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Is a decline in endurance normal while increasing strength training?

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
Over the last few weeks I’ve increased the anaerobic part of my workouts. Specifically, I’ve increased the weight for squats and also increased plyometrics after pre-fatiguing with squats and also w/o pre-fatiguing. This added part to the workouts are done about twice per week. In addition, I’ve added other ski-specific leg exercises, including hour sessions on a Skiers Edge.

I have a good base with over 6000k road riding lots of mountain biking (probably close to an equal amount of time on mtb as road) and some running this summer (in addition to hiking and backpacking). I also regularly do core workouts for about 20 to 30 minutes 2 to 3 times per week. I usually exercise 5 to 6 days per week with an average of 12 to 15 hours per week and a peak of about 20 hours/week. Note that I track my workouts with data from my polar 725, which is downloaded to a calendar, so my estimates of time and distance should be accurate.

Since I increased the intensity of weight training/plyometrics in anticipation of skiing, it seems that I’m getting fatigued more easily while biking. I’m doing some slower and less intense rides lately. In spite of this I seem to have less pizzazz on strenuous mtb rides.

My sense is that this is normal. Any suggestions.
post #2 of 11
I believe this is normal. Although there is no solid research to actually prove it, there is a common thought that more muscle fibers are being converted from type 1 (slow twitch)(aerobic) to type 2 (fast twitch)(anaerobic) with resistance training. Body type and genetic build also play into this.

The switching your routine around is probably a good thing, it keeps your body guessing.

The old name for this is called "periodization" developed by Soviet and East German scientists. You may be more familiar with the more modern name the 'shocking' principle made famous by Weider, Schwartzeneger (sp?) There are several concepts used by Chris Carmicheal (ala Lance Armstrong), and others. Basically its the same idea. If you do the same workouts over and over, your body will adapt to it 'general adaptation syndrome.'

I would set specific goals for what you want to achieve and then set your workouts toward it. Keep varying your workouts. Sounds like you have a good start.
post #3 of 11
To be honest with you, based on the description of your workout - you are simply overtraining. Rest for a couple of weeks and you will feel the difference. As a racer (road bike), competitive swimmer, and Marathoner, I could go into more details but I'm a little time pressed right now.

If your Heart Rate in the mornings are high then you are overtraining. Take some time off.
post #4 of 11
Thread Starter 
Thanks JZ and C,

Heart rate in morning is fine. I don't think I'm overtraining, but perhaps close to it. Will keep it in mind for sure. Had an excellent 5 hour ride on Sunday - felt strong throughout - but this was 5 days post heavy duty weight training/plyometric day. Then I had a strong two hour ride on Monday. Today is a rest day.

I've noticed that my endurance seems to suffer for a few days after very intense stregnth trainining. In retrospect, I probably need to recover and should focus on easier bike rides/aerobic workouts for a couple of days after the intense anaerobic workouts and also make sure I have good rest. Working out at 50 (almost) isn't the same as when I was 30
post #5 of 11
The overtraining is a strong possiblity as well. You should also put rest/recovery cycles into your regimine. Say every 6 weeks or so, just take a easy week, don't push anything. I'm also wondering whether you do active or passive recoveries. When I train, I try to do a 3 days on with one day off, active recovery. Meaning I'm just spinning easy or walking my dogs for 45mins to an hour. Sometimes after a race I take a passive recovery, I just make sure I'm getting hydrated, stretch, do bike maintenance.

You should also test yourself, every so often, to make sure that you are actually slowing down. This is where setting a goal(s) comes in. I usually have a training ride that I know what my average time is. About every 2 weeks I'll ride it hard and watch the time to see if I'm progressing. Chris Carmicheal does an 8 minute test ride on a flat course, measuring both time, and heart rate, I think.

Also nutrition is important. Your workouts seem to be pretty intense. Make sure you are taking in enough calories. Again with the goals, what are you after?

Don't let 50 be your enemy, you are smarter about training now than when you were 20 right? Use it to your adavntage.
post #6 of 11
Thread Starter 
Thanks again JZ

I’ve read several books related to training, including Carmichael’s and Burke’s. Normally I adhere to a four week periodization with progressively increased intensity either in time/distance, intensity, or strength for four weeks, followed by decreased intensity on the fifth week and increased up to the eight and so on. I must admit, I’ve gotten a bit lazy about following the schedule recently.

I also usually have both long and short term goals, and right now the goals pertain to better rehabbing a patellofemoral (tracking) problem (which has been a secondary focus for a year) in anticipation of skiing, with specific emphasis on hamstrings and quads, as well as a general conditioning goal for skiing. I’ve worked up to more intense strengthening, and in the last two weeks the workouts have been very intense, but I didn’t pay attention to structured active rest. Thanks for the reminder – I will add this to the weekly schedule. Part of the issue is also might also be riding venue – lately mtb has been so much more fun than road, but mtb is less controllable than road with respect to intensity (there are no flat mtb trails here). Last week I did strength work and followed it with a two hour intense mtb ride on the same day. So I’ll make sure to put in some zone 1 and 2 road rides.

