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Rory Sutherland reporting lower avg HR

Moderator: King Boonen

Rory Sutherland reporting lower avg HR

21 May 2013 11:55

Rory Sutherland is reporting a lower avg HR and max HR going into the 3rd week of the Giro.

. . . for the data junkies, the difference between the first and the second week (for someone like me) is about a 15-20-percent drop in average and maximum daily heart rates. . .

I am surprised. I have no recollection of hearing this before. What's up physiologically here? Is the body just morphing to cannibalizing to repair and maintain performance levels over such a time period? Is it "giving up" on recovery? Or is it adjusting to a new performance paradigm? [I can't imagine it could be this last possibility, or else riders wouldn't have any problem doing the Giro-Tour double.]
It is of great use to the sailor to know the length of his line, though he cannot with it fathom all the depths of the ocean. ~ John Locke
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21 May 2013 15:26

This is systemic fatigue setting in. Although the body wants to repair itself, it does have to rest as well. Repairs are metabolically active. If there is a huge, unrelenting strain put on the body, then the repair process and metabolic processes slow down.
twothirds
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21 May 2013 15:27

hiero2 wrote:Is it "giving up" on recovery?
Let's presume the weather played no role in this. My guess would be that there is simply insufficient recovery between days and a poorly rested body simply cannot perform at the same level a fully (or better) rested one can. It is why people taper before big races. There is no tapering in a grand tour.
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FrankDay
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21 May 2013 18:44

twothirds wrote:This is systemic fatigue setting in. Although the body wants to repair itself, it does have to rest as well. Repairs are metabolically active. If there is a huge, unrelenting strain put on the body, then the repair process and metabolic processes slow down.


I don't recall ever hearing before that the body went so far as to lower the avg HR and max HR when under the "unrelenting strain" of a GT. I suppose it makes "common sense" if one thinks about it, but it is not one of the impacts I would have expected.

Thanks
It is of great use to the sailor to know the length of his line, though he cannot with it fathom all the depths of the ocean. ~ John Locke
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21 May 2013 23:15

Hi Hiero,

Inability to raise HR to normal workout levels is a well-known sign of overtraining. I think pros when training would usually back off when this happens and ride a recovery ride or nothing. Think I've read Lizzy Armistead does this, for example. Could be wrong.

GT=gross over-"training"=they're worn out way before the end. Look at how haematocrit is driven down in a GT. The red blood cells, oxygen transport mechanism, getting hammered.

A race, so no choice but to continue.... Good, but bizarre analogy is a 100m sprint. Sprinters hit top speed midway: the guy who wins will be the one whose running slows/degrades the least thereafter, relatively speaking, to the end.
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22 May 2013 11:14

This is very interesting, makes me think more about really paying attention to my HR during training.
User avatar King Boonen
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22 May 2013 12:02

Parrot's reply got me to thinking - it has been more than two decades since I have "overtrained", but now that I am thinking about it, I do think I recall the bit about it being hard to get the HR to max, allthough I remember over-riding fatigue even better! :D

I just guess it surprised me for Sutherland to notice such a large difference, and in his avg HR. And, in his max HR, too, since he is still racing, and not recovering. I hadn't thought of a GT as overtraining, but I guess it would be, wouldn't it!
It is of great use to the sailor to know the length of his line, though he cannot with it fathom all the depths of the ocean. ~ John Locke
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24 May 2013 22:25

hiero2 wrote:I don't recall ever hearing before that the body went so far as to lower the avg HR and max HR when under the "unrelenting strain" of a GT. I suppose it makes "common sense" if one thinks about it, but it is not one of the impacts I would have expected.

Thanks
I think two effects are occurring here.

Plasma volume expansion occurs during stage racing which would be expected to lower avg HR....

Haemoglobin mass in cyclists during stage racing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17614021

whereas the decreased max HR is likely a reflection of accumulated fatigue (as mentioned already by others)....

Is heart rate a convenient tool to monitor over-reaching? A systematic review of the literature
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18308872


btw overreaching and overtraining are defined as separate phenomenons. Overreaching is a temporary decrement in performance resulting from accumulated fatigue, but performance is restored upon freshening up. Overtraining is a state where performance does not return to baseline levels despite adequate recovery.
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25 May 2013 01:49

King Boonen wrote:This is very interesting, makes me think more about really paying attention to my HR during training.


I've read a number of forums where a post author is convinced "heart rate doesn't matter any more." Well, now you know it does.

If you can't reach near max, then it's probably a sign your body isn't recovered enough. Back to the regularly scheduled programming.... "Heart rate doesn't matter!!!!"
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25 May 2013 07:57

Probably find if your ave heart rate is lower and your maximum HR is lower then there will be a corresponding drop in the power you can attain.
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26 May 2013 17:50

Krebs cycle wrote:I think two effects are occurring here.

Plasma volume expansion occurs during stage racing which would be expected to lower avg HR....

Haemoglobin mass in cyclists during stage racing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17614021

whereas the decreased max HR is likely a reflection of accumulated fatigue (as mentioned already by others)....

Is heart rate a convenient tool to monitor over-reaching? A systematic review of the literature
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18308872


btw overreaching and overtraining are defined as separate phenomenons. Overreaching is a temporary decrement in performance resulting from accumulated fatigue, but performance is restored upon freshening up. Overtraining is a state where performance does not return to baseline levels despite adequate recovery.


Overreaching / overtraining - interesting point. I'll venture a guess that "freshening up" would be roughly defined as a time period of one month or less? Or are we talking about 24-72 hours?

Update: the last study you link mentions this:
An arbitrary limit of 2 weeks was chosen to make the distinction between short-term and long-term interventions
It is of great use to the sailor to know the length of his line, though he cannot with it fathom all the depths of the ocean. ~ John Locke
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26 May 2013 20:19

hiero2 wrote:Overreaching / overtraining - interesting point. I'll venture a guess that "freshening up" would be roughly defined as a time period of one month or less? Or are we talking about 24-72 hours?

I would say 5 days or less. If someone doesn't recover in that time while only doing recovery rides, then they are probably overtrained.
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