1988RedT2
1988RedT2 MegaDork
10/29/19 6:26 p.m.

Okay.  I'll be 59 soon.  I'm 6'-0", 170 pounds.  I try to stay in shape.  I bike two or three times a week.  Do some yoga, some bodyweight exercises.  I bowl once a week.  I play pickup basketball with my teenage son.

In the Spring and Fall I ride as often as I can, shooting for three times a week.  I usually ride a mildly hilly 12-mile loop and I always time that ride with a stopwatch, using the time as an indicator of my fitness relative to points in the past.   I push pretty hard, at least for an old man.  My best ever time is just under 48 minutes.  Today, I managed a 50:25--not bad.

My question:

Usually, within a range, my time drops in response to my ride frequency.  The more often I ride, the faster I get.  Earlier this month, I was getting in my preferred three rides a week, and I noticed that my times actually seemed to get slower.  Two weeks with just two rides, and I'm faster today.  So, is one day's rest enough?  Am I overtraining? 

What says the hive?

wearymicrobe
wearymicrobe UberDork
10/29/19 6:33 p.m.

Not your age but likely over training or you need a refeed/rest week. I can add darn near 30 lbs to my bench reps when I have a rest week. That goes away three major splits later like clockwork. Real question I would first have a hormone panel done and a good physical then a week of for rest and hit it hard when you get back. If you burst up and hold onto some of the gains in speed then that is your answer. 

 

Also by refeed I mean a decent carb load, if you are down on carbs that day or a few days straight and you are depleted you are not going to function the way you want. 

 

 

Suprf1y
Suprf1y UltimaDork
10/29/19 6:36 p.m.

Over training? I doubt it but your sample size is too small to make the decision to change your normal routine

mazdeuce - Seth
mazdeuce - Seth Mod Squad
10/29/19 6:40 p.m.

A heart rate monitor will help to answer your question, or to go old school, check and record your heart rate when you wake up in the morning. When my wife was running college track/cross country they had to do this and an elevated rate two days in a row was a good indication to take a day off. 

If you start riding with a HRM you will see changes in HR/pace. 

alfadriver
alfadriver MegaDork
10/29/19 6:47 p.m.

In reply to 1988RedT2 :

Don't have anything better to say than what has already been said, but good for you to be doing so much!!

I'm struggling to keep running, 7 years behind you.  Even as I loose weight (again), running improvement just isn't coming.  I may change to cycling to help my crappy left ankle.  

1988RedT2
1988RedT2 MegaDork
10/29/19 7:02 p.m.

In reply to alfadriver :

Yeah, running isn't even remotely an option for me.  I killed my right knee running HS track and cross-country.  Never had surgery, and for the most part, it's fine, but running and (as I've discovered) pushing cars that don't run causes me a couple days of pain.

I would encourage you to change to cycling.  It's so much easier on the equipment.

 

1988RedT2
1988RedT2 MegaDork
10/29/19 7:07 p.m.

In reply to wearymicrobe :

Yeah, I had considered the carbs thing.  Probably no coincidence that this performance decrease coincided with a mild effort to reduce caloric intake to try to get a couple pounds off.  Granted, my salads tend to be significant meals in themselves, but typically don't include a lot of carbs.  So yeah, got where I wanted to be, ate a little more.  Boom.  Faster times.  It makes sense.

Never used to have to work at keeping a weight.  As long as I kept up the exercise, I could pretty much eat what I want.  Must be related to aging. indecision Slower metabolism, etc. etc.

porschenut
porschenut Reader
10/30/19 6:43 a.m.

You might be micromanaging your exercise.  A few days of an off time is not an issue.  Exercise and enjoy it.  Maybe a little cross training too.  I try to flip between exercise modes and not duplicate two days in a row.  The pulse monitor is a good idea regardless, as avg and peak during a workout are good metrics.  

alfadriver
alfadriver MegaDork
10/30/19 7:56 a.m.

In reply to 1988RedT2 :

The honest fear I have about cycling are cars.  I'm not really in an area where I can easily find roads that don't have a lot of traffic on them, and that's a real concern.  

But while I keep looking for that, that does not mean I can't get a good trainer so that I can cycle indoors.  And I just need to get off my rear and do it.  They are not expenive, and I have a good bike for that.

Maybe I'll find one this weekend.

mtn
mtn MegaDork
10/30/19 9:22 a.m.

Not a medical anything, but to echo the above I've been seeing some interesting anecdotes about people who go carb-free and are seeing decreases in physical performance. Never done a search for any studies on it because I love my carbs too much and am not really going to change that aspect of my diet; aside from that I know from my personal history that I need to carboload on occasion for the amount of hockey that I referee (i.e. I'll be on the ice for about 9 hours on Friday reffing high level hockey).

