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Off the bike I frequently feel very tired especially in the early evening. Here's my questions: (1) based on my info below, should I be backing off on my riding schedule? (2) besides more naps, is there anything I should be doing different off the bike?

I've got my first "ultra" (124 miles, 12800' climbing) scheduled for mid-month next month. Been riding off and on for over 25 years. My current period of consistent riding goes back to 2013. Training is going well, and I'm on track for the ultra. I ride usually 4 days weekly - regular Tues OR Thurs ride (just under 2 hours), regular Wed ride (just over 3 hours), one weekend day (usually 3 - 4 hours), and usually one other day. Mix of jumpy group rides, steady tempo, and one easy day. No problem riding a century last month with about half the climbing elevation of the ultra. Looking at my log, I have had maybe 2 bad rides on the bike (no energy, felt blech) in 5 months. Otherwise, I always feel average to great. No recent illnesses. Stable weight for the last 4 months.

I do shift work - 24 hours on/48 hours off. I also have a family and, on days I'm not working, I play house husband (chores but the kid is at school).

At work, I get 3 - 6 hours of sleep in 24 and that is usually in 1 - 2 hour chunks. At home I get 6 - 8 hours of sleep at night and some naps. By the numbers I am sleep deprived. But I rarely use an alarm to wake in the morning, which is a sign of adequate sleep. Before I started shift work, I probably averaged 7-8 hours of sleep per night and never needed more.

Any thoughts? Thanks.
 

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Well your body is talking to you if you are always tired, but it might not be the lack of sleep, or it might be. Different people need different amounts of sleep, you might just need more. Have you had blood work done with a physical in the last few years? Could be anemic or other medical condition.

It doesn't sound like you are over the top on training time considering your objective. Might want to think about adding some more intensity as prep though. You have over 100feet / mile on your Fondo, which could mean some steep grades and those can quickly take a toll on you if you are in top shape for them and/or have your bike geared well to keep your power output on those climbs lower.
 

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I have done about 60 of these long climbing rides (and races). I don't think that short intense intervals are useful for them, because you never go that hard in the event. Not even when it's a race and/or you're in the top 10. What you need is the ability to ride tempo up climbs for a long time. When I'm specifically targeting one to do well I do a lot of climbing in the sweet spot (88-94% of ftp) to around ftp.

Your being tired in the evenings could be to lack of sleep, or not eating enough at the right time, or more training stress than you can handle now (without a rest week). When you are putting on a lot of training stress you need to get enough sleep. You may need more sleep than you do when you're not training so much.

Not eating enough should be easy to figure out- you're hungry. But for various reasons it's possible to ignore that.

If you stepped up to this amount of training stress fairly recently then chances are good that you need a break in order to catch up. When I take a rest week it's not a full week off the bike, more like a day or two off and day or two of easy rides replacing harder rides.

The other thing to consider is work/life stress. That stress counts too, even if it doesn't help you get stronger on the bike.
 

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I have done about 60 of these long climbing rides (and races). I don't think that short intense intervals are useful for them, because you never go that hard in the event.
I agree that a fondo like this a person wants to stay away from attacks on hills however training at subthreshold pace exclusively is not a good way to build for a long distance ride. A mix of long rides coupled with higher intensity workouts is a good approach to raise FTP which will in turn make climbing easier even when climbing below FTP.
 
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