Tossing and Tortured 'Till Dawn

I come back to you now, at the turn of the tide.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Constant Overtraining:

"They" say you don't really realize when you are pushing the edge of over-training, and they're probably right. I mean, what is OVER training? Shouldn't you always ride more? And then there are those nutcases that seem to insist that all you should do is rest, take it easy, recover recover recover. When do you actually go hard?

Over the past few weeks I've been riding a fair bit less than when I was full-bore into the base of the winter. I've always said there is something pretty sick about Cascadian bike racers' training plans: essentially you have to put in massive hours in stupid weather that's just barely manageable to ride in. You know those days, when the low is thirty-five degrees and the high is forty-one and why on earth are you meant to put in back to back five hour days in this crap?

Then summer shows up and it's absolutely glorious outside and you can't even ride your damned bike because you've got a race in two days and you don't want to overextend yourself and blah blah blah.


Anyhow, and by riding less I mean that the twenty plus hour weeks have taken a break, and it's more like fifteen. This past week I took it pretty easy indeed, especially as I had to work a fair bit of overtime, and only trained about ten hours, plus my six mile daily commute. Pretty weird, eh? Well, I noticed when I did ride that, oh my gosh, I am fully recovered. No lingering fatigue in my legs, no internal protest at the thought of saddling up for the third time in a day.

This is probably good for me.

It was especially obvious riding from an interview to work, about five miles away, and I had to be clocked on in something like twenty minutes. Go-time. Riding up a moderate incline, I rose out of the saddle to maintain my momentum. Hauling my commuter bike, over forty pounds with two panniers full of clothes and shoes, a big u-lock, lights, and what have you, is a little taxing uphill. With a triple, it's easy enough to just relax and go at an easy pace, but a couple of months ago when I tried to just keep the thing rolling at big-ring speed, after a dozen pedal strokes I could feel the burn in my calves, my thighs. Yesterday I looked down to make sure I was still in the big ring.

The point is, if'n you ride every day, you might not know how tired you are until you back your mileage down. A lot. For a little while.

It's in my blood, though, all of it. I feel like one of those driving rock songs that start out with one gentle note before the overdriven electric guitar powers on scene, the subtly building drumbeat before the cymbals crash.

I remember -- none too fondly, I might add -- how my mind felt nightly before I started training. Wandering, restless constantly, forever feeling the need to do something, but with no idea what. Tossing and tortured 'till dawn.

No, it's far better this way, than that.


  • At 10:03 AM , Blogger josh said...

    as opposed to being exhausted and passing out right away?

  • At 2:37 PM , Anonymous teh cruzer2424 said...

    you've been called.

  • At 2:39 PM , Anonymous cruzer v2.0 said...

  • At 11:37 AM , Blogger STOKED I AM said...

    Enjoy YOUR day on Saturday! Tell us about getting old(er). :)

  • At 12:15 AM , Blogger Zoo said...

    hey, in response to your previous post about the garbage, just a thought to consider...I live in a first floor end apartment and I have a guy next to me who throws stuff like yourself on the side of my apartment all the time (to let the critters take care of it instead). I also have an ant problem thanks to this guy since he likes to feed entire colonies of ants with the crap he discards on the lawn, just something to think about...since I'm' sure your downstairs neighbors don't appreciate it either.

  • At 3:09 PM , Anonymous teh cruzer said...

  • At 2:10 PM , Blogger STOKED I AM said...

    Your link to Kenji's blog needs updating....

  • At 4:19 PM , Blogger Miriam. said...



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