Recovery?

theBlob

Bokeh master
Sep 28, 2011
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#1
So I had a bad head cold that was backed up with a bout of noro virus (Stomach)
That resulted in 9 days off the bike. That all ended 2 weeks ago and I have been back to my normal training routine (3-4 x 60km mid week + Something longer on the weekend)

The problem is is that I have lost large amounts of power, In the mountains I felt good but when I got home my times were poor. And my morning training runs I am continuing to really suffer, about 2km/hr down. So about 5-6 minutes across a 50km trial. I can still hold someones wheel at pace, but as soon as I am in the wind I die.

My question is, how do I get back to form? Should I be doing interval training? big hills? Pound it out? or taking it easier and not pushing.

Any advice is more than welcome!
 
Jan 14, 2007
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Noda
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#2
So I had a bad head cold that was backed up with a bout of noro virus (Stomach)
That resulted in 9 days off the bike. That all ended 2 weeks ago and I have been back to my normal training routine (3-4 x 60km mid week + Something longer on the weekend)

The problem is is that I have lost large amounts of power, In the mountains I felt good but when I got home my times were poor. And my morning training runs I am continuing to really suffer, about 2km/hr down. So about 5-6 minutes across a 50km trial. I can still hold someones wheel at pace, but as soon as I am in the wind I die.

My question is, how do I get back to form? Should I be doing interval training? big hills? Pound it out? or taking it easier and not pushing.

Any advice is more than welcome!
Probably not 100% recovered so don't push yourself.

Start out easy, rest, a little harder, rest....

Intervals, rest....

The form will come but only if you let it. Don't force it or you'll get sick again.

What's the rush? Coming into off season so you're supposed to lose a bit of form...

No need to be improving at this time of the year.
 

theBlob

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Sep 28, 2011
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#3
I don't really have a race season the whole year is the same.
But incidentally I am entering my first race in December so it would be nice to be able to my best
 

Samuelg

Warming-Up
Jun 22, 2009
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#4
Hi there,
i have only been thru the japanese winter 3 times, so my opinion is limited to just 3 cycles, however i have a theory that the cold has a big part to do with this, it seems that your time off the bike recently coincides with the sudden drop in temp at the end of summer, so i expect you would be wearing more and the wind feels a little heavier, i can see my lap times around well travelled courses to reduce by up to 5kph in the colder months.. in short i blame the cold.
 

joewein

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#6
I don't really have a race season the whole year is the same.
But incidentally I am entering my first race in December so it would be nice to be able to my best
Having just attended the first two races of my son, I'd say your first priority in your first race (or even first few races) should not be the fastest time possible, but avoiding crashes.

You'll start off with a bunch of inexperienced riders in the initial classes and that results in more people touching wheels, cutting each other off, etc. Avoid injury and treat it as a learning experience as much as a competition.

I also find that the need to keep warm saps a lot of energy, though in some ways it's easier to deal with than the opposite extreme, overheating in summer.
 

jdd

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#7
My input is VERY unscientific/personal and also not researched based, so take that grain of salt and here goes...

Regular exercise produces better performance.

Occasionally, a day off can help, but coming back after a (long-ish) break is always less than before the break--you haven't been practicing all the little details of good performance, so it's not going to be up to par.

Your first goal should be re-achieving your previous schedule. (frequency)

Your second goal should be re-achieving times.
 

FarEast

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May 25, 2009
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#9
Ok as a professional certified coach I can tell you that recovery is THE most important part of your training program. If you have been ill then you are certainly going to be suffering from dehydration as well as reduced glucose and carb stores.

In regards to taking time away from the bike, it’s essential. I normally take about 1 or 2 months off from the bike in the off season. I ride socially but won’t tear up hills and the likes.

If you are an all year cyclists and ride hard every ride you are going to burn out and this can have a serious impact on your performance, you need to recover – if you are constantly training how is your body going to build and develop if you are constantly tearing it apart?

Anyone that is familiar with Joe Friel will know that there are solid rest blocks throughout the training cycle and these are essential if you want to see improvement.

If you are coming out of illness I would say just ride for enjoyment, eat and drink healthy and for energy stores – so high carb. But going balls to the wall straight after recovering from illness is just crazy – no way you will be able to hit the same performance as you did before.

In regards to weather I would have to say that it’s oppersite, on a scientific level our bodies function much better in colder temps as we have to use less energy cooling the body. Getting the muscles warmed up though is a different matter and this is where having the right clothing for the job is important.

