I Can See it Could be Easy to Overtrain

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Yesterday I finished off a 500+ mile week.  The weird thing is I really didn’t do anything other than just ride.  On Saturday, I did ride Bill home and an extra 3 miles to get to triple digits, but that just felt good.  Yesterday I needed 70+ miles and the ride was just 64, so I did a little extra and ended up with 84, which was easy too.

I have never been too much into big miles.  I’ve only been keeping track of my mileage since I got a Garmin and have been using Strava, which does it automatically.  Cycling is funny, but there are many ways to get up to race speed.  And they differ as much as the weather.

I seem to do better with more miles now.  We’ll I’m not positive about that, but I’m really enjoying riding longer miles, so I’m going with it.   This year, the miles are passing quickly.  And by that, I mean our average speeds seem fast.  I had a 90 mile ride last week at over 21 mph and an 100 mile ride at 20.5.  That is with it being fairly windy, like 15-20 mph.  For the month of February, I’ve ridden a little over 1200 miles and have averaged 18.5.  That is with riding on gravel a few times and more than a couple days with the wind 30+.

Even Bill and my brother were riding big miles.  Bill had a 500 mile week a couple weeks ago and 400 last week.  My brother rode 600 miles, which to me, seemed crazy.  But, the weather has been pretty great here, other than the wind, so it has been easy getting on our bikes.

I have been sick the last two weeks.  I’m not sure if it was from flying, then allergies or what. But I wasn’t sick enough not to go ahead and train.  Cycling is perfect for that.  It is one of the only endurance sports that always you to train through illness.

It is supposed to be closer to normal here today, in the lower 50’s.  I would love to get on my bike and ride to Lawrence and back on gravel, but I know I need to rest.  When I have been riding a bunch it is hard for me to rest.  I know I don’t need any more miles, but want more miles.

I haven’t really done any intensity yet, so this weekend is going to be a shock to the system.  But I’m too lazy to go out and do intervals, etc. when it is so much easier, and enjoyable, just to enter a few races and get up to speed that way.

Since everyone’s mileage is out there, it is so easy to think you’re behind when it reality, it is still only February.  But, the season seems to be nearly year round now, which I like.

Anyway, I can see how it would be easy to overtrain.  Once you get those endorphins going on a daily basis, it is hard intellectually override the urge to just keep going.  Maybe that was Forest Gump’s deal?

But, that is the plan now.  I might even go out and do a few efforts to see if I can breathe deeply and elevate my heart rate over 150.  The only problem with that is they are started to burn the grazing land already, so the air isn’t that great.  I guess that is one of the downsides to an unseasonably warm February.

miles copy


I'm bad.  Remiss.  Here's Tucker's picture.  With Kukla watcing over.

I’m bad. Remiss. Here’s Tucker’s picture. With Kukla watcing over.



11 thoughts on “I Can See it Could be Easy to Overtrain

  1. Bart

    Waking heart rate working off your base waking heart rate is the big key. If it’s 5+ beats above average then your body is telling you to have an easy day…
    Of course this is more for your viewing public than you Steve as I’m guessing I’m preaching to the corus.

  2. jeffc

    endorphins and dopamine… Dopamine being the huge one as it can be as addictive as heroin.
    when I was racing some years back, I’d do +600km week (120km a day) for 25000km a year and spending 20000 a year on racing (travel, bikes, etc…). I was like a bad crack addict. Worst part is coming off all that.
    I have one friend that was a top runner, he turned to a 40onzer of booze a day instead of running. Nearly killed himself. Gotta be really really careful with dopamine as the high can be easily replaced with something else.

    1. flowbee

      Another way to look at that behaviour is that endurance athletics seems to attract people with addiction issues.

      Sometimes they choose the sport over a drug, sometimes they come off a drug of choice like alcohol or pot and do cycling or running in exchange, never really dealing with the underlying behaviour. I see lots of recovering addicts come and go from our local competitive rides over the years.

      There are definitely worse ways to manage addiction tendencies than a sport like cycling. Best case scenario is one deals with the underlying motivations and get some balance while participating in a sport.

      1. jeffc

        endurance athletics seems to attract people with addiction issues.

        I’ll agree to that, I’d like to see more studies on that. Time and time again, from the top atheletes I know, many have been “Addicted” to the sport. If it weren’t for the sport, they’d be addicted to something else.
        Many issues stem back to family of origin issues as well… addictions are merely a mask.

        Balance is key for sure… without balance, its just another addiction.

        I’d like to see more studies on this sorts of stuff…. wouldn’t be interesting to know.
        Especially in places like Boxing or some of those really extreme spots, where injuries are many and empires make millions off those souls.

      2. jeffc

        I see lots of recovering addicts come and go from our local competitive rides over the years.

        — do many turn to drugs/alcohol/gambling/sex/spending etc… addictions after competitive sports?

        be really really interesting to do a study on this…

        In my case, at age 13 I was heading down a bad bad path, turned to drugs/alcohol etc… then luckily my aunt got me into running. I ran and ran then weightlifted 6 hours a day… then went to school (day and night taking business, comp sci, engineering etc…) then work as my addiction, then 2 really bad long term relationships, and mountain bike racing… finally, I seeked help for my addictive/OCD ways… I’m still an addict, but its more controlled – balanced… sometimes 🙂
        Its tough… really tough… guilt/shame/blame/self destruction etc.. balance is key.

  3. Mark

    A 500+ miles week alone would probably put me in a overtraining hole that it would take till the end of the summer to crawl out of. Lol

  4. mike crum

    that graph is way differen than mine… and i bet lots of others. we have circles on saturday and sunday.. then small trainer dots a few days during the week.. must be awsome to ride daily..

  5. Iowagriz

    I’m less interested in the miles and more interested in the hours in the saddle. You have been putting in big weeks and the last 19 days was a huge block of time. If you want to see how it compares to last year, check out the Strava Calendar function.

  6. jason

    How do you guys find the time, esp in the winter, to put in miles like that? job, families, life, etc


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