Question: I had a great spring and summer on the bike, winning a local race and setting a personal record in a century. But recently my performance has leveled off. I don’t feel like riding, and I’m making excuses to avoid group rides where I might have to go fast. What’s happening? — Samantha B.
Coach Fred Matheny Replies: Sounds like overtraining, Samantha.
Loss of enthusiasm and chronic fatigue are huge tip-offs. Reduce intensity and include two rest days (no riding)each week for the next month. You may have reached your genetic maximum and no more improvement is possible, but I doubt it. If you were feeling fine but not improving, that would be different.
Remember that progress isn’t a smooth upward curve for any rider. Rather, improvement comes in fits and starts — a big jump, followed by a plateau, followed (hopefully) by another big jump.
If you back off for a month as I suggest, then continue with normal training, I’ll bet you experience another period of improvement.