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  1. #1
    soon to be gsteinc... rkwaki's Avatar
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    Success Limiting Factors

    As I said I would in the 2014 goals thread I am going to try and be more productive in here.
    While away this year I got to thinking that while we talk about training, racing, nutrition, etc. the one thing that is often talked about very little is what is truly limiting our success while training, racing, etc.
    The argument has been presented by some that says "Well I could get to Cat $$ if I only had 15-18 hours a week to train. This can be countered by many who race Cat 1/2 and don't train those kind of hours, they simply train smarter/harder.

    I have often felt that many of our limiting factors are not in fact in the heart/lungs/legs but rather in our head.

    I thought this could be a good place for members to post what they feel holds them back and for others who have had similar limitations to present their experience in how to deal with it.

    Some limiting factors would be:
    Fear of descending
    Time to train
    Overcoming being dropped on a climb
    Etc

    Sometimes it is just a change in perspective that allows someone to see something more clearly.
    Training with power was the demonstrator to me. I looked at power numbers from my 'recovery' rides to learn that they were are hard as many people's hard days. One 'recovery' ride was a commute home of 29.8 miles. Average power was around 304 watts. I drew on old experience which told me the only way to keep power in the z1 range was to keep it in the small ring and fight the temptation of riding harder.

    The physical stuff is much easier to fix, it is the stuff 'in the head' that is much more to work with.

    Post up what your 'limitations' are that are holding you back and see if someone' experience helps...
    "if you ride it the way it's meant to be ridden there's no way any wife is less of a ***** than a bicycle." - gstein

  2. #2
    **** that mattm's Avatar
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    I wish I knew!!
    Cat 1 o-meter: 24/35 points

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  3. #3
    illusoryly superior Ygduf's Avatar
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    * racing more. I get by a lot on strength, and suffer a bit at the skill/experience side.
    * food issues. - I was fat, am now relatively thin but still 10lbs over where I could be if I were to finally overcome the other stuff. 10 lbs is a lot when on the knife-edge.

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  4. #4
    My idea of fun kensuf's Avatar
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    I used to have a dreadful fear of cornering. Which didn't work so well considering most of the races in these parts were crits. Spending six months doing nothing but mountain biking helped a lot.
    Putting the Duh in Floriduh.

  5. #5
    Senior Member ShutUpLegs's Avatar
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    Trainer smarter is my big limiter from last season. I did not do many rides that had a dedicated purpose. This is already being fixed!

    The other limiter for me is not training with power or HR monitor. I've been doing my workouts based on RPE and am not 100% confident I'm hitting the right zones that I should for a given workout. Also plan to fix this over the winter.

    I'm hoping just with these two alone I will see good improvements from last season.
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  6. #6
    Senior Member globecanvas's Avatar
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    Giving up too soon.
    Ninny

  7. #7
    soon to be gsteinc... rkwaki's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ShutUpLegs View Post

    The other limiter for me is not training with power or HR monitor. I've been doing my workouts based on RPE and am not 100% confident I'm hitting the right zones that I should for a given workout. Also plan to fix this over the winter.
    I'll pick on this one. Not a limiter...
    When I was on Facebook a friend of mine (pro) posted a picture of himself heading out for a ride. I teased him about his power meter and fancy computer. I asked him how it was possible for him to be a pro without such fancy gadgets. He said he had them, his computer was his watch. He looks at it, heads out for a ride, when it says it is 4:00 he heads back.
    Don't trick yourself to think technology is a limiting factor.
    "if you ride it the way it's meant to be ridden there's no way any wife is less of a ***** than a bicycle." - gstein

  8. #8
    soon to be gsteinc... rkwaki's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by globecanvas View Post
    Giving up too soon.
    This may be a common statement. I will give my thoughts after I see a few more
    "if you ride it the way it's meant to be ridden there's no way any wife is less of a ***** than a bicycle." - gstein

  9. #9
    **** that mattm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mattm View Post
    I wish I knew!!
    Actually.. the two things that come to mind are:

    1) Top end speed; when trying to get in to place on the last lap of a crit, coming around a leadout train or even getting ahead of 10th wheel is really hard. Usually just end up going the same speed as everyone else and feel spun out. The real answer here is probably to just be in the spot I want to be in, instead of trying to get there late.

