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Old 09-11-13, 04:26 PM   #26
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Old 09-11-13, 04:44 PM   #27
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Good stuff. Iirc Noakes did accept that for efforts which are done at maximum heart rate that there may be purly physiological limits (the heart can only pump so fast even if the brain is telling it to go faster). For pretty much all other cases he claims there are physiological regulators holding back muscle activation for safety reasons.

Yes, it's something like this. He certainly accepts that there are physical limitations, but when doing lab tests, he says he can't determine which runner is capable of a 2:15 marathon vs. a 2:05. Obviously, if you're capable of running a 2:15, your training and genetics are top notch, but the difference between very, very good and world class is an intangible that is related more to mental strength than VO2max.

He says that in things like running races, people generally 'accept' where they are going to finish. It's the will of the winner that overcomes the will of the second place more than the physical prowess. This is similar to my boxing analogy. Often 2 runners will finish a marathon right next to each other. If the guy that comes in second doesn't collapse as he crosses the line, then there was something more that he could have done to try to win. There are times when people do pretty much reach their physiological limits. You see this in Ironman competitors from time to time. It can get pretty ugly.
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Old 09-11-13, 09:22 PM   #28
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This thread has proven to be very very insightful and helpful. Great responses everyone. Thanks!
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Old 09-12-13, 07:50 AM   #29
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I think this discussion is skewed by the participants. The people here have been racing for years and have learned to push their bodies to the max.

For most people - and I generally try to avoid the use of the word most, but in this case it seems relevant - I think the mind will give up before the body. Outside intense athletes, whether amateur or professional, most people do not train long enough and hard enough to truly find their max. Their mind gives up well before the body.
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Old 09-12-13, 08:25 AM   #30
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Some people can suffer better than others, no doubt.

The question (to me) is, can you teach yourself to suffer better?

Whenever I'm in the process of getting dropped, I remind myself to push harder, which works for about one or two seconds, then reality catches back up and I'm in offthebackistan. Maybe eventually I can push for an extra 5-10 seconds but without getting stronger it's hard to imagine just "pushing through" pain like that.
I shoot my mouth off a lot but one of my strongest qualities is the ability to suffer. For me it is to the point of a deep rooted belief. For me it is not the fear of being dropped, it is the belief that getting dropped is failure which I have spent countless hours trying to understand. I have said before, I have only lost a couple of races but have been beat many times. To 'lose' is to give up on one's self, to get beat is to have some who is better trained, more prepared, etc. and provides some insight as to weakness and a motivation to do something better. It's like a street fight. You keep swinging until you get knocked out or can't defend yourself, it is a survival instinct, you don't drop your guard or hit yourself, you keep swinging. TO ride through the tough times you have to have the core belief that it is life or death and find the internal motivation that your competition will have to beat you, that you will not lose...
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Old 09-12-13, 08:48 AM   #31
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I think this discussion is skewed by the participants. The people here have been racing for years and have learned to push their bodies to the max.
.
I actually don't think that's true at all. I hear a lot of bravado, but guys give up all the time. I can crack guys in situations I shouldn't just based on the colors of my jersey. In other situations I've given up mentally before 'blowing' out right. It comes with some mental justification that it's 'tactical' but sit quietly with yourself sometime and ask yourself the truth.
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Old 09-12-13, 09:32 AM   #32
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i agree with people saying there's a point that physically you can't get past but honestly very few amateurs (myself included) get to this point on a regular or semi regular basis. it always amuses me when i'm in a dropped group in a road race and dudes sprint for the finish. if you still have a sprint in you, you gave up mentally far too early.
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Old 09-12-13, 09:48 AM   #33
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i agree with people saying there's a point that physically you can't get past but honestly very few amateurs (myself included) get to this point on a regular or semi regular basis. it always amuses me when i'm in a dropped group in a road race and dudes sprint for the finish. if you still have a sprint in you, you gave up mentally far too early.
i've been guilty.

but sometimes it just has to do with recovering - i didn't have enough in the tank when dropped, but eventually feel good again. which is annoying.
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Old 09-12-13, 09:54 AM   #34
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i've been guilty.
we all have.
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Old 09-12-13, 09:58 AM   #35
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if you still have a sprint in you, you gave up mentally far too early.
No, I don't think this is true. You could very well not be strong enough to make the front group, yet be able to recover in the chase group enough to sprint. In a time trial, there might be something to this idea, but given that you can draft people in road racing, I think you're really making too many assumptions about the people who are sprinting in the dropped group. And it can lead to incorrect conclusions - for example, if I don't sprint out of the dropped group, is it because I have more mental toughness than the others in that group and rode deeper before getting dropped? Well, no, chances are that it's because I'm just not as fit as the others and I'm simply too smoked and mentally checked out from suffering in that group to want to do a sprint.
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Old 09-12-13, 09:59 AM   #36
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If I'm out of the money I sit up and don't sprint, regardless of being dropped or not.
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Old 09-12-13, 10:11 AM   #37
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correct.
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Old 09-12-13, 10:46 AM   #38
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If I'm out of the money I sit up and don't sprint, regardless of being dropped or not.
that's so pro.
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Old 09-12-13, 10:53 AM   #39
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I actually don't think that's true at all. I hear a lot of bravado, but guys give up all the time. I can crack guys in situations I shouldn't just based on the colors of my jersey. In other situations I've given up mentally before 'blowing' out right. It comes with some mental justification that it's 'tactical' but sit quietly with yourself sometime and ask yourself the truth.
This.

