Many cycling athletes train hard to reach peak fitness and prepare their body. Whether to participate in competitions or simply to increase pedal performance. However, this dedication can lead to the so-called overtraining in cycling.
As cycling is a very exciting activity, many cyclists push the limits and end up not noticing the signs that they are overtraining and that the body needs to rest.
Both professional and amateur athletes should beware of so-called overtraining, also known as the overtraining syndrome.
To help you better understand the subject, check out the main signs of overtraining in cycling: a condition characterized by reduced performance in training and that many people do not realize they have.
Cycling overtraining is not a sign of weakness or underperformance. It is caused by the accumulation of training-related and non-training stresses, which can have a number of physical, mental, and hormonal consequences, and full recovery can take several weeks.
Among them, we can mention: physical injuries, fatigue and hormonal imbalance, which can even affect the cyclist’s decision-making capacity. To confirm the diagnosis, medical and laboratory tests need to be done to detect abnormalities, along with a self-assessment.
We’ve brought you a list of signs of overtraining in cycling, so you can look out for them and know how to identify them.
Overtraining can cause anything from milder problems to serious problems that require your attention and serve as alerts. Although the syndrome does not cause exclusive symptoms in cyclists, some symptoms are common in practitioners of this sport.
Understand what the signs are that you need to take care of yourself.
As contradictory as it may seem, a body that should be tired from pedaling, when it trains to excess, faces difficulties in sleeping. This is one of the main signs of overtraining. Insomnia, a bad night’s sleep, or waking up feeling even more tired may seem like the consequences of anxiety, but that’s not always the case.
Thus, the ideal would be to sleep perfectly after a day with a lot of training, however, being in excess, exhaustion can change several functions of the body.
There are several studies linking an unusual decrease or increase in heart rate to overtraining in cycling. It is normal for your heart rate to be faster during physical exercise, but if you notice any change during training, or even at rest, seek medical advice, because, in addition to decreasing your performance, this can be a sign that your health is at risk.
The guideline is that you monitor your heart behavior during the pedal, to have a parameter and be able to notice any variation.
If you’re having a great deal of difficulty or needing more effort to finish a circuit that once seemed easier, it could be a sign that your body is going into exhaustion.
For those who have a power meter, it is easier to measure. If a simple ride seems to be taking more than usual, this could be a sign that you need to rest. For those who do not have such a device, it is necessary to make a comparison analysis of their efforts.
Another noticeable symptom of the overtraining syndrome is a change in mood. The most common cases are irritability, stress, increased anxiety and apathy.
Cyclists start to behave differently from normal and, as a result, this also affects their routine at work, with family and friends.
Also associated with poor sleep, mental fatigue is one of the most important signs. As a result, you may feel drained, have low energy, have nervous breakdowns, and then your training will suffer.
After a workout, it’s normal to eat a lot to replenish spent energy. If the hunger is less than usual, something is wrong. A cycling workout consumes a lot of calories, and if you don’t replace them, you may experience weight loss and a decrease in energy required for your next workouts.
Some athletes may even notice an increase in weight. That’s because, even replacing the calories expended, the body does not function well enough to metabolize what was ingested.
Associated with other factors, one of the most dangerous symptoms of overtraining in cycling is decreased immunity. This is because you may have physical illnesses more often, as well as greater difficulty in healing.
An injury to a muscle or joint, or even infections and colds become more difficult to treat, even more so that in some cases it means that the immune system is compromised. This is a warning sign.
If you’re identifying with the above signals, you’re likely pushing your limits in training. Better stay tuned.
The good news is that, in some cases, the signs may disappear after a few weeks of rest. However, it is necessary to take a break from the exercises.
Thus, it is essential, for those who want to maintain a healthy routine, to alternate weeks of intense training, weeks of so-called regenerative training and weeks of absolute rest. This way, this habit will make you even more prepared for stronger training and improve your performance.
If you ride without professional guidance, it is important that you monitor and avoid training with too much volume and intensity for a long time. Thus, it is necessary to have a balance between exercise and recovery, as well as good eating habits and adequate rest.
So, first of all, don’t forget to hydrate yourself. Likewise, it is necessary to maintain a balance between sport, family and work. This will prevent excessive stress from occurring.
In addition to draining your energy and strength, overtraining in cycling can limit your body in a number of ways. Avoid excess in your workouts!
Hey, Mark Ladd here. I am a sports fanatic and have a passion for this. Particularly running is what I love best. However, around 5 years ago I had an accident that changed my life. I can no longer pursue those sporting activities, so I moved my focus on a different approach where I blog about the sports and other areas of life which I have grown to appreciate more since my accident.Click to read on