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Old 04-10-07, 07:12 AM   #1
transplant
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lacking killer instinct

wondering if anyone can relate or offer some advice...

i don't think i quite have that killer instinct in road/criterium racing yet. when i'm on the trainer i can push myself to the breaking point... but when it comes to competition time i don't feel that i'm aggressive enough. for example, after my last race i feel that i could have given another 15% effort easily and placed much better if i had.

possible solutions:
1) positive thinking - taking a few minutes before the race visualizing success and what i want to execute. i had some success with this on the track.
2) more time - i'm relatively new to road/criterium racing but do have experience track racing and in bike messenger (alleycat) races. perhaps i'm not comfortable with this racing format yet.
3) kill a kitten before breakfast on race days
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Old 04-10-07, 07:34 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by transplant
wondering if anyone can relate or offer some advice...

i don't think i quite have that killer instinct in road/criterium racing yet. when i'm on the trainer i can push myself to the breaking point... but when it comes to competition time i don't feel that i'm aggressive enough. for example, after my last race i feel that i could have given another 15% effort easily and placed much better if i had.

possible solutions:
1) positive thinking - taking a few minutes before the race visualizing success and what i want to execute. i had some success with this on the track.
2) more time - i'm relatively new to road/criterium racing but do have experience track racing and in bike messenger (alleycat) races. perhaps i'm not comfortable with this racing format yet.
3) kill a kitten before breakfast on race days
Lack of killer instinct for me came partly from hesitation and indecision. Sitting in the pack and reacting is indecision to me.

Once I decided to initiate a move in a race, I could push myself to the point of coughing up blood. When I took the initiative, sometimes it worked, sometimes it didn't, I'd say it worked about half the time, but the motivation was definitely there.

And even when I lost, it felt good because at least I tried something and I was in control, somewhat, of the outcome.
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Old 04-10-07, 10:20 AM   #3
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lol killer instinct. go race more. there's no shortcuts.
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Old 04-10-07, 10:40 AM   #4
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Killer instinct? For me it's just the fact that I really hate to lose. At anything. Weather it be bike racing or chess I really hate being second.
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Old 04-10-07, 10:51 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by El Diablo Rojo
Killer instinct? For me it's just the fact that I really hate to lose. At anything. Weather it be bike racing or chess I really hate being second.
I'm sorta like this, but sorta not at the same time.....

Like...group ride on Saturday, one of the strongest guys in the club was there (so I found out later). Was my first time riding with this club as I just joined it recently. I felt like complete **** due to vertigo....been having inner ear issues, and almost dropped off the ride within the first 10 minutes as I felt like I wanted to throw up. But....on some of the climbs, I still challenged him, and stayed with him. I have no doubt that if I was feeling 100% I would stayed with him on everything.....BUT....on those climbs where I just stayed at my own tempo, I didn't get really discouraged or anything. I really wanted to go, but it wasn't like the end of the world. I'm like that in most things....I'm actually more interested in putting forth my best effort rather than winning. If I was able to put in my best effort and I still got beat...that's ok. Just means I need to improve.

We'll see how my first race goes this Saturday - hopefully my ear issues clear up in the next day or two.
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Old 04-10-07, 10:54 AM   #6
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Just imitate the following look during a race and you will be fine.
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Old 04-10-07, 11:00 AM   #7
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Killer instinct? For me it's just the fact that I really hate to lose. At anything. Weather it be bike racing or chess I really hate being second.

Or spelling.

I'm a cocky bastard. That's why I win.
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Old 04-10-07, 11:12 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by Cypress
Or spelling.

[snip]


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Old 04-10-07, 11:15 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by Cypress
Or spelling.