In regards to Joe’s advice – sorry but ignore it. One of the things I tell anyone that is getting in to racing is go in with the attitude of YOU WILL CRASH. Once you are in that mind set then you stop worrying about it. People that worry about crashing become nervous and a danger to themselves and others – nothing worse than a nervous rider in the peloton.

So just get stuck in and race – it’s the only way to learn, but don’t be scared to yell at people, I’m rather famous for it and it keeps the peloton in the right frame of mind.
 

microcord

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Aug 28, 2012
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#10
Ok as a professional certified coach I can tell you that recovery is THE most important part of your training program. If you have been ill then you are certainly going to be suffering from dehydration as well as reduced glucose and carb stores. [...]
Me, I don't know squat, but this account above makes perfect sense.

But just for "academic interest" . . . I've been watching youtube episodes of "The Man who Cycled the World", Mark Beaumont's round-the-world trip. (I'm now at Calcutta. The programme-makers' voice-over -- and I don't mean Beaumont's voice-over -- can be irritating. Otherwise, good.) He cycled 160km/day, almost every day, and of course with much baggage, on often horrible surfaces, and giving himself enough time to set up a tent, go shopping, etc etc etc. What amazes me is how often he had food poisoning, hardly slept, etc, yet kept on going and didn't collapse. Of course he would have been tremendously fit at the start, but all the same his success puzzles me.
 

FarEast

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#11
Never under estimate the power of the mind - take a look at the Solo Race Across America event - those guys are incredible.

However I can bet that prior to the event the rider had a proper structured training program that included rest days. Not only that I bet that after he completed the ride he took time away from riding.
 

Yamabushi

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#12
If you are coming out of illness I would say just ride for enjoyment, eat and drink healthy and for energy stores – so high carb. But going balls to the wall straight after recovering from illness is just crazy – no way you will be able to hit the same performance as you did before.
You're 100% on the mark, James! But, good luck getting Anthony to heed that advice! :D
 

FarEast

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#13
You're 100% on the mark, James! But, good luck getting Anthony to heed that advice! :D
You can lead a horse to water ........

but not only will he not be able to hit the same figures he was before the illness he may find his fitness slips further and takes longer for him to get back to where he was.
 

theBlob

Bokeh master
Sep 28, 2011
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#14
Ok as a professional certified coach I can tell you that recovery is THE most important part of your training program. If you have been ill then you are certainly going to be suffering from dehydration as well as reduced glucose and carb stores.

In regards to taking time away from the bike, it’s essential. I normally take about 1 or 2 months off from the bike in the off season. I ride socially but won’t tear up hills and the likes.

If you are an all year cyclists and ride hard every ride you are going to burn out and this can have a serious impact on your performance, you need to recover – if you are constantly training how is your body going to build and develop if you are constantly tearing it apart?

Anyone that is familiar with Joe Friel will know that there are solid rest blocks throughout the training cycle and these are essential if you want to see improvement.

If you are coming out of illness I would say just ride for enjoyment, eat and drink healthy and for energy stores – so high carb. But going balls to the wall straight after recovering from illness is just crazy – no way you will be able to hit the same performance as you did before.

In regards to weather I would have to say that it’s oppersite, on a scientific level our bodies function much better in colder temps as we have to use less energy cooling the body. Getting the muscles warmed up though is a different matter and this is where having the right clothing for the job is important.

In regards to Joe’s advice – sorry but ignore it. One of the things I tell anyone that is getting in to racing is go in with the attitude of YOU WILL CRASH. Once you are in that mind set then you stop worrying about it. People that worry about crashing become nervous and a danger to themselves and others – nothing worse than a nervous rider in the peloton.

So just get stuck in and race – it’s the only way to learn, but don’t be scared to yell at people, I’m rather famous for it and it keeps the peloton in the right frame of mind.
Thanks for the advice, I'll certainly consider resting.... sometime! Not just yet though. For me it is harder to rest than to exert myself I am afraid, and I am not much good at casual riding. I do get rest days though, I ride 2 on then 1 off usually, and I don't ride in the rain so sometimes I get a few off in a row....

I agree with your sentiments on racing and crashing, have done some fairly serious motorcycle racing, I have not too many qualms about crashing and I am fairly good at being up close and personal at much greater speeds than we can achieve on a bicycle, that said I still have plenty to learn so I am looking forward to getting into it.
 

