At the beginning of the race season, enthusiasm and energy is high! About the mid-season point, accumulated season fatigue catches up with most racers. Recovery rate from workouts and from races slows down and finally, by the end of the season, some find their motivation waning. Oftentimes, throughout the season, cyclist find themselves over reaching and over training in their training. What is the difference between the two and how can the Fall season help?
The term over-reaching was adopted by exercise scientists to describe the short-term overload that can be managed within a few days. However, over-reaching can develop into over-training (from which it can be more difficult to recover) if the athlete does not mitigate the factors that caused the over-reaching or fails to allocate proper recovery time. The symptoms of the overtraining syndrome are difficult to define since there can be many and they are seldom exactly the same in any two overtrained athletes. According to Joe Friel, physiologically, the only ones that are common are poor performance and fatigue. However, there are a few other indicators. The symptoms of overtraining are many and include the lack of motivation to race and train, inability to complete most workouts due to fatigue, loss in power, and general overall irritability.
So, How Long Does it Take to Recover From Overtraining? “Most athletes will recover from overtraining syndrome within 4-6 weeks up to 2-3 months. This will all depend on a few factors such as how overtrained you really are, genetics, and age. Determining how overtrained you are can only be answered by the amount of time it takes you to recover.”
The Fall season can be an opportunity to rest and recharge while still maintaining fitness on the bike. The post, How Cyclists Can Manage the Fall Season, shares that this time of year can be very beneficial in letting you recharge the batteries and gain some mental freshness. Right now you’re setting the stage for your mental acuity going into next season. Ignoring mental fatigue right now can actually end up being detrimental to your coming season.
Also, as mentioned in our previous post, The 10 Essentials of Fall Cycling, having access to resources, tips, and a supportive environment makes it easier to enjoy all the benefits cycling has to offer. Knowing where your body is as it relates to your training cycle, motivation, and energy levels can make a difference. The Fall season can be a great opportunity to get new bike parts. During the season, the focus is on riding; whereas during the Fall, there’s more time for mental wanderings and fun! Check out our daily closeouts and overstock items to spark renewed interest in your cycling program.
All and all, whether you have pushed your limits to the max or not, rest and a reduction in training volume is the only cure to getting back into the groove when it domes to motivation and excitement for training. Use the Fall season to transition into a better 2015 cycling season.