clubagreenie wrote:Magnesium chelate , arnica , WPI , fresh fruit and lots of water .

solid sleep , recovery rides and compression clothing to help recover .


You arent a salesman by any chance?

To the OP..

Long slow rides for Recovery will do wonders!
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Re: Overcoming fatigue

Postby Wayfarer » Wed Jan 04, 2012 12:13 pm

Addictr3 wrote:To the OP..

Long slow rides for Recovery will do wonders!

I agree with this. Nutrition really doesn't make much difference at this point, but you may start to use gatorade or bring muesli bars with you. As your liver can only hold about 2 hours worth of energy (about 60km worth), you need to start intaking sugars and salts with your water. I just buy the powder mix and use half the recommended dose. The biggest thing atop proper hydration and eating is longer rides. I know I've been training with longer distances, and it's made it easier to do shorter rides. Three years ago I did the Sydney to Wollongong ride, and barely made it. two years ago it was a struggle. Last year, it was a training ride. Perhaps you and your husband can aim to do a 100km (century) ride this weekend?
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Re: Overcoming fatigue

Postby Redbull » Wed Jan 04, 2012 2:19 pm

THIS

Build the tank, then fill the tank.
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Re: Overcoming fatigue

Postby bomber » Wed Jan 04, 2012 4:56 pm

Redbull wrote:THIS

Build the tank, then fill the tank.


Ahh the old school approach favoured by those who have the time to burn - churning out regular long low intensity rides. What happens if you don't have the time?

I am no expert but there is a viewpoint that stress forces adaptation and that coupled with sufficient recovery yields gains. To the OP perhaps you have gone to big too soon or not giving your body sufficient time to recoup. I think its likely that latter.
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Re: Overcoming fatigue

Postby Wayfarer » Thu Jan 05, 2012 12:42 am

bomber wrote:Ahh the old school approach favoured by those who have the time to burn - churning out regular long low intensity rides. What happens if you don't have the time?

I am no expert but there is a viewpoint that stress forces adaptation and that coupled with sufficient recovery yields gains. To the OP perhaps you have gone to big too soon or not giving your body sufficient time to recoup. I think its likely that latter.

Ahh, the new school internet appointed expert :lol: high intensity workouts will not help someone trying to learn to ride for long distances. There was nothing too big too soon about the predicament, they both just need more distance training until their bodies have adapted both structurally and metabolically to work the distances. The article seems very British, talking on and on about irrelevant rubbish rather than simply saying 'ride your bike - lots'.
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Re: Overcoming fatigue

Postby bomber » Thu Jan 05, 2012 10:11 am

Wayfarer wrote:internet appointed expert


Aren't we all...

Wayfarer wrote: high intensity workouts will not help someone trying to learn to ride for long distances.


In no way am I suggesting that they need a rack of intervals to get them through to peak commuting fitness. I am simply suggesting that LSD 'Long Slow Distance' isn't an option for everyone. I for one don't have 3 hours a day for riding to 'build a base'. I do however have 1.5 hrs most days giving me the option to go a little harder but still yield gains.

If the OP goes out 2 days in a row and can't back it up with a 3rd day then as I pointed out there is insufficient recovery between outings. In time that will change but I still think it has merit today.
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Re: Overcoming fatigue

Postby Wayfarer » Thu Jan 05, 2012 9:08 pm

bomber wrote:Aren't we all...

Maybe, but some of us are exercise scientists :D What i really meant was, all the things that article was talking about was just fashionable rubbish. Like power balance wristbands, scientology, etc.

bomber wrote:In no way am I suggesting that they need a rack of intervals to get them through to peak commuting fitness. I am simply suggesting that LSD 'Long Slow Distance' isn't an option for everyone. I for one don't have 3 hours a day for riding to 'build a base'. I do however have 1.5 hrs most days giving me the option to go a little harder but still yield gains.

If the OP goes out 2 days in a row and can't back it up with a 3rd day then as I pointed out there is insufficient recovery between outings. In time that will change but I still think it has merit today.

I wasn't suggesting riding 3 hours a day, as this is impractical for almost everyone. However, doing one, good long ride on the weekend, say a saturday, will force the body to adapt to longer distance riding. Every monday, wednesday, and thursday i do a 20km ride. On saturday I might do a +100km ride, and when it comes time to ride to Canberra, I won't have an issue. the shorter rides (Which used to be the main training) became 'short rides' where i pushed hard, and the 100km ride became the 'actual' training.
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Re: Overcoming fatigue

Postby Addictr3 » Thu Jan 05, 2012 9:08 pm

bomber wrote:
Wayfarer wrote:internet appointed expert


Aren't we all...

Wayfarer wrote: high intensity workouts will not help someone trying to learn to ride for long distances.


In no way am I suggesting that they need a rack of intervals to get them through to peak commuting fitness. I am simply suggesting that LSD 'Long Slow Distance' isn't an option for everyone. I for one don't have 3 hours a day for riding to 'build a base'. I do however have 1.5 hrs most days giving me the option to go a little harder but still yield gains.

If the OP goes out 2 days in a row and can't back it up with a 3rd day then as I pointed out there is insufficient recovery between outings. In time that will change but I still think it has merit today.


If you dont have time to ride for longer than 1.5 hours. Than you need to find the time, I think Lance has a quote in his book, something along the lines of "no point going for a 2 hours bike ride LOL.." its true. I only start to feel alive after 4-5 hours these days. Its just how I like to cycle.