FarEast

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#15
Thanks for the advice, I'll certainly consider resting.... sometime! Not just yet though. For me it is harder to rest than to exert myself I am afraid, and I am not much good at casual riding. .
It's the same with most serious athletes. But not resting is a serious limiter on your potential performance.

your call. ;)
 

Sikochi

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#16
Personally, I would go with FarEast`s advice and take 10 days-2 weeks off, re-test, then go from there. As has been mentioned, the improvement (the body`s adaption to the training input) happens when resting, and without resting, you will just plateau i.e. you are training for no reason/benefit. And if you can only ride at a lower level than before, then you won`t be improving, as the training load won`t be sufficient to trigger adaptations.

One thing to consider, is if you have been training hard for a long time consistently, then it places a great strain on your endocrine system (Hence, FarEast`s long rest). If you have been fighting infection as well, then one avenue to explore is your endocrine system being depleted. If this is the case, then it is just a case of resting. Training isn`t just about muscles/cardiovascular system. If this does apply, then continuing training is just digging a big hole for yourself. There is an article on it here, but aimed at ultra-runners.
http://www.succeedscaps.com/articles/endocrine_system_depletion/

For instance, I haven`t fully recovered from my bacterial infection at the end of August, and looks like this might be the cause rather than an antibiotic hangover (the minefield of self-diagnosis) so I will just be resting for a while as well.
 

Sikochi

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#17
Having just attended the first two races of my son, I'd say your first priority in your first race (or even first few races) should not be the fastest time possible, but avoiding crashes.
So just get stuck in and race – it’s the only way to learn, but don’t be scared to yell at people, I’m rather famous for it and it keeps the peloton in the right frame of mind.
I would favour FarEast`s pro-active approach - if you go in with the idea you will crash, then you will increase the likelihood of it happening, but like anything, both approaches are valid, and the one to follow depends on how you work - do you learn better by watching or by doing? But then of course, where you watch from (back of race/middle of peloton/on the front) influences what you see/learn.

Assuming you don`t overheat, you will go faster in hotter weather - the air is less dense.
 

j-sworks

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#18
I too am trying to get over sickness and was going to make a thread asking for advice, so this thread is perfect.

I have a sinus infection and am now on my second round of antibiotics and chest decongestants, so at first I received 3 days of antibiotics and sack full of other junk to suppress my symptoms which I didn't take, and then on Tuesday I went back because I was not felling as though I was "over the hump" and was given 10 days of antibiotics and asked to adhere to the 10 days. This totals 2 weeks and 4 days, including today that I've been off the bike.

So I'm feeling at about 70+ percent and have been looking for any reasonable excuse to get back on the bike, as for James' advice about taking a solid block of time away from riding it seems that I just happened upon meeting a little more than the 10 days you recommend. So do you, and others, suggest riding from now at a decreased effort? For a little while. Or should I hang tight until I'm off the meds? I read that decongestants, other meds, and the sickness can increase your resting HR and dehydrate so risk may outweigh advantages when "getting back into it" too quickly.

Previously I was doing "1-on-1-off" intervals @10 reps x 3 days a week plus a century on the weekend, this is just a FYI incase it's relevant.

I can feel my fitness slipping away from me but I don't want to battling this all winter; I plan to ride whenever it's not raining, and even if it does rain during my schedule -->turbo trainer.
 
Sep 2, 2009
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#19
Yeah what Far East said.

When I was into making wimps cry at the gym, it was all about how much rest you gave yourself.

Used to go in, warm up, then lift ultra heavy for about 40 minutes, then go home.

The rest of the time was protein, sleep, protein, sleep, protein, sleep.

Amazing how much I needed to sleep back then, and it was proper power sleeping too. Deeeeeep sleeping.

So yeah, what Far East said.

You will no doubt come out stronger.
 

j-sworks

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Feb 5, 2012
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#20
Yeah what Far East said.

When I was into making wimps cry at the gym, it was all about how much rest you gave yourself.

Used to go in, warm up, then lift ultra heavy for about 40 minutes, then go home.

The rest of the time was protein, sleep, protein, sleep, protein, sleep.

Amazing how much I needed to sleep back then, and it was proper power sleeping too. Deeeeeep sleeping.

So yeah, what Far East said.

You will no doubt come out stronger.
Yeah I will head the advice as I don't want to prolong the recovery, and yes sleep is so important but I find that as I just sit around not riding I can't sleep well for the whole night. Then again I am a finicky sleeper.