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Old 05-08-14, 01:08 PM   #1
GFish
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No Pain, No Gain

OK, how much pain and suffering do you regularly put yourself through? And how frequent? Do you always ride to complete exhaustion? Are you a serious competitive cyclist?

I mean really, cycling with effort is always painful, requiring you to suffer physically. This also stresses the body, to much could be detrimental. How much of this do you actually enjoy?

I'm trying to get myself motivated this year and get in shape, again. Wondering how much and often I should really push the pace. Then a peer at work asked me if I was having fun. Fun, I think so, or maybe not since that 15 mile ride into work was into a head wind. Then last weekends 35 mile ride involved lots of wind, with added rain over the last 10 miles.

Fun wasn't exactly the words I used to describe these rides, more like torture. So then he asked why do it, after all, if your not having fun, then why put yourself through that much pain. At times, I do wonder "why".

Interested in reading what other people think about this. And what keeps you motivated to keep pushing the pace. Also, do you have any goals this year?
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Old 05-08-14, 02:07 PM   #2
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I can't motivate myself to push the pace in terms of speed. So my HTFU moments are typically spent on absurdly steep and long climbs. One you commit, you gotta pedal at least hard enough to stay upright.

Why do it, even if it's not fun? I ask myself the same thing often. Adventure? Challenge? May it is fun ... just a different variety?
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Old 05-08-14, 02:20 PM   #3
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Try riding with one or more people. This alone somehow makes you go harder whether drafting or not.

Fun can be going 20+ MPH with the wind behind you and a breeze in your face.

Fun can be new PRs on Strava and the proof your efforts are making a difference.

Fun can be making the same distance in less time or going further for the same time or reaching some other metric.

Fun can be a better toned body or losing weight or you pick it.

Fun is the satisfaction of achievement in being a better, more thoughtful, safer rider or helping others to enjoy the sport more.

Road biking is an endurance sport that is not easy. So conditioning, practice, diet and dedication are key.

i don't know if it's "fun" but I love doing it and love getting stronger. YMMV!

Ed
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Old 05-08-14, 02:28 PM   #4
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I ride for exercise and recreation, but very rarely for transportation. Sometimes it's 30 minutes to an hour in the neighborhood. I'll push myself as hard as I can and ride some hills too.

I live next to a state park which is a mecca for bike riding. I go there a couple of times per week and spend the whole afternoon riding. I'll push myself to my limits for a hour, then take a break and have a beer or two. As the afternoon progresses, my riding becomes more recreational.

I find that when the endorphins start to kick in, the pain actually becomes pleasant. Some soreness the next day makes me feel like I accomplished something. I've been lifting weights for many years too. You learn that it's worth it to endure some pain in order to get some gains. As long as you're not injuring yourself.
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Old 05-08-14, 03:00 PM   #5
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Suffering is good for the soul. It purges us of our iniquities.
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Old 05-08-14, 03:01 PM   #6
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It's all fun, even the suffering! In fact, when I get to the top of a brutal climb I will often shout, "That was fun!" It's mostly a matter of attitude but if the suffering is pain I can control, then yes, it's all fun.

Crashing, or other pain I don't have any control over . . . not fun!

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Old 05-08-14, 03:15 PM   #7
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I ride for mood control since I suffer from depression. I go slow most of time and once or twice a week
I do long hard climbs (also slow lol). Many people say you can't improve without pain but in my experience that's not true.

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Old 05-08-14, 03:25 PM   #8
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I do intervals seven days at week and twice on sundays because cycling is always hard.

I always used to be on the edge of pushing too hard. One hard race per week, one time trial, two interval sessions, then the long ride and on the day off was a recovery ride.

Now, it is one very long ride per week. One hill interval ride per week and maybe 3 short rides in the 25-35 mile range. I can't recover very well anymore.

I am no longer a hardcore rider but am considering doing my first USCF race in 2 decades. Maybe the 55+ District TT or a RR.....not feeling the need to mix it up in a Crit.
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Old 05-08-14, 03:29 PM   #9
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I ride "hard" twice a week. I'm too old to go hard three times a week and recover adequatley-at least not on a regular basis. I have to watch going way too hard because I will dig a hole and it will take too long to recover. Two weeks ago I felt geat (I should have been concerned) and rode for well over an hour at 89-92% of max HR. It took me most of the next week to recover-not smart. I'm now doing 2x20 or 3x15 LT intervals at 85% of max HR and can recover well from those efforts. Saturdays are hard group rides of 50-60 miles.
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Old 05-08-14, 04:02 PM   #10
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Suffering is good for the soul. It purges us of our iniquities.
Wasn't that the rationalization behind the inquisition?
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Old 05-08-14, 04:19 PM   #11
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Wasn't that the rationalization behind the inquisition?
Exactly. The bicycle is your inquisitor. It will bring out what lurks in your soul, for better or worse. "Know thyself." Just one of the many things I love about riding, and group riding in particular.

At 68, I only go hard once a week, so I make that one count. I say, "If I can walk at the finish, I could have gone harder." That's what it takes. I frequently have to lay the bike down and gingerly step over it. Ideally, a 4 - 5 hour ride that leaves you exhausted one ridge away from the finish. As Lance said, "I don't do it in spite of the pain, I do it because of the pain." Or as Floyd Landis put it, "I bank the pain against future withdrawals." No pain in the bank = nothing to draw upon.
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Old 05-08-14, 04:21 PM   #12
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Join a club, don't worry about speed , total time, or distance. enjoy the ride, enjoy for the long haul.
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Old 05-08-14, 04:36 PM   #13
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No pain no gain is a fallacy. If you want to ride for some sort of competitive goal, do it intelligently which won't involve much pain at all, certainly not most of the time.

