Friday, April 9, 2010

Century Training - Week 4; Day 5

Week: 4
Day: 5
Ride: Pace Off-Day (muscle fatigue)
Scheduled Mileage: 14
Actual Mileage: 0

Random Notes to Self:
  • Overtraining?
Despite the beautiful weather this week, my rides were slightly less enjoyable. Instead of the fresh legs I had on last Saturday's long ride, I have been fatigued and sore - generally from the waist down, which I think I can thankfully attribute to the good fit of my bicycle (e.g. no backaches or joint stiffness). And my legs have been particularly shaky when ascending stairs. I climb in and out of subway stations regularly and deal with a four-floor walk-up apartment at least twice a day; if extreme stair climbing were a sport, I'd be an Olympic medalist. So the fact that I have been struggling to get from street level to the front door of my home is mildly concerning.

I used the cold front that is currently sweeping across the northeast to further pad my excuse for a second off-day this week. But I also remembered that I have been doubling the scheduled mileage on Day 7 over the past few weeks - the Sundays after my long days. I wasn't intentionally upping my mileage, but following my cycling coach in circles around Prospect Park on Sunday mornings caused me to exceed my recommended mileage on more than one occasion. Focusing on various drills while staying on his wheel, five miles can become 25 rather suddenly.

America By Bicycle's Century Challenge & Endurance Training Guide notes that cyclists should "resist the temptation to drastically boost your weekly mileage, especially as the ride approaches. Overdoing it can lead to staleness, fatigue and injury. Watch for such overtraining warning signs as restless sleep, fluctuations in morning pulse rate, a sudden drop in weight, and fatigue or listlessness during workouts."

My cycling coach has been sensitive to my physical condition on Sunday mornings because he knows that I leave job #2 in Manhattan at 5am and meet him for 7:30am rides in Brooklyn. He has an equally inviting and threatening way of alluding to what our sessions will be like after I quit my second job. In the meantime, I'll be sure to mention my recommended post-long-day mileage moving forward - while I can still squeeze some pity out of him.

Tomorrow is Day 6 of Week 4. My next long day. 42 miles!

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