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Overtrained or Overheated – Or Worse, Both…

June 2012
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I went out for what was supposed to be a 29 mile ride yesterday in some interesting conditions – it was windy and HOT, we hit 94 yesterday and we don’t usually see temps like that up here in Michigan, especially in the middle of June.  It was so hot that the water in my water bottles was warm to the taste, though I drank it anyway.  There is no doubt, this was the hottest weather I’ve ever ridden in by about 8-10 degrees, and it hurt.  If the air temp wasn’t bad enough, I got double baked by the heat rising off the asphalt – it was that hot.  Considering, that had to have an effect on my power – I did well going into the wind and with a cross-tailwind (18.9 mph average) but on the way back, with seven miles of tailwind and five miles of cross-headwind my overall pace slowed down for an overall average of 18.4 mph (I was up to 19.5 after 5 miles of tailwind but started to bonk when I hit the cross-headwind) – that makes two slow days in a row which is quite odd for me and that’s got me thinking a bit…  Maybe it was just the heat and I’m making a mountain out of a mole hill, but maybe it wasn’t, maybe I’m finally getting to a point where I need to take a break for a couple of days.  I’ve ridden 18 of the last 19 days.

I changed my route the last week for traffic purposes – the new one has wide shoulders and minimal traffic but is terribly exposed to the wind and I’m either heading dead into the wind or with it, so that’s going to have an affect for sure, but I just felt a little “blah” yesterday about the whole ordeal and I ended up cutting four miles off of my trip just to get home.  I started running out of gas at about the 21 mile mark.

In addition I had a little leg/glute (muscle only) pain after Monday’s ride – it was a pretty hard effort into some unbelievable wind and that pain really got me nervous about the whole “overtraining” thing – the pain was deep and stretching only alleviated the discomfort momentarily.  I’ve never really experienced it so I don’t know what I’m looking for, so I’m going to keep my eyes open for the time being.

After analyzing my speed data on Endomondo, I ran into trouble riding into the wind – and things are starting to make a little sense.  On my old route I had a lot of turns (16 in 16 miles or 11 on the 25 mile route) – only on a rare occasion (when the wind was dead west) did I ever experience a headwind for more than a couple of miles at a time and even then, most of the ride was fairly protected by trees lining the roads.  With the new route I’m plugging into the wind for five straight miles with hardly a tree to break the wind whipping across 2 miles of open fields or straight up the road.  Looking at yesterday’s ride I had five miles of cross-tailwind and seven miles of headwind in the first half – five of those seven in a row.  On the way back I had 3 miles of tailwind but then it shifted to mainly from the south so I ended up with another 2 miles of cross-tailwind followed by 5 more dead into he wind again.

To sum this up, I think I’ve had a few things working against me.  The wind and heat, the new route, and only a stray day off in almost three weeks.  Add to that three hard efforts in four days (Saturday, Monday and Tuesday) and I’m just a little pooped out.  It’s always something.

I told my wife last night that I was planning on taking three days off starting today, but I think I just might go out and start tomorrow with the time off – we’ve got thunderstorms in the forecast.  Maybe I’ll just take it easy and enjoy the ride today and see how that goes…  It’s supposed to be another scorcher.


1 Comment

  1. Greeting from over the sea. excellent blog I shall return for more.

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