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Old 08-06-09, 07:27 PM   #1
jppe
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Help me understand this??

The more I ride the less I know and understand about this cycling stuff.

I think I've ridden less the past couple weeks than I rode in one day a couple weeks ago doing RAIN (160 miles).

Since RAIN I've done all the stuff you're not supposed to do to keep the fitness up. I went on vacation and ate lots of fried food and sweets-probably enjoyed some good beverages. Last week involved a lot of travel and included a heavy dose of Mexican food and an even heavier dose of Margaritas. Plus I've been working VERY long days with several stressful situations. Add to that I have not been getting the rest I should be getting either.

So........ we have our monthly Time Trial at the Speedway last night and because of all the "anti-fitness" things above I'm thinking of not even riding for fear of hurting myself-or my pride. However I take my TT bike just in case. I go ahead and ride.

While not a PR, I had my best time of the year by a pretty good margin. I felt good out on the track and I was able to get my heart rate up and keep it where it needed to. I was able to give it all I had for the full 10 miles which I had not been able to do in the 3 previous events this year. Other folks times were not measurably faster so it wasn't the track conditions.

Just when I think I'm going to do horribly it works out to be the opposite. I continue to enjoy riding but I really just don't understand this riding stuff-or maybe how my body reacts to it?!?!
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Old 08-06-09, 07:30 PM   #2
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Beer and cup-cakes are good for you.

Next question.
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Old 08-06-09, 07:32 PM   #3
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Rest and food can do wonders for your performance. A week to 10 days off the bike can make you stronger.
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Old 08-06-09, 07:33 PM   #4
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You probably tapered to an unintentional peak over the last couple of weeks by not riding very much. While not great for long term fitness it can spike your performance in the short term. Also, you said your expectations were low, so you were probably relaxed and rode a good race or at least didn't get in the way of the performance.
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Old 08-06-09, 08:15 PM   #5
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Ben Franklin said "Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy."
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Old 08-07-09, 04:02 AM   #6
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Rest is good and those Margaritas sound great...might have to mix some up this weekend!

If I don't I have cold beer always at the ready!

As a side note I dont understand how I could not ride for two days and eat stuff like you were saying a LOSE weight doing it? Lost 3 pounds by eating junk food and chillin out.
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Old 08-07-09, 04:18 AM   #7
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jppe,
There were two issues in play I believe. First, was the rest that you had given your muscles. As has been stated: you physically peaked for this race. Second, I think that a big part of racing is mental attitude. Especially in a sprint/TT. The way you described your mental attitude going into the race was that of no pressure, limited expectations. That is another way of saying "relaxed." World class racers pay professionals to help them achieve that state of mind for a race.
Good work.
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Old 08-07-09, 04:36 AM   #8
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Does mexican food provide an unfair advantage to the TT position?
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Old 08-07-09, 05:29 AM   #9
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^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
I am so not going there...
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Old 08-07-09, 05:46 AM   #10
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If I recall correctly you have done many century length rides at a very fast pace from the early spring on. Unless you were on a training plan that included a recovery week every 3rd or 4th week you were riding tired. It's possible to continue riding tired, as you were riding, and have good results because you are a strong rider. Taking the time off allowed your body to do two things. Rest and recovery was the first item and growth of muscles was the second part of your body to respond to the break.

I tried to coach myself to better performance last year due in part to my athletic past and being a HS track & field coach for many years. The result was I over trained and went backwards. This year I invested in a coach who has me doing recovery weeks every 4th week and my riding has improved greatly. I am currently thinking that I should be taking a recovery week after two hard weeks, then after 3 hard weeks on the next cycle. I can tell when I need a rest when my HR wont get up into Z5 without an all out effort or riding in Z4 is difficult. After a rest week the HR zooms up and I can sustain it and continue riding. That is a positive when I ride a local training race with the A Group where we average 26+mph for 45 to 50 miles. I'm able to sit in for the whole race with my HR almost always being in Z4 to low Z5. The result of the recovery week is that I'm able to really push myself harder than I thought possible then back off for the body to respond.

Now, beer and good food has it's benefits also! We can't forget the mysterious power of beer and beans. I try to balance my intake of beer and food to the effort spent on the bike.
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Old 08-07-09, 05:57 AM   #11
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I would venture to say the "layoff" did you some good. A little time away from any sport will sometimes help. But not too much time or too much time on a bad diet.
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Old 08-07-09, 06:38 AM   #12
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I guess us old guys need the rest. I came back from 10 days off and I couldn't believe how good I felt riding. Nice going on the ride.
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Old 08-07-09, 07:57 AM   #13
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Sounds like you just invented a new training program.
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Old 08-07-09, 08:05 AM   #14
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There is a good article in the Road Bike Rider newsletter this week about overtraining and the impact to performance. Worth a read as I think it might explain your results.

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Old 08-07-09, 08:09 AM   #15
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We do tend to forget that rest is the most important training technique of all.
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Old 08-07-09, 08:13 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BikeWNC View Post
You probably tapered to an unintentional peak over the last couple of weeks by not riding very much. While not great for long term fitness it can spike your performance in the short term. Also, you said your expectations were low, so you were probably relaxed and rode a good race or at least didn't get in the way of the performance.
+1 I tapered my volume for the Track State Championships but kept my speed up. One only gets to do this once or possibly twice in a season.
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Old 08-07-09, 09:31 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jppe View Post
The more I ride the less I know and understand about this cycling stuff....I continue to enjoy riding but I really just don't understand this riding stuff-or maybe how my body reacts to it?!?!
Don't you have enough things in your life that you understand? Enjoy the mystery.
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Old 08-07-09, 10:25 AM   #18
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It's that the long version of "It's sucks getting old" or "We don't heal as fast as we used too??

Sounds like it worked,don't fight it.

I don't do any racing but on long tours,I have to take a rest day every 4-5 days or my performance suffers.I start running out of steam earlier and earlier in the day.
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