Overtraining

Why Didn't My Hard Winter Training Pay Off?

I invested in a power meter last fall and worked hard on the indoor trainer all winter. I did tough workouts three days a week with lots of intervals. On the weekend I cross-county skied for hours and even entered a few races. I figured I’d be flying in March, but instead I’m lagging off the back of group rides and the power I average for 20 minutes has actually decreased since October. What went wrong?

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How Can I Regain My Enthusiasm?

This is my first year of serious riding. I started on the trainer February and have been going strong since, riding hard four to five times a week. I've raced several times and want to do more until fall. The problem is that my rides feel like a chore rather than fun. My legs burn when I ride. How can I get my enthusiasm back?

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Does Commuting Count as an Easy Day?

Ever since a bad bout with overtraining, I alternate hard and easy days. I also commute to work, 30 miles per day. Does my commute count as an easy day?  Also, would it be okay to do a variety of training (endurance, sprints, power) each week, or should I separate my training into "blocks" and work on only one skill at a time? 

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How Should I Take Active Rest?

You always stress the importance of taking several weeks off the bike each year for rest and recuperation. I enjoy cycling, hiking/backpacking and weightlifting. Is it okay to rotate rest periods among the sports, or should I avoid cycling and hiking at the same time since they're both lower body? My cycling goal is simply to be a strong recreational rider.

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At Age 57, How Can I Combat Poor Recovery?

I'm 57 and each year find it more difficult to recover. I used to do three or four hard workouts in a row, but now it takes me at least 48 hours to feel lively again. Stage races or week-long tours are tough. It's not just my legs -- my whole body seems to be affected because I lack energy for daily tasks for a frighteningly long time after I ride hard.  I know I can't turn back the clock, but are there any remedies for this depressing state of affairs?

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How Can I Avoid Sunbelt Winter Burnout?

I have a strange question for someone like you who lives in a cold climate. I'm in Phoenix, and the winter weather begs me to come out and enjoy it. I just finished a great cycling year that included numerous double centuries, brevets and Paris-Brest-Paris. I want to ride long distances and have fun doing it this year, too.  Even though it's January, I still want to ride every day. But I also feel like I should be taking it easy right now in advance of the coming season. Should I back off?  Not to gloat, but I hope you're not snowed in as you read this!

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Is Overtraining More Likely in Cycling than in Running?

I'm a long-time runner who recently switched to cycling due to knee problems. My injuries limited me to about 30 running miles per week, but now I can ride as much as I want and often do 300 miles per week.  I always felt fresh and ready to run races, but now I often lack motivation for centuries or even for training rides. Is there something about cycling that dampens enthusiasm?

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Why Do I Feel Tired After a Rest Week?

I race competitively on the road, totaling 300-400 miles per week. I make one week in every four a recovery week when I just roll around for 200 miles without any hard efforts.  The problem is that after a week of taking it easy, I don't feel refreshed. In fact, I feel more sluggish and pathetic than when I'm pounding out the miles. It takes me another week of hard training to get my systems going again.  I don't think that I lose fitness during the recovery week, but I seem to lose my rhythm. Is there a way to beat this recovery week torpor? 

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