Mojo is a funny thing. It is, as defined by who the heck knows via the internet, “a magic charm, talisman, or spell”. It’s an ethereal entity that resides within your body and mind. At this point in the season some are not feeling it, or about to lose it, and that is a direct result of a flawed training and racing program.
So get up off the couch, stop feeling sorry for yourself and……get back on the couch. Signs of overtraining include irritability, listlessness, a lack of interest in riding your bike, muscle soreness, muscle fatigue, insomnia and loss of concentration. It also increases the risk of sickness and injury. At the least you’ll not have as much fun doing what you love, and at the worst you’ll bail on it completely.
A more exacting method of identification is to keep track of your Delta Heart Rate. Take your Resting Heart Rate just after you open your eyes while still laying in bed in the morning. Get up, walk around and do your thing for a minute or so and then take your heart rate again (Standing Heart Rate). The difference between the two is the Delta. Less than 10 is excellent, 10-20 is pretty good, 20+ is a sign that you need a day or two off and 30+ is cause for real concern. We work with a professional marathon mountain bike racer who came to us with a Delta Heart Rate of about 35. It took 3 weeks to bring it down to a reasonable level prior to his being able to begin training for the next season.
If you’re seeing signs of any of the above and haven’t layered recovery into your program don’t panic because it’s a very easy fix. Take a recovery week, forget about cycling for a few days and allow yourself to re-charge:
Monday – off
Tuesday – off
Wednesday – easy 1-1.5 hour ride
Thursday – easy 1-1.5 hour ride
Friday – off
Saturday – easy 1-1.5 hour ride
Sunday – race or 1.5 hour ride with 30 minutes of tempo (zone 3 HR/pwr)
I’m not gonna lie, Sunday is going to feel like a punch to the gut if you decide to race at the end of a recovery week. There is a physiological cost to a sedentary week. It is as necessary as training hard though so take the leap and it will pay off during the last few races of this season.
Big thanks to the South Chicago Wheelmen! Two races in a weekend is more than one club should subject themselves to. See you at Indian Lakes.