 

As a Dietitian, my wife typically scoffs at [super] low carb/no carb diets. Brain needs carbs to  be happy. If  you're any bit active, you need carbs to fuel you. Try adding a serving of brown rice or eating an extra banana an hour before your run. 

 

As an aside, for someone like you weight probably isn't a very good metric to be paying close attention to. What you should be paying attention to are your cholesterol, blood pressure, and times. If you notice that your times are decreasing significantly, there could be something wrong - hopefully an increase in carbs will fix it in this situation, but if not it may be time for a trip to the doctor as it could indicate something cardiac related. I'd consider your weight (and BMI) as a good thing to watch for  major swings, but in general it is a very incomplete indicator of overall health, especially when you're as active and fit as you sound like you are.

 

 

EDIT: The other thing, as you age your bounceback will get longer. You may be able to keep doing what you always did, but you won't be able to do it back to back like you once did. You see it in professional athletes all the time. I'd think that you should start to add an additional recovery day/easy day into your week. 

1988RedT2
1988RedT2 MegaDork
10/30/19 9:58 a.m.
mtn said:
...
As an aside, for someone like you weight probably isn't a very good metric to be paying close attention to. What you should be paying attention to are your cholesterol, blood pressure, and times. If you notice that your times are decreasing significantly, there could be something wrong - hopefully an increase in carbs will fix it in this situation, but if not it may be time for a trip to the doctor as it could indicate something cardiac related. I'd consider your weight (and BMI) as a good thing to watch for  major swings, but in general it is a very incomplete indicator of overall health, especially when you're as active and fit as you sound like you are.

EDIT: The other thing, as you age your bounceback will get longer. You may be able to keep doing what you always did, but you won't be able to do it back to back like you once did. You see it in professional athletes all the time. I'd think that you should start to add an additional recovery day/easy day into your week. 

 

I am noticing that it takes longer to recharge.  I suspect that's pretty normal. 

As far as the weight thing, I wouldn't say that I obsess over it.  I'm just aware of it.  If I notice I'm up a few pounds I'm likely to have a big salad for lunch as opposed to say, a hamburger, and skip the ice cream after dinner.

I know I should be mixing up my ride length and intensity, but I have a hard time slowing down and taking it easy.

Thanks for the replies, guys!  I think the answer is probably to put a long slow ride in between the 12-mile speed runs, and try to carb load a little.

alfa:  I hear you on the traffic thing.  I am blessed with a somewhat rural location quite close to a vibrant urban area, and a nice long park with 25 mph roads with no traffic.  Bike lanes are getting more common in urban/suburban areas, but cycling is still a challenge where drivers alternate between being in a mad rush and texting.  When I go biking with the kids, I'll throw all the bikes in the truck and we'll drive a few miles to a safer place to start a ride.

If you have to settle for an indoor trainer (essential for me in winter) you can set up in front of the bigscreen TV and watch a movie or play your favorite xBox game (just be sure your seat allows you to be comfortable sitting more upright for hands-free riding) .  Makes the relative drudgery of indoor cycling go much faster.

Brett_Murphy
Brett_Murphy UltimaDork
10/30/19 12:10 p.m.

Good thread, thank you. I'm experiencing the same thing. 

What I'm trying to do is more "active rest" mode where I just walk at a relaxed pace instead of doing cardio or weight training. 

93EXCivic
93EXCivic MegaDork
10/30/19 12:26 p.m.

For cycling, GCN on Youtube has a lot of good training videos and I could of sworn they had a video on exactly that but I can't find it right now.

GIRTHQUAKE
GIRTHQUAKE HalfDork
10/30/19 12:33 p.m.

 Carbohydrates are needed for your glucagon storage in your muscles, which is "fast" energy they devour when under strain OR to raise your blood sugar when needed. When you excersise heavy routinely you're goning to need a day to recharge those stores of carbs- and those days are "Cheat Days". You may want to try (as below mtn says) to eat more carbs in the form of fruits or whole grains during your day and see how you feel before trying a full cheat-day styled diet. You may also want to consider a week-long break (except from yoga/streching) and restart; sometimes there's deeper myofasciular damage that occurs that a long break allows the body to repair.

Also, its actually pretty hard to overtrain and you're nowhere near it, despite your age. Overtraining occurs from weeks to months of aggressive, constant high-intensity and is also synominus with things like Rhabdomyleosis- if you were doing all that AND biking for several miles each day, maybe- but you're wife would know before any schmuck on an internet forum.

mtn said:

Not a medical anything, but to echo the above I've been seeing some interesting anecdotes about people who go carb-free and are seeing decreases in physical performance. Never done a search for any studies on it because I love my carbs too much and am not really going to change that aspect of my diet; aside from that I know from my personal history that I need to carboload on occasion for the amount of hockey that I referee (i.e. I'll be on the ice for about 9 hours on Friday reffing high level hockey).

