Weekly Update

The past few weeks have brought my season’s goals into focus.  It has been a long off-season after battling a pair of injuries (a broken collarbone, and my recent knee pain).  I’ve emerged from winter healthy and ready to take on the next three months of buildup to the heart of road racing season.  The weather has also been cooperating, with shorts/jersey weather for the entire month of March so far.

Three weeks ago, with my knee issues healing quickly, I set out to get back to training.  In hindsight I came back a little too hard.  After basically three weeks nursing my knee (including two weeks of only 3 hours of training), I came on strong with a ten hour week.  The following week (last week) I ‘failed’ at 3 of my 4 workouts, when I was too tired to complete them as planned.

I made two mistakes: I came back too fast, and also returned to training that was too intense.  I should have done an eight hour week with “Base 1″ workouts consisting of long, easy rides, and a few spinning drills and cross training.  Instead I resumed long rides with hills and tempo work.  Although I would have been able to handle the training load if I had been training continuously, after a few weeks off it was too much.

Overtraining is common this time of year.  A few of the local bloggers on the right nav-bar have been talking about this as well. talks about checking your ego at the door.  I don’t have too much trouble with ‘constant competition’, but I do tend to ‘over-plan’.  The workout plan and predicted CTL I posted in last week’s update was clearly overly optimistic and I’ve cut back on it significantly after being more realistic with what I can handle. talks about the added difficulty of our great weather, and the risks to an entire season if the signs of fatigue are ignored for too long.

My first race of the season will be the Louisville Criterium on Saturday.  The is straightforward with gentle, wide corners and a long, gentle hill.  It tends to be a very hard race, and it was one of the couple that I DNF’d last year.  This year I’ll be training through the race so I don’t have huge expectations and I’m mostly looking for a good workout to knock the dust out.

I’ve got two more days of training this week and two over the race weekend before finishing out the training cycle.  Then I’ll be resting up for the the following week.  After that I’ll take a few days rest before beginning my next cycle of training, Build 1, which will focus much more on intensity and race specific intervals.

About Russell

I have been racing bicycles for a decade. This blog will chronicle my efforts as a Category 1 road racer lining up with the pros.
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2 Responses to Weekly Update

  1. says:

    Hey Russell,

    I did the same. I am in a hurry to do well this season and have found I have overloaded myself and started to recognize the overtraining symptoms. Sluggish legs that burn even at a warm up pace. Even walking up stairs etc I can slightly feel the legs working under what would normally be no stress. I was forced to cut my largest week in the end of BASE III from a 11.5 hr week down to a 5 hr week. I am still taking the 5.5 hr rest week (this week) just to be sure and riding easy. I also think it was a bit too much intensity, when looking back at my diary, with hills and Tempo work that crept up on me. Also, being new in the sport (cat 5 canada) I think it is even easier to overtrain. Inexperience also makes it difficult to recognize the symptoms of OT without previous experience and years in the legs but I hope I’m doing the right thing and other competetive cyclists can learn from this as well. Last year I “powered through” it and lasted a few more weeks at high intensities after warming up, but paid for it dearly with overtraining symptoms and inabliity to ride at any intensity for over 2 months in the middle of the summer! Even though I think I know what I am doing is the right thing, it is so hard to follow through with it and rest. You feel depressed and think your fitness is dropping etc. Then once feeling better you feel like you need to make up for lost time! I talk like I may know whats going on but can never be sure and have to guess and just hope it all works out ;(

    Good luck. Thanks for such a great blog!

    • says:

      What you describe is exactly what any athlete goes through. Either with a coach or own your own, it is always a process of seeing how your body responds and making changes regularly.

      It always takes some guesswork but over time you’ll get better at seeing the signs your body gives you.

      Good Luck, and Thank You.

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