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Old 09-12-13, 10:56 AM   #40
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that's so pro.
Some of the worst wrecks I have ever seen come from group sprints that are meaningless. My ego isn't so fragile that it can't take finishing 22nd in a 40 man race if it only paid 8 deep. Second thing is why play all my cards for other guys to see (i.e. actually drop the hammer) if it will do nothing but put a target on my back in the future. This is exactly why when racing in areas that I don't know very many guys that I would never go for a preme, shows what I have come finish time...
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Old 09-12-13, 10:56 AM   #41
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Sprinting out of the dropped group is like putting ketchup on a S$!7 sandwich because it tastes better. No thanks.
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Old 09-12-13, 11:05 AM   #42
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It comes with some mental justification that it's 'tactical' but sit quietly with yourself sometime and ask yourself the truth.
At the end I often wonder if I could have given more or if I gave up. Power and HR data help me calibrate those moments in hindsight.
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Old 09-12-13, 02:23 PM   #43
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Red herring. His manager stated that he's probably missing 15-20w. Even if that werent true, winner's confidence? The man won a tough Giro and won a hard fought Vuelta in 2010. He may have very bad tactics in the classics, but the man is a winner. Did we forget that he took the fight to Froome in Tirreno?
Are you sure about that? By saying he's 15-20w down they're giving him an out. It might be the truth, but imagine the mental difference if Nibali was tricked into thinking he was hitting the same numbers as during the Giro. If I were his coach, I'd have his powermeter calibrated to show him he was doing just as well as when he was at the Giro/Tirreno. Having the confidence to stick on the next guy's wheel is absolutely critical. I don't think he's got that confidence right now.
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Old 09-12-13, 03:14 PM   #44
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Sorry for trespassing in the racing forum but I'm really curious about the non-winnable sprint vs having given it all. Some people are saying that they wonder how much they might have left behind in that situation - wouldn't the all-out sprint tell you something about how much you had left, or how much extra effort you might have put out prior to that point?
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Old 09-12-13, 03:24 PM   #45
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no. for example, a couple of weeks ago I made a hard bridge to a break. It took me a mile to get there. When I got there the guy I towed up immediately took me off the back of the break. I gave up. I went back to the field and won the field sprint. It's really pretty questionable how much I had left, but for certain I had plenty of time to recover prior to sprinting. The question doesn't really have validity because it's so situational. It relies on how far over your power profile you're going in a given situation for how long, and what that takes out of the tank.
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Old 09-12-13, 03:35 PM   #46
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Sorry for trespassing in the racing forum but I'm really curious about the non-winnable sprint vs having given it all. Some people are saying that they wonder how much they might have left behind in that situation - wouldn't the all-out sprint tell you something about how much you had left, or how much extra effort you might have put out prior to that point?
But at what cost?
Watch sprints from the Tour after a long stage and a successful breakaway. Those that are in it to win it OR a vital part of the train/leadout get the heck out of the way. At the end of the day they don't ask themselves if they would have had enough to be in the break.
The non-winnable sprint? Every sprint is winnable, it's the strategy leading up to it that is a win or a loss.
Getting beat? That is a different conundrum.....
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Old 09-12-13, 04:00 PM   #47
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Are you sure about that? By saying he's 15-20w down they're giving him an out. It might be the truth, but imagine the mental difference if Nibali was tricked into thinking he was hitting the same numbers as during the Giro. If I were his coach, I'd have his powermeter calibrated to show him he was doing just as well as when he was at the Giro/Tirreno. Having the confidence to stick on the next guy's wheel is absolutely critical. I don't think he's got that confidence right now.
It was on velonews, fwiw. Astana's manager's name is Matinelli, iirc

As for having confidence to stick to a guy's wheel, just look at what happened today when he tried to stay with Horner, only end up getting dropped and losing time to riders who surged past him (Purito, Piti, and Roche). You can have all the confidence and swagger that you want, but at the end of the day, missing that 2-3% will find you out sooner or later.
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Old 09-12-13, 07:04 PM   #48
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It was on velonews, fwiw. Astana's manager's name is Matinelli, iirc

As for having confidence to stick to a guy's wheel, just look at what happened today when he tried to stay with Horner, only end up getting dropped and losing time to riders who surged past him (Purito, Piti, and Roche). You can have all the confidence and swagger that you want, but at the end of the day, missing that 2-3% will find you out sooner or later.
As wise stage racer never blows up trying to stay with someone.
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Old 09-12-13, 07:15 PM   #49
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Both for sure. Most people don't push to their physical limit and just give up too early. Other variables equal, the rider that's willing to suffer the most will go faster. But, if you screw up and don't hydrate, or or eat enough, that will do you in as well.
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Old 09-12-13, 08:06 PM   #50
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It was on velonews, fwiw. Astana's manager's name is Matinelli, iirc

As for having confidence to stick to a guy's wheel, just look at what happened today when he tried to stay with Horner, only end up getting dropped and losing time to riders who surged past him (Purito, Piti, and Roche). You can have all the confidence and swagger that you want, but at the end of the day, missing that 2-3% will find you out sooner or later.
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As wise stage racer never blows up trying to stay with someone.
I guess what I'm seeing is a chicken/egg scenario. Is he low on confidence because he can't produce the power, or is he low on power because he lacks confidence?

Either is plausible.
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