 

As a Dietitian, my wife typically scoffs at [super] low carb/no carb diets. Brain needs carbs to  be happy. If  you're any bit active, you need carbs to fuel you. Try adding a serving of brown rice or eating an extra banana an hour before your run. 

 

As an aside, for someone like you weight probably isn't a very good metric to be paying close attention to. What you should be paying attention to are your cholesterol, blood pressure, and times. If you notice that your times are decreasing significantly, there could be something wrong - hopefully an increase in carbs will fix it in this situation, but if not it may be time for a trip to the doctor as it could indicate something cardiac related. I'd consider your weight (and BMI) as a good thing to watch for  major swings, but in general it is a very incomplete indicator of overall health, especially when you're as active and fit as you sound like you are.

 

 

EDIT: The other thing, as you age your bounceback will get longer. You may be able to keep doing what you always did, but you won't be able to do it back to back like you once did. You see it in professional athletes all the time. I'd think that you should start to add an additional recovery day/easy day into your week. 

 

porschenut
porschenut Reader
10/30/19 1:11 p.m.

Instead or in addition to the indoor trainer consider an old school nordic track.  They can be had  for free or less than 25 bucks and will work out different muscle groups.  Your legs have become very efficient and don't burn much gas anymore.  Use some new muscles.

I agree that blood pressure and cholesterol are better metrics at our age.  In the last 6 years I got into a regular exercise program and my numbers have dropped but my weight has stayed the same.  My routine in the summer is bike, streetstrider, kayak and in the winter nordic track and indoor bike. 

Your diet logic sounds pretty good, unless you want to go off the deep end and monitor everything.  But you are not trying to become a pro athlete, enjoy food and exercise.

Paul_VR6
Paul_VR6 Dork
10/30/19 3:48 p.m.

Expect the average pace to go up (worse) as miles go up. I see the same running, and so does my wife. Taper the distance and volume a bit and go hard one day and you will be surprised at how quick you've gotten.

dj06482
dj06482 UltraDork
10/30/19 6:20 p.m.

The advice given so far is very good. My personal take is that i’d try to vary your intensity, even if you do the same loop. 

I used to run the same 3.5 mile route at lunch a few times a week, but I’d vary the pace and intensity, often during the run. I’d do negative splits (2nd half harder that the first), run the hills hard, run hard the first half and ease up the second half, or just take it easy and enjoy a slow run. I started each run with a purpose of why I was running that way - to test fitness, to burn a few calories, to blow off some steam, etc. if you make every ride a time trial, you can make yourself miserable (been there, done that, but am still not immune to doing it again!).

1988RedT2
1988RedT2 MegaDork
11/1/19 1:34 p.m.

Thanks guys!  I appreciate all the responses and advice.

I figured I'd go out a little slower today, but the weather was beautiful and I got carried away and went out a little too fast.  The legs started feeling pretty spent on the last couple of hills near the end of the ride.  I was about a minute slower than Tuesday's ride.

I should prolly carry a watch and check my halfway split time so I get a sense of how I'm pacing myself.

Dinner last night was high in protein, light on carbs.  I also rode later than usual, waiting for it to warm up a bit, so probably a little low on fuel. 

If nothing else, at least I know what I'm doing wrong! cheeky

 

Toebra
Toebra Dork
11/2/19 12:08 a.m.

You need carbs, but more importantly, you need a balanced diet.  Carbohydrates get into your system quickly, and they are what your brain runs on for sure, but that is not the only thing you are after.  Your body has to do some chemistry on fat and protein for you to be able to use it, and chemistry takes time. This can help moderate your blood sugars, so it does not go up and down as much.  If you are bonking on rides, running out of gas, so to speak, a protein bar can be a lifesaver.  Carb loading and all that jazz is great, but keep something in the seat bag with the tool kit you can eat, granola bar or whatever.

 

I would encourage you to get a heart rate monitor.  If'n you are pushing hard on a ride, might be nice to know what the pump is doing.  There is a formula for what your target peak heart rate should  be, angle of the dangle plus a hundred or something.  It is also instructive to see what your recovery is after a minute or two.  Rev your heart up spinning the pedals, and see how long it takes to get back to resting.  I think mine is like 65 now, was 40 when I was doing a lot of cycyling and running.  I think those Dick Tracy watches they make now monitor heart rate, or those fit bit doo dads probably do.  I would also encourage you to monitor your BP

 

I tell my patients with crappy ankles to do proprioception and strengthening exercises.  For example, imagine your big toe is a piece of chalk.  Now write the alphabet in the air, as if it were a blackboard for your chalk big toe.

Birthdays
Our Preferred Partners
cOsvcVPKDq8dVmmXinmPWerfXbKuBbwYYEcxdXRNZeFCvFgrRh7H01P8ge9TDaU4