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Old 10-23-13, 11:52 AM   #76
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Sorry if I willfully misunderstood you. It was not my intent.
I know you have NCNCA jerseys and know your stuff. I just don't take bike hobby-ing seriously enough to compare any aspect of it to self-surgery.
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Old 10-23-13, 11:55 AM   #77
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In my experience, working with a good coach is the best thing a cyclist can do to improve their cycling and reach their maximum abilities, better than gadgets, software or books. I improved more when i worked with a coach than at any other time during my cycling career. I have also coached athletes (I'm not a coach but I'm also not totally unlearned, a few teammates asked for help and I did). I have found it's way easier to coach others and see their strengths, weaknesses, etc. and help them build or correct upon them than it is to identify these items for myself. IOW, having another set of eyes on you and holding you accountable or helping you see the forest through the trees is a valuable resource.
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Yes it was you bastard

Let me relay the importance of coaching in another discipline.
As my two worlds have revolved around bodybuilding and cycling I will refocus on bodybuilding. Probably 95% of competitors use a prep coach when getting ready for a show. Sure they understand diet, exercise, workouts, form, etc. but a coach provides something else (and amazingly hasn't been mentioned here I don't think) - accountability.

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Old 10-23-13, 12:16 PM   #78
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Look at the focus put on the weight loss industry. Books, DVDs, online programs etc most of which fail to achieve the goal of the dieter. For what reason? Lack of accountability.
When you know someone is looking you try a little harder. When using an app like myfitnesspal eating that scoop of ice cream on top of a piece of pie becomes a little more difficult...

That's why I have the little slider in my signature about my weight loss. I know no one actually looks at it, but the fact that it's out there in space makes me more conscious of whether it's moving in the right direction. I get a discount on my health insurance at work if I agree to monthly calls from my "health coach". She asks me if I'm keeping on the stuff I'm supposed to be keeping up on. Pain in my ass really, but it's another form of accountability and it essentially cuts the health insurance bill in half, so I'll put up with 15-20 minutes of annoyance a month.
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Old 10-23-13, 12:29 PM   #79
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BTW, I only coach MattM in the sense of his "you are all my coaches" post. If I did actually coach him I'd give him a list of people NOT to listen to. It would start with:

1) MattM

Thanks, coach.

Actually my coach (me, guided by Friel's, and assorted crap I've read in the 33) has done me pretty well so far. Of course, we'll never know how it would've turned out had I been coached the last few years, but since we've heard some "success stories" of people being coached, here's my "success story" when not being coached:

- started racing in late 2009, upgraded to the 3's in June of 2010 after 18 cat 4 races (won a big local crit, placed well in others)
- sidenote: was hit by a car in Dec 2010, fractured some vertebrae, and was off the bike for 4 months leading in to the 2011 season
- won a big local crit in June 2011, and some other crits that season
- in 2012 won more cat 3 crits and a hilly RR
- upgraded out of the 3's with 54 points (after winning lots of crits, and even a hilly RR) in June 2012

While I have no doubt I could've upgraded to the 2's sooner, I'm not really sure I would have wanted to.

And of course as a 2 I'm not a hotshot anymore, but I'm surviving. Scraped up a few points this year but am looking to train harder this offseason in order to do better next year. If that doesn't work, then I'll probably get a coach.

Also, a big caveat here: I'm not saying getting advice is wrong, I love to take (most) advice from those with more racing experience than me. I just want that advice for free. =]
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Old 10-23-13, 12:31 PM   #80
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^^ burn him
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Old 10-23-13, 12:58 PM   #81
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My word is fancier....

I think I was typing (ala CDR style though at 1/1,000,0000,000th the speed) when you posted, yeah that's it...
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Old 10-23-13, 02:23 PM   #82
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...
mattm, if a (great) coach offered you services for free, would you take it? if so, it seems to me that you think a 3rd-party coach has value.

$1/month?
$5/month?
$100/month?
$500/month?

if you'd take the services for free, it seems to me you are implicitly saying 'coaching is too expensive for my taste'. that's cool; what is "worth it" to one person may not be worth it to another.

for someone figure out where their next meal might come from, $1/month could be too much for good coaching.
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Old 10-23-13, 02:29 PM   #83
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My word is fancier....

I think I was typing (ala CDR style though at 1/1,000,0000,000th the speed) when you posted, yeah that's it...
I often post "interruptus" so sometimes end up hitting enter a long time after I started writing the response because I stepped away from the computer. My response ends up a page or two later and I'm like "aw, eff, what the heck".
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Old 10-23-13, 02:41 PM   #84
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Anyway, I'll step back. Clearly everyone wants to talk about coaches and coaching and no one but me desires a devil's advocate for alternate approaches.
It's a binary question. Therefor you're misstating your position as a "Devil's advocate". You are merely an "1" or "O".

