What ever happened to just plain old school training? I just turned 47 years old yesterday and I feel like I'm 30 years old. All due to just plain old school training. I'm a road bike and mountain bike rider putting in about 12 to 15 miles a day Monday thru Thursday. I do Bodyweight and core body exercises on Fridays, And about 45 to 50 miles on a Saturday group ride. I usually take Sundays off to just chill and rest. I do just three century's a year. I'm 5'9 and I weight 240lbs, very solid for my size, though not what you'd consider a bike rider at first glance. Though, I do hold my own very well. I consider myself a "B" class rider being able to hold a group pace of around 18 to 21 mph. On longer rides of 50 to 75 miles I ride a pace of 15 mph (touring pace). I ride a Tommaso and an Iron Horse Road bike, and a Mongoose hard tail Mountain Bike. I Live and ride in the Washington DC area with two bike clubs. (OHB&T & Big Dogs Cycling Club for riders over 220lbs).
This is how I got by in the 'old days'... just a pair of sneakers and a 10-speed' bike! With all of the technology available today, in an attempt to become the "athletic machine", sometimes just staying plain and simple is the way.
I challenge all of you to go 'old school' on your next ride and train without your various monitoring devices all around you. Instead of focusing on your watts or heart rate, focus instead on how you are feeling and start working to develop a really good sense of your perceived effort. 'Monitor the Gauges' of your body, so to speak, instead of monitoring the meters hooked up to your bike and body.
I can only speak for myself and my personal observations, but I have noticed that the most successful athletes are those who have the greatest sense of self awareness. They know when they are at threshold, when they can push harder and when they need to back off. This self awareness was developed over years of learning how their bodies respond to various levels of training and racing intensities. And you know what... even 10, 20 and 30 years ago, athletes were going pretty darn fast without all of the tech gizmos and complex training methods we have today.
Don't get me wrong...I'm not at all, anti-technology. There is tremendous value in using the new training tools available on the market. In fact, the combination of using technology appropriately and developing your self-awareness at the same time is lethal to your training. My observation is that many age group athletes get way too caught up in the gizmos and data...and they'd most likely get faster if they just put their nose to the grind stone and actually 'trained' a little harder...Like an old school athlete like myself.
Just a pair of sneakers and a bike.