TSS, recovery, fatigue, overtraining, regaining fitness

pastryboy Posts: 1,385
Last year I had an average weekly TSS of 617 - I was about 4.7w/kg FTP at my fittest.

This year to date my average weekly TSS is 454. I'm about 3.9 w/kg FTP right now (2kg heavier and down about 30w on my best) so the actual training load in terms of work/calories is way, way down.

In the last few months I've tried taking it easy, plenty of rest days but every time I try to up things and train harder along comes fatigue (falling asleep at work sometimes) and a scratchy throat. Last year I could do a couple of 750TSS weeks before feeling tired - this year one 600TSS week hits me hard. I feel fine most of the time but just one hard-ish workout and I know about it.

I get more sleep than I was last year, no real outside stress and always eat super healthy.

Any thoughts on this, anyone else experienced similar over the longer term? Natural up and down-ness or a more long term immune system battering ala Alberto Salazar? (he famously trained so hard he ruined his body/career)

Motivation is up and down like a yo-yo right now, one minute I'm thinking about entering races then next I'm thinking about how much I'd like to become a couch potato. I'm late 30s so not quite past it just yet.


  • Seek some medical advice, perhaps get some blood tests done.
  • kingrollo
    kingrollo Posts: 3,198
    Could be allergies.

    I suffer from asthma and have found that commuting 12 miles in the heavy traffic of the west mids knocks the crap out of me - More so than if I go out in the evenings for twice that mileage. My theory is that cycling amongst the heavy traffic causes my asthma to flare up...
  • supermurph09
    supermurph09 Posts: 2,471
    As above, but remember not all TSS is created equally. Have you looked at the intensity of your training in any detail?

    I average around 500TSS per week from anywhere between 6-7 hours, CTL solidly around 62-65, so normally quite intense and my FTP is 4.5 w/kg. I seem to be able to handle this type of training quite well. But if I throw in a longer ride of 3+ hours then it takes me much longer to recover.
  • I'm struggling with the same thing and have moved my training indoors so I can more precisely monitor how my body is responding to fixed power under controlled conditions.

    I also had an EKG and have an upcoming physical which will include standard blood work but now I'm thinking there may be other blood work that would be insightful?

    Would be great to hear from folks here on what tests exist to help pinpoint medical problems.

    My doctor is general practitioner so wouldn't be surprised if some here know more than he does about worthwhile tests.
  • Hve a look at someone like Forth Edge, seem to have taken selling Snake Oil a bit further
    I'm sorry you don't believe in miracles
  • Hve a look at someone like Forth Edge, seem to have taken selling Snake Oil a bit further

    Interesting, but I'm looking more for medical problems than optimization. Stuff like testosterone, adrenal glands, metabolism, blocked arteries or whatever because I have no idea what I'm talking about.
  • Unexplained performance drops can be tricky to assess and there is a chance it's medically related. Seek professional medical advice. A forum such as this is not the right place. There are other possibilities as well of course.

    I've seen it with some atheltes I've work with and it can be simple things like unintended bike fit changes (saddle slips, cleats loose), or an underestimation of the impacts of rest of life, even motivational or psychological factors, but it's also led to medical assessment that resulted in a cancer diagnosis*. In one case there was clearly a chronic medical issue but the doctors and specialists were unable to nail it down. Effective end of an elite career.

    This is not meant to unduly alarm, but just to consider the fact you may be ill and don't know it. It might be you are low in iron (ferritin).

    * Fortunately it was caught early enough and they made a full recovery following surgery/treatment.
  • pastryboy
    pastryboy Posts: 1,385
    Seeing a Dr is absolute last resort. I just don't do Dr's and they're busy enough as it is.

    I do get allergies and sinus issues but they tend to be noticeable when they flare up.

    I was glossing over last year and forgetting how many minor ailments I had - strepsils were used in abundance for sore throats. The difference this year has been that I've been getting too fatigued to hit the point where I start getting ill.

    Adrenal fatigue (which may or may not exist) seemed to fit a lot of issues - for example, when I'm really run down I seem to wee constantly. But then having done some more reading so does low iron. So I've been making sure I get plenty of iron-rich foods past few days and so far, so good.

    I'd been struggling with anything -10 on the trainingpeaks Performance Management Chart lately. After a 300TSS ride on Sunday (for a 700TSS week) I've hit -30 and feeling absolutely fine with only a little fatigue.

    So for now going to keep at the chickpeas, black beans etc. and see how I go.
  • webboo
    webboo Posts: 6,087
    Needing to urinate frequently is a sign of diabetes as is tiredness.
  • pastryboy
    pastryboy Posts: 1,385
    Yes, I assume that would be fairly constant though. I've only had it when feeling run down and it only happens at work (which I cycle to) so I feel like it's an immune system thing that wouldn't happen if I'd had more rest.

    I had blood sugar tested recently at a gym three hours after eating and that was fine.

    It's easy to forget past stuff but the worst I've had is probably shortness of breath which I got on a few occasions but came and went.
  • See a specialist sports physician. Health is #1 priority.
  • imposter2.0
    imposter2.0 Posts: 12,028
    pastryboy wrote:
    Seeing a Dr is absolute last resort. I just don't do Dr's and they're busy enough as it is.

    No offence mate, but that's just stupid.
  • webboo
    webboo Posts: 6,087
    Was the person at the gym who did your blood sugar actually qualified to interpret the results.
  • kingrollo
    kingrollo Posts: 3,198
    I would be very interested in the response if you walked into the GP surgery and told the gp your cycling performance was suffering - and could he investigate.