Unless you're actually advocating for the Devil. In which case we'd prefer you did it musically, preferably with nice guitar solo.
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Old 10-23-13, 02:54 PM   #85
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Clearly everyone wants to talk about coaches and coaching and no one but me desires a devil's advocate for alternate approaches.
not sure if you can write it off due to that. i mean, of course you can always attribute something to the other guy,but it might not be right..

this could all be me as i tend to login periodically and read a page or 3 of a thread at once to catch up, but i often find your posts confusing. they often come across as serious (anyone who rides as much as you does take the hobby seriously…you do want to race well/win, you read up on the matter, you hang out here a bunch), but when someone posts something to that counters what you've written, a subsequent post from you seems to be how you 'weren't really serious.'

i think it has less to do with someone being a devil's advocate (not everyone in this thread, for one example, is advocating coaching) and more to do with the way you do it.

i'd find it confusing/frustrating/irritating if i were trying to engage in a discussion with you, but perhaps that is your goal.
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Old 10-23-13, 02:57 PM   #86
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mattm, if a (great) coach offered you services for free, would you take it?
No. Well, maybe. It depends. =] But it's not about the money.

What I definitely wouldn't want is someone to say "these are the rides you'll do for the next few weeks/months" - I need more flexibility than that. So I don't want to pay someone to tell me how to train, then possibly not do it - it's a waste of their time and of my money.

If racing was my job, of course things would be way different!
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Old 10-23-13, 03:00 PM   #87
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I've done a lot of hammerfests, long rides and short random BS rides since I started cycling. About the only things that have been truly helpful in improving my fitness/performance consistently has been:

A. coach
B. power meter

I passed on a nice set of wheels to get a power meter, and passed on quite a few bike shwag upgrades to help pay for a coach.

To me its worth it, to you? maybe not. I don't know what people's training plans are but for the most part looking at Strava I see people doing completely random rides where they hammer almost on a daily basis.
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Old 10-23-13, 03:07 PM   #88
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It's a binary question. Therefor you're misstating your position as a "Devil's advocate". You are merely an "1" or "O".

Unless you're actually advocating for the Devil. In which case we'd prefer you did it musically, preferably with nice guitar solo.
I did misstate my position because I wasn't advocating for anything. I explained my personal reasons for not going the coaching route, and then fell into the trap of responding when someone asked if I would perform surgery on myself. **** me, right?

In a way I view cycling like a healthy alternative to grinding levels in world of warcraft. There's no endgame amateur racing. You get faster, you win, you race against faster people. All up until you're racing at nationals and you win your age group there and that's very cool and quite an achievement, but ultimately probably not very life changing.

I ride a bunch and learn my own way, mistakes surely included, but I am happy with my current situation and if you can't be happy with now, when will you be? Achievement is like $$, people always want more and are always just a little bit dissatisfied with what they have.
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Old 10-23-13, 03:11 PM   #89
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No. Well, maybe. It depends. =] But it's not about the money.

What I definitely wouldn't want is someone to say "these are the rides you'll do for the next few weeks/months" - I need more flexibility than that. So I don't want to pay someone to tell me how to train, then possibly not do it - it's a waste of their time and of my money.

If racing was my job, of course things would be way different!
'here's your plan for the next few months' is one type of coaching. in my opinion, that is impersonal coaching…and poor coaching at best. even if a coach does supply a long-term plan, it would be just that: a plan.

if an athlete cannot (or is not allowed to) communicate with a coach and if a coach cannot communicate with the athlete, the relationship is worth little. people get sick, have days when they can do more, days when they can do less, y'know…life gets in the way. plans -- good ones -- account for this and can be changed.

an analogy: do you enter your races with a plan? i do, but we all know that our plans need to be modified as the race unfolds. i've heard it said best that race plans are like war plans -- they both go out the window when the first shot is fired.

perhaps some bring a pre-conceived notion about coaching and inflexible plans to the table. i guess i have a preconceived notion about training, too, but perhaps mine is more broad and more about relationships vs. a plan. i'd characterize the latter as impersonal coaching -- and definitely not great coaching.

i know some 'coaches' who have 50+ athletes. they do not spend every waking hour coaching…they basically offer canned plans that do not change. IMO, this is a bad thing.

i'll ask again, if a great coach offered you their services for free, would you do it?
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Old 10-23-13, 03:13 PM   #90
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a subsequent post from you seems to be how you 'weren't really serious.'
...
i'd find it confusing/frustrating/irritating if i were trying to engage in a discussion with you, but perhaps that is your goal.
I'm always honest in my posts, and it's not that I'm not serious, it's that I never intend to get people riled up. I'm generally not giving advice, I'm stating "this has worked for me" or "this is why I do X". People's mileage always varies.

