This is a classic example of overtraining. My fitness has improved markedly with the engagement of my cycling coach, Ruth Eyles. I had a five hour ride planned last Thursday which I duly went on.
I decided to go a new route as I was becoming a bit jaded with my usual route for my long rides. I started around 8.30am after waking up a 6.00am for a large, hearty breakfast – cold rice or pasta, I forget which now.
It was a typical Korean autumn morning – cold (maybe 5 degrees), foggy, dank. I did not really warm up during the first three hours. I realised at that time that the ride would turn out to be much longer than anticipated as well. I had underestimated the distance and time.
However, at virtually the same moment, the sun came through the clouds spreading warmth throughout my body. The fog cleared to reveal stunning scenery. It was probably one of the most beautiful rides I had been on in Korea, or anywhere.
The ride was well over 100 miles and it took me over six hours. It involved over 2,000m of vertical ascent. I felt tired when I got back but not wasted.
Friday was a rest day but I had a two hour training session on Saturday. It involves keeping my heart rate between 70-75% of max. It is a hard, challenging ride. I was sort of ok for the first hour but I just could not keep my heart rate up in the second hour. Indeed, I quit after an hour and thirty minutes. It and I were just no good.
The long ride on Sunday did not go as planned. I felt tired and demotivated. My legs had no power. I quit after an hour. I thought my coach would be disappointed in me but she was actually very encouraging.
I am becomin more experienced now. I know the signs of overtraining. I will monitor them closely in the future and try not to do more than is in the training plan.
Today, I did a really hard ‘threshold’ ride. I felt great. It was my best threshold ride so far. Sometimes, not training is a good thing.