    2) Not aggressive enough. Need to fight for position more in crits. It's not that I'm afraid to throw elbows, it's just that I don't think I'm pushing the limits enough to squeeze in to tight spaces etc. Need more confidence basically.

    I could also list time trialing and climbing, I suck at both.. but starting to care less and less. Can't do it all I figure.
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  10. #10
    These Guys Eat Oreos Creatre's Avatar
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    3 things holding me back off the top of my head:

    a) My nutrition is the suck - Eating disorders run in the family, and I definitely got a part of that. Being a cyclist doesn't help. Pretty sure if I improved here I could increase my performance.
    b) Mental stability - I can go off the front or off the back with the same fitness, simply with whatever state of mind I'm in that day. Remaining mentally strong and believing that I can do it will provide much more stable results.
    c) Crits - A combination of things are holding me back here: fear of pedaling while cornering because of a prior pedal strike, actual genetics/muscle type, and mental. I have to improve in crits next year and need to work through these things.
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  11. #11
    Resident Alien Racer Ex's Avatar
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    My body is falling apart.

  12. #12
    soon to be gsteinc... rkwaki's Avatar
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    BTW mine has always been the same, not being able to turn "it" off. Not sure how to define "it"...
    "if you ride it the way it's meant to be ridden there's no way any wife is less of a ***** than a bicycle." - gstein

  13. #13
    soon to be gsteinc... rkwaki's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Racer Ex View Post
    My body is falling apart.
    My massage therapist said the same thing to me...
    "if you ride it the way it's meant to be ridden there's no way any wife is less of a ***** than a bicycle." - gstein

  14. #14
    Senior Member aaronmcd's Avatar
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    1) Coaching gymnastics 3 nights a week. Not going to quit that though.
    2) No training plan - last year I just commuted and did long hard rides on the weekends, then decided I want to race.
    3) Swimming 2 to 3 days per week. I'm keeping that up because I would like to do a triathlon if I ever get decent at swimming.
    4) Also last year I ran 4 days per week as well. This year I'll lay off the running. When I feel good for a tri I'll jump into running again. It comes really naturally for me.

    Did I mention I don't have a lot of free time? haha

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by globecanvas View Post
    Giving up too soon.
    This, kind of. If I get any result outside of a win, I feel like I gave up and could have done better. Sounds stupid, but if I get out-sprinted in a crit I feel like I didn't give it my all as soon as I recover and catch my breath. If I attack and blow up or blow myself up trying to make the lead group, I feel like I gave up and could have done better. I don't know how much is mental and how much is physical being somewhat of a new racer which makes it tough seeing that after 5 minutes of recovery you feel seemingly OK and like a failure for not being able to go harder in the moment when it was needed.

  16. #16
    Cat 5 Mod Jandro's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Racer Ex View Post
    My body is falling apart.
    :|

    Mine:

    1. not enough structure. I'm making big strides in this (hate on it if you wish, but getting a PM is really helping me focus on this department) but as a friend (cat 2) told me: "your slow rides are too fast and your fast rides are too slow."

    2. nutrition (includes sleep/water intake). I'm going to really start focusing on this over the offseason. I need to start drinking like 3x more water than I do now and get my sleep back to a ~7hr a night schedule. It's been in the 5-6hr range for years. Better after-ride nutrition to help recovery. Multiple hard days in a row really kill me.

    3. race more. I'm not at the point where I can race with broken bones so taking 2 months off the bike to wait for broken ribs to heal (right in the middle of the season!) really set me back. I'd like to double, or more, the races I do next season.
    Attack in the feeling because it says I'll win absolutely.

  17. #17
    Super Moderator
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    Genetics.

