Advertisement
We've partnered up with Nixers.com to offer a space where you can talk directly to Peter from Nixers.com and get an exclusive Boards.ie discount code for a free job listing. If you are recruiting or know anyone else who is please check out the forum here.
If you have a new account but can't post, please email Niamh on [email protected] for help to verify your email address. Thanks :)

How to avoid exhaustion on multiple day bike tour or even race?

  • 13-06-2021 4:17pm
    #1
    Registered Users Posts: 960 ✭✭✭ Arequipa


    Hi!

    I hope you are all well.
    I am planning a multiple day bike tour later in the summer.
    I am not sure where yet, due to covid uncertainty..

    I have toured for up to 3 - 4 weeks before.
    I am a little bit older now.. but still cycle every day to work...

    My question is... on a longer bike tour... where I generally push quite hard...how do you measure your level of tiredness...and when you need to rest or reduce the distance per day?

    I know when I am tired... but when do you know...without getting bloods... that you are pushing into the red and should rest up?

    Thank you,

    A


Comments

  • Registered Users Posts: 6,372 ✭✭✭ G1032


    Your HRV will tell you.

    Measure it every morning and it'll tell you when your autonomic nervous system is in a balanced state or has swung significantly towards sympathetic or parasympathetic.

    Depending on your budget there are different options available for measurement and analysis.

    Whoop are a company that specialises in this but you pay a monthly subscription which isn't cheap.

    Alternatively you could use your own HR monitor if it's accurate enough for this measurement and use an app like Elite HRV for analysis. There are free and paid versions of this. Free version is plenty good enough.

    Wahoo HR monitors are no longer recommended for recording HRV. Check Elite HRV site for list of compatible monitors


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,136 ✭✭✭ saccades


    Err - only cycle in zone2 heartrate.

    Should see you right for, well forever.


  • Registered Users Posts: 6,372 ✭✭✭ G1032


    saccades wrote: »
    Err - only cycle in zone2 heartrate.

    Should see you right for, well forever.


    Not necessarily, depending on fitness levels, aerobic base, exposure to multiple consecutive days of Z2 riding.

    Besides that, the OP has asked a very specific question at the bottom of his post, wondering how he can tell if he needs to rest up.
    Telling him to just keep riding in Z2 doesn't tell him if he needs to rest up. There are other stresses that life brings, outside of exercise, which will possibly give him reason to rest up and let his body recover for a day or two.


  • Registered Users Posts: 992 ✭✭✭ Large bottle small glass


    No need to over complicate it.
    *Listen to your body(that'll stand to you in every aspect of life but especially long distance cycling)
    *Enjoy the thing, a day will come when you won't be able
    *Eat well but don't stress it, just eat enough
    *Take an easy day, day off bike when needed

    Be prepared mentally for unknowns that will come that will kick the sh1te out of you; headwinds for days, getting lost, accomodation falling through etc etc. It's your panic/anxiety in response to those things that'll cause you more trouble than the set back itself. To quote Samuel L Jackson just repeat to yourself "bitch be cool"

    No matter how tired you get remember it's better than lockdown


  • Registered Users Posts: 960 ✭✭✭ Arequipa


    Thanks for the replies ...

    That sounds like good advice...I know when I am very fit my resting hr is quite low and when I am really tired it is very low and won’t rise with increased effort or exertion...

    I have been caught out before... probably by pushing too hard on consecutive days... then added to that continuing through heat wave conditions.. it seems the cumulative effect can add up..

    Another factor I find is verrrry hilly terrain or even mountainous terrain.. it is difficult to stay in lower zones in tough terrain..

    I have a Garmin 820... might be able to use more of its features...


  • Advertisement
  • Registered Users Posts: 5,961 ✭✭✭ iwillhtfu


    Why would you want to push hard bike touring? surely it's about the trip and not the distance or time to complete it.

    As others have said your body will let you know when it's tired but it's usually the mind that goes first particularly when racing.


  • Registered Users Posts: 960 ✭✭✭ Arequipa


    Yea, i know what you mean.. i sometimes like pushing myself, up climbs.. into headwinds.. maybe cover as much distance as possible.. maybe get to point b.. that bit quicker...

    But i think i am learning to rest more and 'smell the roses'!


  • Registered Users Posts: 24,658 ✭✭✭✭ Wishbone Ash


    If you eat and drink well, you shouldn't become physically exhausted.