I fall victim to the temptation to point out exemptions to broad blanket statements, though. I recognize that. (e.g. when gsb say's "you must do specific focused training or you'll suck" I felt obligated to point out that I do not suck nor do I do intervals or anything like them.)

But confusing? I don't understand that. pm me or quote anything that is legitimately confusing to you and I'll try to clarify.
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Old 10-23-13, 03:13 PM   #91
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In a way I view cycling like a healthy alternative to grinding levels in world of warcraft. There's no endgame amateur racing. You get faster, you win, you race against faster people. All up until you're racing at nationals and you win your age group there and that's very cool and quite an achievement, but ultimately probably not very life changing.

I ride a bunch and learn my own way, mistakes surely included, but I am happy with my current situation and if you can't be happy with now, when will you be? Achievement is like $$, people always want more and are always just a little bit dissatisfied with what they have.
As someone that briefly played WoW, damn that is one hell of a comparison I almost fell out of my chair laughing...hahah. Pretty good tho.
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Old 10-23-13, 03:16 PM   #92
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I'm always honest in my posts, and it's not that I'm not serious, it's that I never intend to get people riled up. I'm generally not giving advice, I'm stating "this has worked for me" or "this is why I do X". People's mileage always varies.

I fall victim to the temptation to point out exemptions to broad blanket statements, though. I recognize that. (e.g. when gsb say's "you must do specific focused training or you'll suck" I felt obligated to point out that I do not suck nor do I do intervals or anything like them.)

But confusing? I don't understand that. pm me or quote anything that is legitimately confusing to you and I'll try to clarify.
I didn't actually say that so forgive me for continuing to harbor negative ideas about your contributions here. If you have some over arching issue with me I'd suggest you work it out with your therapist. You don't know crap about me, and you continually flaunt the fact that you're not listening.
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Old 10-23-13, 03:16 PM   #93
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As someone that briefly played WoW, damn that is one hell of a comparison I almost fell out of my chair laughing...hahah. Pretty good tho.
I used to play counterstrike and CoD competitively, too. It's very similar in a lot of ways. You practice, you work on skills, you compete.

The difference is that with cycling I know the people I practice with, I am healthier, I'm married, and I get more sleep and eat less pizza.
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Old 10-23-13, 03:18 PM   #94
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I didn't actually say that so forgive me for continuing to harbor negative ideas about your contributions here. If you have some over arching issue with me I'd suggest you work it out with your therapist. You don't know crap about me, and you continually flaunt the fact that you're not listening.
Forgiven!

But really, I said "this is what I do" and you said to the O.P. "If you do that you will probably be mediocre forever" so I replied.

Then just now I listed that exchange as an error where I replied to a blanket statement where I should have just let it go. I literally listed it as an example of an exchange which should have gone better. What more can I do?
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Old 10-23-13, 03:20 PM   #95
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Lol, it's definitely the off season!
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Old 10-23-13, 03:23 PM   #96
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Lol, it's definitely the off season!
during the season my posts are even sharper!
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Old 10-23-13, 03:27 PM   #97
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In a way I view cycling like a healthy alternative to grinding levels in world of warcraft. There's no endgame amateur racing. You get faster, you win, you race against faster people. All up until you're racing at nationals and you win your age group there and that's very cool and quite an achievement, but ultimately probably not very life changing.
Seriously though, for a while I only raced bikes because I was grinding my category. I almost quit cycling this past summer because I made it to cat2 and I considered it "endgame" because Cat2 races all the same as Cat1, so why need to further upgrade. It wasn't until I refocused some goals away from just upgrading that I was able to get back to it.

I also consider training to be grinding my experience/level. Higher the power, higher the level kind of thing. Probably why I can go out and enjoy day after day/week after week of doing the exact workout my coach planned for me. May seem horrible to some, but I get some sort of cruel satisfaction from knowing I am successfully grinding and eventually it'll show in my watts and/or results. I did the same thing in games, everyone went on quests and stuff, and I was there camping some sort of creature that I knew if I killed a million of, I would actually gain levels faster than the questers. So I sat there, and grinded away.
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Old 10-23-13, 03:29 PM   #98
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Forgiven!

But really, I said "this is what I do" and you said to the O.P. "If you do that you will probably be mediocre forever" so I replied.

Then just now I listed that exchange as an error where I replied to a blanket statement where I should have just let it go. I literally listed it as an example of an exchange which should have gone better. What more can I do?
I could tell you, but you're not going to listen. I'm a teacher…I know better.
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Old 10-23-13, 03:42 PM   #99
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I could tell you, but you're not going to listen. I'm a teacher…I know better.
That's super productive. The fact is I love you and you can't stop me.
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Old 10-23-13, 03:49 PM   #100
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You're a guy who likes to do things on his own. Productive…perhaps not. Appropriate? Yep.
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