Cyclingnews Fitness Q&A - February 9, 2012

Your fitness questions answered

Topics: Adjusting training after Thyroid problems, Resting and sickness, Pedaling style

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Adjusting training after Thyroid problems

Resting and sickness

Pedaling style

Adjusting training after Thyroid problems


I have just been diagnosed with a under active thyroid am on medication and this seems to be working, however I am not training or working at the moment. Can I do anything with my diet to help me from being overtired when I resume training .I am 53 yrs old and try to 150 Mlles a week, plus my full time job.



Scott Saifer says:

Hi John,

Most people need a few months to get their thyroid medication dose adjusted. Work closely with your doctor to get the dose that makes you feel most normal. Once your thyroid dose is adjusted, your dietary needs are the same as any other person or athlete.

Resting and sickness


After being told to rest by the doctor - I have a cold - I am reluctantly following orders. I wonder though, what do elite athletes do when they have an impending event (race/tour) and become ill with a cold a few weeks before. Do they train through it, or is it also best for them to rest?



Scott Saifer says:

Hi Tim,

Your doctor is right. Smart pros rest when they are sick, and most of them are smart or they wouldn't be pros. resting a few weeks before a big event is actually a good idea anyway, though not necessarily as deep resting as you would do when sick. If you are feeling at all worn out, achy or exhausted, don't exercise at all. Exercise takes energy away from fighting hte germs and getting you healthy, delaying your recovery. If you feel pretty good except for a sniffle or cough, it's okay to do some short, light exercise, like a 30-45 minute ride at less than 70% of maximum heart rate.

Pedaling style


I've read quite a few articles on how to determine one's pedal style and I seem to be a 'heels down' type. I recently moved my cleats back a tad to compensate and this feels optimal, but with one weird observation: It feels like that I am pushing my glutes back into the saddle when I come over the top of the stroke almost as if I rely on the rearward bracing of my seat to apply proper force. Is this normal for heels down people or is my saddle position just that far off?



Steve Hogg says:

G'day Karsten,

There are 2 issues here. Firstly, the change is recent and you probably haven't modified your motor pattern (muscle firing sequence) to accommodate the change yet. I would advise not changing anything else for a couple of weeks as it takes this long for old motor patterns to be broken down and new ones to become embedded. How long is individually variable but can be hastened by only riding at low to moderate intensity. Anything above approximately 75 per cent of max HR and you will attempt to fall back into patterns of motion that you are used to, but that won't work perfectly because you have altered your cleat position.

Additionally, read the advice given here.

If after a week or two, the issue you describe doesn't feel natural, then the likely culprits for your need to shove back off the top of the stroke are:

-Seat height too low
-Cranks too long
-Seat too far forward

If you run into trouble, let me know and I will attempt to advise further!

Author: Cycling News

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