    Other than that, in terms of more immediate limiters:
    - Top speed. From 15-20 years ago I've lost a good 5-6 mph in terms of consistent top speed in a given sprint. 10 years ago I was still sort of there, 5 years ago until now it's been pitiful.
    - Jump. Likewise my jump has evaporated. I never did specific training for jumps other than chasing trucks and racing. It's really bad now. I've jumped in sprints and passed literally no one.
    - Wet cornering. I am not good at wet races anymore. I used to be okay because I was strong enough to sit near the front and I was fine blasting through turns. I think mainly because I don't train much in the rain anymore I am not good in technical crits. The last major technical crit I did was 8 turns, 0.5 mile, 50 laps. I was fine until someone fell over directly in front of me; I broke my rear wheel, pulled out of my shoe, but stayed upright. I finished the race on a neutral spare rear, maybe 22nd out of 100 or 125 starters. Since then I've not done well except a 3rd or so a couple times on non-technical courses.
    "...during the Lance years, being fit became the No. 1 thing. Totally the only thing. It’s a big part of what we do, but fitness is not the only thing. There’s skills, there’s tactics … there’s all kinds of stuff..." Tim Johnson

  18. #18
    Making a kilometer blurry waterrockets's Avatar
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    For me, this year, I'm pretty sure it's volume, limiting my FTP. I used to run in the 4.1-4.6 W/kg range for FTP, but I've been in the 3.2 - 3.5 W/kg range for the last year. It's killing my chances when I attack or try to affect the race in any way.

    In 2012, I had my fitness shattered along with my appendix. I think I had been coasting through on base fitness b/c of decades of riding. Once that was upset, the normal volume wasn't enough to recover fitness -- it's only enough to maintain. Even just getting an extra 45' minutes most weeks is making a pretty big difference, I think.

  19. #19
    Travelling hopefully chasm54's Avatar
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    1. Booze.

    2. Brains. That is, I am used to challenging, often successfully, the conventional wisdom. This is a sh1t strategy when it comes to training, because it leads me to come up with alternatives to the things that experts say are effective, but which I don't like doing.

    So, I need to drink less, and think less, and do what I'm told.
    There have been many days when I haven't felt like riding, but there has never been a day when I was sorry I rode.

  20. #20
    Senior Member topflightpro's Avatar
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    1. Endurance - despite my extensive base effort.
    2. Hills - I struggle to hang with the field over a hill.

  21. #21
    ride lots be safe Creakyknees's Avatar
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    1) Having a real job and family.
    2) Lacking the self discipline to follow an actual training plan (as opposed to just doing lots of group rides and races)
    "have fun and be kind"
    - an internet post

  22. #22
    fuggitivo solitario echappist's Avatar
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    Cornering in the rain and 180 degree turns (eg those in a TT)

  23. #23
    Senior Member robabeatle's Avatar
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    I have many limiters; I think just racing more will work a lot of them out.

    But, I’d have to say that having the confidence/aggressiveness to go with an early break or start my own is my weakness. I tend to wait and conserve which is great most of the time but to know when to go and do it, well that is my weakness. I have been working on this during the Saturday hammerfest focusing on getting the “city-line” sprints. Some days I get it by going really early, other times, I have waited and it worked out. There is some subtlety in reading the peloton and I may be gaining insight here.

  24. #24
    Senior Member ancker's Avatar
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    1) Time to train.
    2) Diet. (I likely don't eat enough of the right food and too much of the wrong food.)
    3) Training Plan. (Though I got a coach, so hopefully this is fixed.)
    4) My brain. (I feel like I do my best when I don't have a chance to think about what I'm doing.)
    5) Climbing. (Hopefully #3 will help that.)
    6) Genetics.
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  25. #25
    Senior Member jsutkeepspining's Avatar
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    my own laziness. Also the food i nom is not good food. i have started eating a tiny bit healthier, and it makes a big difference in terms of my energy levels (dont worry WR and hammy, i still eat a box of oreos a night)
    cat 1-o-meter: wtf am i doing??????
    Quote Originally Posted by Racer Ex View Post
    You're not dumb. You're just less smart.

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