I'm a cocky bastard. That's why I win.
Diction. He spelled the word correctly.
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Old 04-10-07, 11:18 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by transplant
possible solutions:
1) positive thinking - taking a few minutes before the race visualizing success and what i want to execute. i had some success with this on the track.
2) more time - i'm relatively new to road/criterium racing but do have experience track racing and in bike messenger (alleycat) races. perhaps i'm not comfortable with this racing format yet.
3) kill a kitten before breakfast on race days
i began doing the "dark side" emotional prep in cross country in high school and it has worked out well for me since then. basically you harness frustration into motivation: that guy in front of you won't let you in the line, fine, i will crush him in the sprint. that guy's not taking pulls, i will drop him on the climb. etc. it's difficult to pull off during a long race when you have friends that you are racing with, but the adversarial approach seems to get me fired up. (of course one of the last races i was in, i asked some guy how many people were in the break. he looked at me brow furrowed, THEN REMOVED HIS HEADPHONES and asked me to repeat the question! HE WAS LISTENING TO MUSIC DURING THE RACE TO MOTIVATE HIM!!!) i think in the alpe d'huez tt, lance thought about all of the germans spitting on him to get him fired up. none of this is to say don't have a plan/strategy, but when you are hurting and the chips are down, remember that you have to beat those guys that frustrated you earlier.
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Old 04-10-07, 11:57 AM   #11
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I prefer squirrels to kittens. people don't tend to miss them as much and you don't have to contend with that stupid little collar that says "Fluffy"

I'm not sure how to incite competitiveness in others but my ego was damaged by having a great race and getting out smarted/sprinted at the end. I can't just go start a fight or crush the guy like I did in hockey so now I try to do it with my heart/skill/speed/wit and I want to be the guy that people say, "that guy has a great sprint" or "I should have stuck to his wheel....." or "is that squirrel fur stuck in his teeth?"

I'm not as talented as some guys on here so I use music, MY EGO and the fact that no matter how mad I get when I lose, more than likely it's my fault and that really gets me.
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Old 04-10-07, 11:57 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fly:yes/land:no
basically you harness frustration into motivation: that guy in front of you won't let you in the line, fine, i will crush him in the sprint. that guy's not taking pulls, i will drop him on the climb. etc. it's difficult to pull off during a long race when you have friends that you are racing with, but the adversarial approach seems to get me fired up.
This is probably closest to my approach. I do sprints every week with a guy who can beat me half the time. Half our sprints come to w/in an inch. Our other training partners are 5-10 lengths back, but we are neck and neck every week. Sometimes I get into the zone, when it's probably hist "turn" to beat me, where I literally say "You think I'm going FAST? I'll show you facking FAST mother f...!!!" (or something similar). Then somewhere I find those couple extra strands of muscle that get me a valve stem width ahead of him. I don't say it loud enough for him to quite hear it, but I do say it out loud.

We're quite good friends and share no animosity, but we are both vicious in these sprints.

There's a bit of a different approach in a race, when I'm really shot, and about to fall out of my group. There's this digging in and viewing your suffering from the outside that makes it possible to push harder and stay in. I've made a rule for myself: I am never allowed to give up on a hill -- those decisions are for when my HR gets off max again. It's like if I went to the grocery store right after overeating -- I just need to stick to the list or I'll end up not buying enough food -- this isn't the time to make dietary decisions...

Then there's the fight for position. You just have to be a bit of a punk, I think. In the local training race, I've had some of the big Cat 2 guys try to get me off a wheel, and they can't. I'm willing to rub my tire on the wheel in front of me, or echelon so close that my forearm is on his hip. So you are just simply not going to get in front of me and still be able to take this wheel.

I think your messenger experience and attitude with cars could be good for this.

