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Cycling Tip: Overtraining
Robert Panzera

Overtraining is a physical condition caused by training with too much volume or too much intensity, or both, over long periods of time. Its signs are poor performances, exhaustion and lack of motivation. Other non-training–related factors can exacerbate it, including life- and work-related stress, lack of proper exercise recovery, and poor diet. If you feel tired all the time, have “heavy” legs, experience irritability, or a downturn in mood, you may be overtrained.

If you think you are overtrained, take a 2-week or even month break from exercise—that is, a total break. If you still feel run-down after the exercise break, see a physician, as a medical reason for your condition may exist.

To lower incidences of overtraining:

Plan recovery days, and even recovery weeks, into your overall training plan, where you cut volume or intensity, or both, by half

When building for an event, increase volume or intensity at no more than 10% a week

Lower work-related and life stress

Eating healthfully always

Sleep 7 to 8 hours a night, and take naps after very long or intense training rides

Robert Panzera is a Level 2 USA Cycling Coach and owner and operator of Cycling San Diego (CCSD). CCSD is designed to provide a venue of warm weather training miles in the off-season for serious touring and elite racing cyclists. For more information about Robert Panzera and CCSD, visit or contact him at

This tip was originally published in the Adventure Travel Group (ATG) monthly newsletter. For more information on ATG, visit or contact
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