    Mental exhaustion may be your enemy.

    ....be prepared mentally for unknowns that will come that will kick the sh1te out of you...
    This.


  • Registered Users Posts: 960 ✭✭✭ Arequipa


    I think it depends on how hard you are pushing.. on consecutive days.. getting food, water, rest, recovery and sleep..

    I think everyone's body has a physical limit...

    I think another factor for me is, work, life etc...is extremely busy . .. so sometimes i got straight into trips really tired from the outset!!


  • Registered Users Posts: 6,372 ✭✭✭ G1032


    Arequipa wrote: »
    I think it depends on how hard you are pushing.. on consecutive days.. getting food, water, rest, recovery and sleep..

    I think everyone's body has a physical limit...

    I think another factor for me is, work, life etc...is extremely busy . .. so sometimes i got straight into trips really tired from the outset!!

    So, to go back to the original question -

    I know when I am tired... but when do you know...without getting bloods... that you are pushing into the red and should rest up?

    That's what measuring your HRV will tell you.


  • Advertisement
  • Registered Users Posts: 5,961 ✭✭✭ iwillhtfu


    G1032 wrote: »
    That's what measuring your HRV will tell you.

    I'm sure google will tell me but what's HRV?

    I usually find on endurance type rides when I think I'm most tired my HR will actually be in a pretty average zone 2/3 or so. In a race when the doors have blown off and I'm not so much tired but exhausted or find I can't push anymore my HR is bouncing off the limiter.


  • Registered Users Posts: 417 ✭✭ delynet


    I did a 3 day tour recently covering 651km. No major efforts, paced the hills and took regular breaks. Aimed for just over 200km each day. Listened to body and did not need HR or other measurements. Really enjoyed it as I never put myself under stress.

    Two weeks after that I did a club 200km spin where there was a lot of wind and tough efforts. Attacking hills, sprints to speed limit signs, etc... Averaged over 30kph. I was wrecked after it and needed a few days of rest.

    I have also done week long training camps abroad where each day was spent in the mountains. Key thing here is we had a coach who broke up the days into different exercises. Plenty of rest in the evenings as away from home so feet up with no house work to worry about.


  • Registered Users Posts: 6,372 ✭✭✭ G1032


    iwillhtfu wrote: »
    I'm sure google will tell me but what's HRV?

    I usually find on endurance type rides when I think I'm most tired my HR will actually be in a pretty average zone 2/3 or so. In a race when the doors have blown off and I'm not so much tired but exhausted or find I can't push anymore my HR is bouncing off the limiter.

    It's Heart Rate Variability
    It's the variability in time between successive heart beats.
    Generally speaking, the greater the variability, the more ready you are for training load. It's not quiet that simple but that's basically it.
    It's a much more accurate way to determine recovery than heart rate alone.


  • Registered Users Posts: 992 ✭✭✭ Large bottle small glass


    Arequipa wrote: »
    I think it depends on how hard you are pushing.. on consecutive days.. getting food, water, rest, recovery and sleep..

    I think everyone's body has a physical limit...

    I think another factor for me is, work, life etc...is extremely busy . .. so sometimes i got straight into trips really tired from the outset!!

    What's the big rush?

    You might be as well off asking yourself why you need to find your limits/push constantly for your 4 week holiday; not a topic for a cycling forum.

    You are tired starting by your own account, there is no technology to fix that. But there is a cure 🙂


  • Registered Users Posts: 336 ✭✭ Mr. Cats


    Anytime I’ve done multiple day events where I was pushing myself, I’ve found one of the key things is to try and eat something protein-rich not too long after finishing. The body needs to get some protein in asap to aid recovery or else I start to feel depleted really quickly. There’s a big difference between leisurely touring and all out racing obviously but it’s really great to have something ready to go before you sort out accommodation, shower, bike storage, finding restaurant and other time consuming faffing around before eating. I’ve used protein shakes for this but if you’re going for a longer tour that’s prob not practical to bring with you.

    Also, a little nap is always great!


  • Registered Users Posts: 960 ✭✭✭ Arequipa


    Thanks for the response Mr Cats!
    The protein right after is a good idea... and love the idea of a nap...
    It can be tiring.. if you have to set up a tent, find food and accomodation.. depending on where u are!


Advertisement