I communte, ride short rides and all that, but those long rides are what keep me awake at night, waiting for the alarm to go off and RIDE ALL DAY!

Back to the OPs question, they are a little confused IMO.

Fitness doesnt necessarily improve your fatigue, as usually when you "become" fitter, you push harder (bigger rides, bigger hills etc etc)

HIIT - When done in its true form can work wonders for pushing harder gears, thus when spinning in the saddle, you could go longer.
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Re: Overcoming fatigue

Postby gururug » Thu Jan 05, 2012 9:26 pm

sim-o wrote:You need to mix in some low intensity work. Put it on the small chain ring and just spin. Don't feel guilty about the easy workout, because your still working your cardio system and your allowing your muscles to recover and adapt.

+1

It's intensity vs food/liquid, learn to listen to your body, often it will lie to you. I don't wan't you to hurt yourself.

Fatigue is normal, learning to recognise the good fatigue ( burn't ) from the bad fatigue ( frazzled ) takes a bit of trial and error. Even then getting frazzled is usually from lack of food/water rather than over exercise.

Like the others have said, don't ride at the same pace / cadence every day ( easier said than done ). i.e. Leave home with the mindset "i'm going to go slow today" more often than not. Drink heaps of water. Build slowly and you'll soon discover that you are capable of much more than you ever believed you would be.

More often than not i've jumped on the bike thinking i'm extremely fatigued from yesterday, only to discover 10mins later after a couple of efforts, i'm stronger, my body just needed to "wake up".

At the first sign of any join't / tendon pain back off.


I have a gut feeling that if you push through a couple of those third days, you'll find that they become less and less tiresome. Give yourself a rest on the fourth maybe?
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Re: Overcoming fatigue

Postby fringe_dweller » Fri Jan 06, 2012 8:13 am

Honestly, don't overthink it at this stage. You've just gotten onto a bike and your body will take some time to adapt. Back to back rides are going to fatigue you until you are more fit.

Eat well, sleep well and enjoy your riding.

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Re: Overcoming fatigue

Postby anth73 » Fri Jan 06, 2012 12:33 pm

I've been training for the Alpine Classic Extreme ACE250 ride coming up later this month and this has resulted in my usual weekly volume of training to go from 8 to 10 hours per week up to 12 to 15 hours per week. In terms of distance my "heavy" 200km week became my easy week, with 350km being done in the harder week.

Recovery time is part of your training and being almost 40 I like to structure my training cycle in four week blocks as easy, hard, hardest, recovery. My recovery week is minimal intensity, lots of easy gear/high cadence HRZ2 cruising. During my other weeks I do no more than two hard sessions a week out of the five days I ride. This works for me and it's somewhat trial and error to find what works for you.

If you're feeling tired you're probably in danger of burning out. Incorporate some recovery into your training and you'll make better use of your training time and reap better rewards from it. You'll also enjoy your riding more in the longer term.
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Re: Overcoming fatigue

Postby sunnies » Sun Jan 08, 2012 9:58 pm

Thanks everyone
Last edited by sunnies on Mon Jan 09, 2012 1:30 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: Overcoming fatigue

Postby Ken Ho » Mon Jan 09, 2012 6:03 am

29 ?
HTFU.
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Re: Overcoming fatigue

Postby gcouyant » Mon Jan 09, 2012 2:31 pm

sunnies wrote:Thanks everyone


Sunnies, I caught your post just before the edit.

Given the symptoms you described before the edit, try something really simple like three or four really heaped tablespoons of Sustogen sport in 200ml of chilled high protein soy milk. Drink it the moment you return from your ride. See how you feel in 15 minutes and if you feel inclined have another table spoon or two. Again, must be well chilled.
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Re: Overcoming fatigue

Postby sunnies » Mon Jan 09, 2012 3:52 pm

I'll definitely give that a try, I just had a quick look at nutritional info for the Sustagen Sport, so is that about rehydration, getting protein and carbs for recovery, the vitamins/minerals or the combo of all? Forgive my ignorance, I do have a health background and have always been into fitness, but never sport, and I didn't realise how different the 2 could be
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Re: Overcoming fatigue

Postby gcouyant » Mon Jan 09, 2012 4:24 pm

sunnies wrote:I'll definitely give that a try, I just had a quick look at nutritional info for the Sustagen Sport, so is that about rehydration, getting protein and carbs for recovery, the vitamins/minerals or the combo of all? Forgive my ignorance, I do have a health background and have always been into fitness, but never sport, and I didn't realise how different the 2 could be


It's all about refilling the tank and the product is a good starting point with a broad range of nutritional needs in an easy to consume and quickly absorbed form. The soy milk is more to do with adding non-whey based protein and to perhaps assist with the headache issue. You may also have some form of hydration absorption issue and perhaps have a mild form of diverticulosis. The above will help.

You have 30 minutes to get stuff down your throat from the second you begin to turn the effort down. That may be some time before you actually stop riding so you need to take your cooling down period into account.

You may also benefit from munching on a Hammer RedZone Protein Recovery Bar whilst you're cooling down. It's convenient and a very effective general purpose recovery product. Then get into the Sustagen.

Try this for a few rides and you should notice an improvement in general energy, mood and alertness pretty much straight away. The other symptoms should also be addressed or disappear altogether.

BUT, be warned, you will need to invest in some form of carbon credit to offset the bad news you'll be putting into the air about 30 minutes after consuming it all :shock:

Yes, fitness and sustained high output activity like cycling are two different animals. Nutrition pretty much from the start and during the ride is critical but recovery nutrition even more so.
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