Posted by: Ryan | 2008/09/15

Fitness going backwards

Hi there,

I have recently given up playing gauteng 1st league squash (pretty intensive doing it for 20 years) and changed sports to mountain biking, and have new found passion for it. However in finishing up a final league match in a rather unusually unfit state for squash more than a month ago I strained my gluts and thighs in a titan match leaving me hobbling for days. I was fit for cycling but since then in trying to train hard for mtb races, i feel some 5-6 weeks later im still not feeling my old self as far as stamina, endurance and power goes. When i train on rides my gluts sting/burn and my legs constantly feel tired.
Ive resorted to trying a -|- tail of stuff to get my mojo back which includes L-Glutamine powder, protein shake, magnesium slow mag fizzies, a spoon of creatine, and a vita-thion all mixed with a litre of water. I think its helping since starting it 3 days ago but gees...i just cant get going. I feel like im cycling through peanut butter all the time. Anything i should be eating more of to recover faster and put back the strength i feel ive lost from the over straining? Its probably over training, but have been trying to go easy for 3 weeks now exerting only about 75% of max power, but still not feeling like im getting fitter.

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Our expert says:
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Hi Ryan

I suspect that diet is not really the problem here. It may be a contributing factor, but perhaps you are simply overtrained? Maybe your body has never really adapted to the training load you were putting it under, and you are in that stage where you feel on the verge of overtraining. The danger is that your first response is to train a little harder, which obviously only makes it worse.

The pulled muscles can also be a factor, especially to how you feel on the bike - heavy legs, sore muscles, could be part of the whole recovery process.

My advice is to drop even further off your current power output and let your body have a week in which time it might get over that malaise and allow you start the week after at 60%, and then 70%, and so on. It's difficult to say though, because things like life stress, work, diet and other activity can be draining too - the end result is that you have to look at the whole and not just part (the exercise part) of your life to figure out the problem.

Difficult one, but maybe give it two weeks, back off the trainign, and also allow yourself to adapt to the summer months (the change in season is often the most difficult time of the year for training), and then see how it goes after that.


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