Welcome to the November 18th, Mid-Week Report!
PHOTO OF THE WEEK: WHITE RIM TRAIL
Although they showed up with flat bars, former Trek-Segafredo road pro Peter Stetina and Dirty Kanza winner Amity Rockwell jumped into the 100-mile White Rim Trail Challenge with mixed success. Aboard their Canyon Lux mountain bikes, Stetina’s first attempt took over 5 hours only to miss the record by 16 seconds. Amity finished in at 7:44; 59 to claim the women’s FKT (fastest known time).
After just missing the record, Stetina came back four days later to try his luck again….and this time he succeeded with a new FKT of 5;28;23. This is the same ride that Zap and The Pro’s Closet founder Nick Martin attempted last year on their gravel bikes…only it took them four days on a Western Spirit Tours camping ride. Here’s the link to Nick’s version of what it’s like to tackle the White Rim Challenge
WORKOUT WEDNESDAY: SIGNS OF OVERTRAINING
Cyclists and other endurance athletes are a stoic bunch. Unfortunately, your ability and willingness to absorb hours of training, strenuous workouts, and the fatigue that comes with them can make endurance athletes less likely to recognize (and slower to accept) the signs of overtraining. Here’s what you need to look for and what to do about it.
Sports scientists and coaches have varying ways to refer to what most athletes call ‘overtraining’. Some call it ‘overtraining syndrome’, which is a good because it recognizes that the causes of overtraining are multifactorial.
Some refer to it as “under recovery” to highlight that it is an imbalance between training stress and recovery. You don’t have to be training excessively to suffer the effects of overtraining. For Time-Crunched Athletes it can be difficult to accumulate an excessive amount of workload, but busy lifestyles, high-stress jobs, and poor nutrition can hinder recovery to the point they show signs of overtraining.
For the purposes of this article I’m using the term ‘overtraining’ because it’s what most athletes recognize.
Who Suffers from Overtraining?
Overtraining is not just a problem for highly-trained athletes or athletes who train 20 hours a week. The imbalance between stress and recovery can happen to athletes of any fitness or training level. The less fit you are as an athlete – either because you’re new to the sport or you’re training level is low – the lower your threshold for reaching an overtrained state. You have less capacity to absorb the physical demands, so the dysfunction happens sooner.
A rapid increase in training workload is a frequent cause of overtraining for novices or people who are starting with less fitness. Experienced athletes can also trigger overtraining symptoms by doing too much too soon. This often happens in the spring when warm weather, longer days, and event goals boost enthusiasm and commitment.
Athletes who are accustomed to a high training workload have a higher threshold to reach before suffering the effects of overtraining. Experienced or very fit athletes more often get into an overtraining situation because of prolonged period of training with insufficient rest and/or disruptions in their recovery habits (lifestyle/job stress, dietary changes, disrupted sleep, etc.)
BEING PRO: MEGAN FISHER
When did you start cycling? How did your career progress? How did you find gravel riding?
I found cycling when I was 19 years old, recovering from a horrible car accident that claimed the life of my first love and nearly took mine. Cycling came into my life at the perfect time. Medical professionals were telling me all the things I would never be able to do again and my family was trying to protect my spirit by keeping my expectations low.
In the accident, I sustained a closed head injury so significant my pupils were fixed and dilated and I couldn’t breathe on my own. Once the Life Flight helicopter delivered me to the hospital, medical staff relieved the pressure in my skull from the head trauma with a little brain surgery and I took a long nap in a coma. While I was “out to lunch,” I had surgeries to address some of my orthopeadic injuries which included a mangled left leg. To give me the most functional future, doctors eventually amputated my left foot.
Before my accident, I played collegiate tennis, skied when coaches weren’t looking, and tried to experience all the fun in Western Montana. Back then, I could physically accomplish just about anything. The accident made me question how able I could be again.
I began cycling because of my service dog, Betsy; a cattle dog mix who was eager to help me in every way. She could pull my wheelchair, fetch crutches, turn on lights and also had more energy than any other living creature I knew. She shared her energy with me and inspired me to leave the house, throw my prosthetic leg over a bike, and pushed me to explore my limits. I owe a lot of thanks to the healthcare professionals who helped me regain the ability to stand, walk, and talk- all of which were hard after the accident. I owe as much, if not more, gratitude to Betsy the Wonder Dog.
THIS JUST IN: GET THIS!
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