Another key is to know the tools you carry in your toolbox. You know what it feels like when your HR is going up too quickly and something is just not right -- this is not the day to break away -- best to stay conservative and sprint because you might be getting sick. If your legs are just dead because you did too much earlier in the race, try to stay a couple cogs lower in gearing. Etc. Etc.
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Old 04-10-07, 12:03 PM   #13
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Killer instinct = something to prove

So find something to rage about. Otherwise, pack it and enjoy the autumn century season.
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Old 04-10-07, 12:13 PM   #14
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Visulalization is the way to go. There are some pretty good books out there on how to do it. You need to learn a relaxation method first, a focus method, then visualize. You also need to practice it a lot to make it work well. Having the killer instinct 100% of the time is a recipe for failed relationships. Turning it on during the race will help you have the best of both.
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Old 04-10-07, 01:10 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by transplant
wondering if anyone can relate or offer some advice...

i don't think i quite have that killer instinct in road/criterium racing yet. when i'm on the trainer i can push myself to the breaking point... but when it comes to competition time i don't feel that i'm aggressive enough. for example, after my last race i feel that i could have given another 15% effort easily and placed much better if i had.

possible solutions:
1) positive thinking - taking a few minutes before the race visualizing success and what i want to execute. i had some success with this on the track.
2) more time - i'm relatively new to road/criterium racing but do have experience track racing and in bike messenger (alleycat) races. perhaps i'm not comfortable with this racing format yet.
3) kill a kitten before breakfast on race days
That's it.
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Old 04-10-07, 01:22 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cypress
Or spelling.

I'm a cocky bastard. That's why I win.
It also doesn't hurt to be one of the six bike racers in all of Montana...come on down to Austin and see what the competitions really like
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Old 04-10-07, 02:01 PM   #17
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It also doesn't hurt to be one of the six bike racers in all of Montana...come on down to Austin and see what the competitions really like
showdown. (whistle noise) wah, wah, wah (whistle noise) wah, wah, waaaaaaahhh.
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Old 04-10-07, 02:04 PM   #18
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It also doesn't hurt to be one of the six bike racers in all of Montana...come on down to Austin and see what the competitions really like
I see it worked out pretty well for Levi
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Old 04-10-07, 02:56 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by fly:yes/land:no
showdown. (whistle noise) wah, wah, wah (whistle noise) wah, wah, waaaaaaahhh.
Cypress knows he's always welcome down here...hell I've been trying to get him to move here for over a year. June is the AMLI Crit buddy...come on down...we had 50k spectators last year...great racing, hot women, great music and good food.
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Old 04-10-07, 02:56 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by GuitarWizard
I see it worked out pretty well for Levi
So Cypress is Levi? I guess that makes me Lance...game..set..match!
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Old 04-10-07, 03:09 PM   #21
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Yeah, coming from Boulder, I've seen Austin come a long way in the last 7 years or so. There are a lot of really fast riders. A lot.
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Old 04-10-07, 03:10 PM   #22
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I notice that you never seem them together.

You want killer instinct? Go tell your entire workplace, family, and friends that you're going to win the next race. Then on Sunday when they all show up with banners, signs, and high expectations, you may discover a tiny pocket of K.I. somewhere inside of you.

If not, you'll find a large pocket of excuses inside of you.
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Old 04-10-07, 03:18 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by waterrockets
Yeah, coming from Boulder, I've seen Austin come a long way in the last 7 years or so. There are a lot of really fast riders. A lot.
Not only do we have some fast guys but we've got the fields to back them up. We regularly have two or three 5's races to handle the number of entries at each event. The 4's have on average 80-100 as do the 3's. The 1/2's have 50-80 on average. The masters classes have 50-60 as well.
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Old 04-10-07, 04:22 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by El Diablo Rojo
So Cypress is Levi?
Nah, The Cypress has much larger thighs than The Levi.

Unfortunately for The GuitarWizard, he has the thighs of The Rasmussen along with the upper body of The Kaiser in the off-season.
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Old 04-10-07, 04:36 PM   #25
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Originally Posted by YMCA
Killer instinct = something to prove

So find something to rage about. Otherwise, pack it and enjoy the autumn century season.
Bam.

I. Want. To. Win.

It's not about the scenery, it's about crushing your enemies, seeing them driven before you and hearing the lamentations of their women...

I think about a$$hole coworkers, getting beat up as a kid, Iraq, and anything else that makes my blood boil.
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