resting the CV system

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resting the CV system

Postby jrawlins » Thu Sep 29, 2011 3:40 pm

I know that muscles need rest before an event. Is that also true of the cardio-vascular system? I'm doing a tough century soon, and I got hit by a flu during my final training. Thus I find myself trying to get some conditioning back in the few days before the ride. If I work my HR without going deep into my muscles, will I pay a price come event day?
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Re: resting the CV system

Postby steve-born » Thu Sep 29, 2011 4:24 pm

Jack -

I feel your pain, my man. When I was still competing in ultra distance racing, or prior to doing a century or double century, I would occasionally get sick when I was either completing my training or tapering. Thinking that I was going to lose a significant portion of my fitness, I thought I could "get some of it back" by training in the days leading up to the event. Unfortunately, most-to-all of the time I did that, all that ended up happening was that I either got sicker or I relapsed back into being sick (when I thought I was getting better). And I rarely had a stellar day on the bike, mainly because I was still tired from training too hard or long so soon prior to the event.

I think your body is simply telling you it needs some rest so stay focused on that. Sure, if you're feeling better and want to do a ride, I don't have a problem with that if you keep the duration/intensity low. But don't ride long or do anything with too much intensity. If you do that you may end up relapsing back into a sick state. Second, training in the couple of days leading up to an event doesn't accomplish much, if anything, fitness-wise. And third, you probably have lost only a minuscule amount of your fitness while you've been sick.

If I were in your position, I'd take it very easy and do minimal riding, if any. Sure, at the start of your century you may feel a bit stale but your body won't forget all of the work that you've already done prior to that. In fact, it will probably reward you for giving it the rest it needed rather than trying to regain whatever fitness you may have lost (which again, I think is almost nil) by training in the few days leading up to the ride.

I hope this helps!

Steve Born
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Re: resting the CV system

Postby ssrknordic » Thu Sep 29, 2011 7:24 pm

Jack-At this stage rest. The training you have done over the past months/years are in the bank. Your body takes weeks/months to develop and adapt, it is not going to go backwards significantly in this last phase. The last 7-10 days before a major event, most athletes cannot rest enough to be fully regenerated. But for sure you can over-reach with too much training, hence delaying a taper, or not being fully regenerated going into the event.
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