Sunday, 02 November, 2003

Overtraining

Taking it easy this past week paid off.  I did the prescribed training rides, but at a slower pace than usual.  Wednesday, rather than doing the fast 17 miles on the schedule, I did a moderate one-hour mountain bike ride with a few hills thrown in just to get the heart rate up.  I took Saturday off from riding, but got a little exercise turning the compost pile.  Today's ride was with the Austin Cycling Association:  41 miles in the country out west of Round Rock.  I showed up on time for the ride, but forgot my helmet, so I had to drive back home to get it.  By the time I got back everybody had left, and it took me a bit more than an hour of hard pedaling to catch up with the group at the planned water/snack stop in Hutto.  The rest of the ride went smoothly, except for the downpour that hit us about 4 miles from the finish.

The sore, tired, heavy legs that plagued me last week are gone.  I was tired after the ride, but certainly not completely exhausted.  The only negative was that my right foot started to cramp while I was changing clothes in the truck.  I'm still not sure what causes those foot cramps, but I get them every time I do a long hard ride.  At worst, they're a minor annoyance, but they are painful.

Keep an eye on your training.  If you start to experience symptoms similar to those I described last week, consider backing off for a week or two to let your body rest.  Continuing to push when your body is telling you to slow down will end up causing you much more lost time due to injury than will taking a few weeks off.