Monday, June 1

Overtraining and Vacation

Well, I've just put in a fairly brutal week of intentional cycling over-training. I went on hard bike rides and long bike rides. I went on rainy bike rides outside and hours here and there on the trainer inside. I've sent my friendliness factor to spiraling lows--though I try not to show it to the people I care about. In general, I recognize that this does not benefit the training regimen. Well, I wouldn't call this week over-training just yet, it's over-over-reaching.

)image compliments of Joe Friel's Blog

Here's the rub: I'm going to be in beautiful, tropical, swamp-crotch hot Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, for a week and a half, and I won't be able to bike at all while I'm there. I looked in to it--it just looks to dangerous. There is absolutely no regard for the sovereignty of traffic lights, and no one else down there rides. I mean there's guided bike tours and rentals out in the more rural areas of the country, but not in the capitol. Actually I'm there now. I wrote this post ahead of time. But I digress.

Over-reaching is when you intentionally train hard enough to let your fitness level suffer, then let yourself recover to a new, higher level of fitness before you resume training. This happens on a lot of different levels. It can happen several times during the course of a ride--when you are doing intervals or hill repeats, you rest in between iterations. It happens over the course of a training week--you have active/hard days and rest days. It happens throughout your training year, by month, as you have harder weeks and softer weeks. In the macro-cycle, the entire year is building up to your most important races or rides, after which you relax before re-training for an even-stronger next year.

Yea, it's kind of awesome.

Anyway, since I have a forced recovery of 11 days, I needed a level of training the past few weeks that would hurt sufficiently to let 11 days not be too much recovery. So there you have it.

For more information on over-reaching and over-training from the man himself, Joe Friel, I highly recommend Joe Friel's Blog.

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