How Do I Know If I’m Overtraining? Everything Cyclists Need to Know about This!
One can hardly be sure that endless daily cycling will be beneficial because it can cause cycling overtraining. Overdoing the load is much easier than it seems. But how do you know what happened to you? We know the most common cycling signs of overtraining, so we will share them with you. In addition, we will give some recommendations to improve your condition if you are overtaken by such a situation.
What Is Overtraining in Cycling?
Overtraining is a state in which the body doesn’t systematically recover from exercise. In addition, too much overload can also lead to the appearance of any diseases. Overtraining can be earned at any age by playing sports even at an amateur level. Recovery from the previous state can take from several weeks to a year, depending on the severity of overtraining. In rare cases, athletes never manage to return to their level.
Not enough rest is much more likely to lead to overtraining than too intense training. Most cyclists with jobs, families, and other responsibilities simply don’t have time to train too much. The most we can do is six, ten, or even 15 hours a week. It’s hard to overtrain if you only ride an hour or two a day unless you ride hard every day. At the same time, you can not get enough rest in your free time from the bike.
You can overtrain in terms of volume and intensity. By itself, the number of training hours per week won’t tell if you’re overtrained, and neither would one interval workout. But by looking at your workout calendar, you can spot a few trends.
Too much high-intensity training is a recipe for disaster, and cycling overtraining can be even more unsettling. In the same way that you need to include rest days in your weekly training plan. You also need to include recovery and endurance training in it. These are low-intensity rides in zones 1 and 2 that only challenge your aerobic system. And are much easier to recover from than high-intensity interval rides.
How Do I Know If I’m Overtraining?
Overtraining is distinctly different from ordinary fatigue. In case of fatigue, it is enough to rest for 1-3 days, super-compensation would occur, the body would be ready to train and progress again. Overtraining is a protracted condition when results fall and the general condition of the body worsens. It has a cumulative effect, so it may not be immediately noticeable. The main symptoms of overtraining are:
- Increased heart rate at rest. Normally, the resting pulse can fluctuate by ± 5 beats. The deviation of cycling overtraining heart rate would be 10 beats.
- High or low blood pressure.
- Insomnia, frequent awakenings.
- Poor appetite or constant hunger, digestive problems.
- Irritability, depression, loss of motivation, anxiety, emotional instability.
- Low performance and fatigue during training.
- Tired immediately after waking up, feeling unwell during the day.
- Sudden weight gain or loss.
- Unexplained drop in form, lack of progress, and motivation. Even with regular training, the form only falls, the condition worsens, and a few days of rest don’t correct the situation.
- Injuries at small loads outside of training.
- Violation of the menstrual cycle.
- Frequent SARS infections.
At the first symptoms of overtraining, reconsider your training plan, reduce the volume and intensity. The hardest thing is to realize that this is overtraining. Often, athletes begin to train even more to “endure” this condition. Ignoring the symptoms can finally break the body, then recovery can be delayed for a year or more.
Causes of Overtraining
Overtraining syndrome occurs with heavy loads and a constant lack of rest. Cycling overtraining is often obtained to quickly achieve results. Athletes regard the loss of form and the drop in results as a lack of training and begin to train even more. This drives the body into a deep crisis.
In some cases, the culprits of overtraining can be metabolic disorders and “drug” dependence on physical activity. Training causes a rush of endorphins, so you want to train more typically and increase the load. Here are some factors that affect overtraining syndrome:
- Inappropriate training plan: a sharp increase in training volume, training that is too voluminous and heavy, the same load, lack of recovery;
- Too many competitions;
- Lifestyle: domestic problems, stress, lack of sleep, uncomfortable housing, poor nutrition;
- Exercise while sick
- Deficiency of carbohydrates, protein, and other important elements;
- Violation of the nervous system.
How to Avoid the Effects of Overtraining?
To avoid overtraining, you should stick to a consistent and repetitive training and recovery structure. Here is a basic weekly training structure to help you avoid overtraining:
- Include at least two rest/recovery days per week.
- Set aside two or three (maximum) days a week for high-intensity interval training (HIIT) or racing.
- The rest of the workouts should be in zone 1 or 2 (five-zone model).
- “Rest” every fourth week by reducing training volume, intensity, or both.
- Many coaches have a philosophy of training periodization: three weeks per week and one week off, which is most closely related to weekly training volume but can also be related to weekly workload or training intensity. Using this periodization model, which states that workouts should change over time and include periods of rest, the coach assigns a “week of rest” every fourth week of the calendar, with the athlete’s training volume reduced by about 30-50 percent.
If you are still unsure if you have cycling overtraining, talk to your trainer or doctor. It’s incredibly helpful to have someone detached from the emotions of your life who can objectively look at your performance to see if you’re overtraining. Trainer Neil Henderson of Wahoo says, “Don’t get hung up on a tree when you could be looking at a forest.” In other words, take a step back and look at the big picture.
If cycling overtraining symptoms match your well-being, then you should recover. First, the treatment for overtraining is physical rest and rest:
- Break-in training for 4-7 days;
- Sleep at least 8 hours a day;
- Complete nutrition;
- Visit massage and sauna;
- Take a break from sports, watch movies, read books, take care of family affairs;
- Protect yourself from stress, don’t think about the lost form.
After resting, start exercising every other day in an easy mode. Don’t force the form in the desire to return to the previous level as soon as possible. It would take about 2 times more time than you spent on vacation. Roughly speaking, after 1 week of rest, you need at least 2 weeks to return to shape. If the training began to go well, the recovery was successful.
Now if you encounter cycling overtraining, you would know what to do about it. And if you haven’t experienced this yet, then remember how to avoid it in the future. Thus, you can train even more efficiently, and the result won’t fall. If you feel that you can’t move away from the load for a long time, go to the doctor. It is important to make sure that your health is in order, and continue to ride calmly.
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