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Overtraining, or when it's no fun anymore

This is the busy time of our training season, the time when most of us rack up the most miles in preparation for the event in June. But while high mileage might sound impressive (not only to you, but to potential donors), watch out for the dangers of overtraining. If you push your body way beyond its limits now, you run the risk of not being able to do your best in June.

Of course, the first question is, "How much training is overtraining?" Alas, that's a question that only you can answer for yourself. "Too much" cycling for one person is quite fine for another, and vice versa. But you probably can get hints when you're beginning to reach your limit -- most notably, when bicycling stops being fun and your training rides become nothing more than drudgery. A bad attitude about cycling can hurt your performance at least as much as physical issues!

Sure, when it's chilly and yucky outside, it's natural to think, "Yuck, I don't want to go out today." That's probably not the voice of overtraining. But when even a short ride for yourself starts to sound unpleasant, that should be a sign that you might want to think about dialing it back a couple of notches -- particularly if you've sharply increased your total distance in recent weeks.

When June 6 gets here, we all want it to be a magical week of fun for a good cause. If you're already burned out by then, you probably won't have much fun. Pace yourself, put yourself on track to peak your training in mid- to late May, and then be ready to do this for seven days in a row.

1 comment:

Deniz said...

Yes I suffered a few set backs last year when i was training. I over trained so much my body totally shut down and i kept on getting sick.. If you have done long/hard rides in the past 2-3 weeks, take a week off to give your body some rest. The time off the bike will make you stronger on your next ride.