You’re right that being 50 doesn’t have to be a hindrance, but it is also a fact of life. Recovery is slower, as is the need for more rest – that is why I do four week periodization rather than six. I also pay much more attention to stretching and core work than I did when younger, but in hindsight, it was a mistake to not do these things when I was younger.
post #7 of 11
If you really do heavy duty lifting, you certainly will be affected in your endurance workouts.

Personally, I also ride a lot and race mountain bikes. The week before a race I actually do no weight lifting at all, to ensure that I take nothing away from my performance. And when I do lift weights, I do not do any high intensity, heavy duty style lifting. I am no longer able to handle such lifting (I am 45) and I see no benefit for my racing or my skiing.
post #8 of 11
Originally Posted by Cyclist View Post
To be honest with you, based on the description of your workout - you are simply overtraining. Rest for a couple of weeks and you will feel the difference. As a racer (road bike), competitive swimmer, and Marathoner, I could go into more details but I'm a little time pressed right now.

If your Heart Rate in the mornings are high then you are overtraining. Take some time off.

Canadian, you need more recovery time. Weight training causes tissue trauma, your body treats it as such, you need to heal to be at your best. Your nutrition will weigh heavily on your recovery time and the quality of yoru gains. Unlike aerobic activities (which many often recommend carbs), now more than ever a high protein diet becomes important.
post #9 of 11
yup, overtraining.

It's hard or near impossible to increase in every category simultaneously. You have to build in some kind of periodicity to increase one while you rest another. Myophysiologists might be able to explain what's going but from a laymen's perspective, your fast/power twitch muscles are different fibers than your endurance or slow twitch. Then there's your cardiovascular system - heart and lungs which needs to be trained too.

Maybe build in low intensity/aerobic days into your schedule somehow.
post #10 of 11
strength & endurance,you can do both. Its not that hard.
sounds like your doing way more than is needed.
I sent you a pm
post #11 of 11
Thread Starter 
Thanks again for all for the responses and for the PM from Loboski. The difficulty with chat pages is that sufficient information is not always convenient to provide.

I don’t really think that I’m over-training as I don’t have any of the symptoms that are associated with this, other than a temporary reduction in endurance for a few days after strength training/plyometrics. My endurance is good after several days post strength training (my friends still groan when they ride with me and my time is as good as before). In this thread, I just asked if it was normal to have a decline in endurance after strength training and probably should have added “for a few days.”

I agree that increasing strength, intensity, time, distance, or speed at the same time is not really a good idea, and I didn’t do that. Aerobic stayed the same, anaerobic increased.

To put this in perspective, the addition of more rigorous strength training is really part of a progression for my R knee. Over the past thirty years both aerobic and anaerobic conditioning has been a way of life for me. I have done a lot of biking in the summer and x-country skiing (classic and skate) in the winter with running all year, in addition to downhill skiing. Weight training is more emphasized during the shoulder seasons. However, I never stretched. About two years ago, I developed Patellofemoral Syndrome (PFS) and some tendonitis in the area of the insertion of the VMO. The VM and RF muscles of my quad had progressively gotten weak and slow to fire as a result of PFS and tendonitis. The VM, in particular had a tendency to fasciculate when stressed. The weakness and tightness turned into a vicious cycle with the muscles getting weaker and not working correctly, which contributed to poor tracking of the patella. This became very bothersome at the end of 06 when it started to hurt to ride and a few ski turns knocked me out for days because of increased pain. I was not able to do my usual weight/plyo training pre ski season. Through physiotherapy, I started stretching and slowly building strength. My endurance has gradually increased to being better than pre PFS days, and I do very well relative to other very fit people my age. Over time, I’ve increased the strength of the quads, gluts and hamstrings on the right. Last year my active range of weight bearing range of motion was very small. Currently, the strength is much greater across most of the range (I still have some difficulty with the knee at 90 degrees), and I am regaining muscle mass The most recent increase in strength training is part of the next step to rehab the leg, which now bothers me much less and the focus on further strengthening the quad, hamstrings and gluts is paying off. I didn't have any pain today while doing squats or when doing some plyometrics.

As far as endurance goes, there has been a noticeable decline for a couple days after weight training, which I think is not abnormal. But I have bounced back after recovery, and my endurance is good after a few days. I do agree with some of the comments that toning it down for a few days after weight training is a good idea, and that is what I will do. I also appreciate the suggestions to alter eating with increased strength training.

BTW, I do a lot of exercise because I love it. Nothing is better than a long mtb ride or skiing hard all day. Being in good shape just makes skiing and biking more fun (and reduces the risk of injury).
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