If you ride for fitness or fun, why suffer - just enjoy it at whatever level that takes.
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Old 05-08-14, 04:48 PM   #14
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Cycling is not, and should not, be painful. Bicycle racing is painful. You choose.
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Old 05-08-14, 06:11 PM   #15
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Cycling is not, and should not, be painful. Bicycle racing is painful. You choose.
I kind of agree with that. It's the next day that is "painful" if any. Pain is a relative thing as we all know. I ride hard enough on longer rides so I am assured the strength for a longer or faster ride is there. But that's me.
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Old 05-08-14, 06:26 PM   #16
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No pain no gain is a fallacy.
+1 couldn't agree more
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Old 05-08-14, 06:43 PM   #17
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I'm firmly not in the 50+ category, but to me, hurting is sort of a mind cleanser. Sometimes I have to remind myself that I don't truly know what it's like to suffer, as in some other parts of the world. So, to help keep myself in check I do all i can on some rides to make it hurt. Other rides aren't so difficult, but I think its good to push the boundaries once in a while.
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Old 05-08-14, 08:18 PM   #18
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I will put it more bluntly------------no pain, no gain is a crock. No matter what your goal is, an intelligent plan to reach your goal should not be painful. Pain is simply your body telling you that you are damaging something.

IMO pain is for fools. That is why among other reasons I ride bents. You can ride a bent all day without pain. Sure you will get tired, but you will have no pain. I ride approx 30 miles every other day. It controls my weight, and is fun. IMO gain can come with fun and no pain.
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Old 05-09-14, 04:01 AM   #19
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Pain....are we talking joint and connective tissue pain? Or are we discussing the unpleasant feeling of pushing your body to the limit? I was pumping iron (and still) back when Arnold, the Mentzer's and other Weider boys had coined the phrase. What they were talking about was pushing your body athletically past the point where your mind says "that's enough". No one then suggested training yourself into the ER or OR.

Ask those who train for an event. Sometimes this is necessary for the achievement of your goals. That is, unless you are happy riding off the back of the peloton.
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Old 05-09-14, 04:01 AM   #20
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For the anti-pain crowd, spin me up this. What does it soon feel like cresting a climb 50 meters off the back?

Dejection? Or, do slam the big ring and call up your interval training and bridge because closing that little gap is going to hurt.

Long Steady pace rides of which I am a fan are beautiful things. But. How are intervals and speedwork enjoyable? At any age?
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Old 05-09-14, 04:07 AM   #21
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Two weeks ago I felt geat (I should have been concerned) and rode for well over an hour at 89-92% of max HR. It took me most of the next week to recover-not smart.
You've got my attention and respect.

I did a little climbing last week, really no clue what my max HR is, and I should know, but during the climb, my HR peaked at 167. I try not to exceed 160, more like 140-150 during normal rides, so the 167 got my attention. I also found it painful to push that hard.

Not sure I understand why people are saying cycling shouldn't be painful. If your climbing with effort, do you ever feel the burn in your legs? Don't you ever get short of breath pushing beyond your normal speed? I always thought intervals were painful.

On a loop I ride regularly, there's a straight section of road with a marked 1/8th mile drag strip. I often try pushing as hard as I can through this drag, which also leaves me out of breath. I find this painful but also rewarding. So if cycling shouldn't be painful, as some have stated, does this mean you never ride like this?

Perhaps I've been miss-lead reading some of the magazine articles on training.
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Old 05-09-14, 04:31 AM   #22
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You've got my attention and respect.

I did a little climbing last week, really no clue what my max HR is, and I should know, but during the climb, my HR peaked at 167. I try not to exceed 160, more like 140-150 during normal rides, so the 167 got my attention. I also found it painful to push that hard.

Not sure I understand why people are saying cycling shouldn't be painful. If your climbing with effort, do you ever feel the burn in your legs? Don't you ever get short of breath pushing beyond your normal speed? I always thought intervals were painful.

On a loop I ride regularly, there's a straight section of road with a marked 1/8th mile drag strip. I often try pushing as hard as I can through this drag, which also leaves me out of breath. I find this painful but also rewarding. So if cycling shouldn't be painful, as some have stated, does this mean you never ride like this?

Perhaps I've been miss-lead reading some of the magazine articles on training.
It's totally subjective and what I'd alluded to in my previous post. Some are fine with a pillow seat and others demand lighter weight over comfort (that's me riding my Cannondale Criterium series with Alu fork).

My heart rate is regularly in the 180 range when pushing myself as it was yesterday in the hilly 30miler. Pain? Not for me. I describe pain as something debilitating as opposed to something others whine about.
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Old 05-09-14, 04:49 AM   #23
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Pain is a continuum like an analog signal; it is not either debilitating or nothing at all like in the digital world.

We all process pain signals differently and some people have amplified responses to normal thresholds. Walking up stairs or even to the toilet can be painful to some individuals
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Old 05-09-14, 04:57 AM   #24
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The more you ride the less your butt hurts
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Old 05-09-14, 05:12 AM   #25
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I find it difficult to ride at anything less than maximum effort. More often than not, that involves discomfort, if not pain.
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