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Training Status??? (IV)

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Old 07-12-18, 05:54 PM
  #12126  
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Beautiful @Heathpack! Love that kind of cycling tired!

I was feeling that way after the 4th, but I've basically ridden twice (1 hr ea.) since then. Too much going on at work and in my personal life right now. Hoping to get a decent ride in tomorrow and Saturday, then hopefully pick myself up next week for another block of training before my regular scheduled laziness begins in August

For the record: My regular scheduled laziness involved more riding than I've done this last week, and def. a higher proportion of mtn biking.
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Old 07-13-18, 05:35 AM
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Originally Posted by furiousferret View Post
.....

@aaronmcd I don't recall what year it was, but I remember you were putting in hours upon hours of quality miles in the winter and I thought you'd kill it in race season and did. The one thing I've learned about cycling is its rare for racers to keep at that cadence of racing and training, especially after you hit that wall. Even if you don't hit the wall, personal life can smack you in the face and racing is done.

[dear diary warning]
In terms of the the racing vibe, this was going to be my last racing season if I didn't show any progress. Four years racing, and I've been last place more times than I could count. Its one thing finishing last if you're not trying, but I was averaging over 12+ hours a week. Some comments were made by some of the ex racers in our local ride that may or may not have been directed at me. All those things made me very obsessive about cycling but probably in an unhealthy way. I'd show up to group rides, not talk to anyone, and tell myself, 'None of those people like you, just keep your mouth shut and ride hard'.

Fast forward to this year and I fixed some physiological discrepancies, got asthma meds that worked, and raced 10 pounds lighter. I'm not winning anything but I'm relevant now which feels really good. I have a healthier attitude towards other cyclists as people are a lot nicer to you when you're not coming in last. They love you when you take hard 5 minute pulls up a hill. Other riders have told me that's bs and its all in my head, but those are all guys that have never been slow. I've slotted in 2019 as my year; I still have to build muscle that's atrophied and build muscle memory with a solid pedaling technique. That's probably going to take another 6 months.

I shouldn't put this much energy into bike racing because, no one cares. Other racers are too busy talking about themselves to care about you (like I'm doing here!) and your non racers friends are amazed you ride 200 miles a week and aren't in the Tour de France (despite explaining it to them yearly).
I hit the wall earlier this year. 12 years of steady, constant racing. I've sort-of hit my ceiling in both XC and road, and won more than my share of races, but no real big physiological improvements left to make (I'm a coach and a RD, training and diet are pretty dialed by now). I had a great 2017 with big results but felt a bit burned in the autumn; had plans to be part of a 4-man RAAM team in 2018 and basically tried to roll right through to June 2018 for RAAM. Big mistake.

My father passed away January 31, 2018, which caused me to bury myself further in training. I dug a hole deep enough to make me stop a ride 15 minutes in and hang up the bike for 6 weeks straight, didn't even look at it. Didn't want to.

Got most of my fitness back over the next 3 months, but really zero desire to compete. It just seemed like I did it for all the wrong reasons. Hollow reasons, like self-affirmation. I had kinda assumed my value to the sport was in my ability to win, and I'd lost that drive completely.

I found I still had the drive to improve myself physically, and still enjoyed that process. I began doing group rides I hadn't done regularly in years as they conflicted with training schedules. I realized I'm a pro at being a husband, dad, coach, dietitian - not a racer. I made it social again.

When I finally felt like it (3 weeks ago), I did a crit, missed the break, but got 5th solo from the group. I did another this Tuesday and won, double-lapping half the field with 2 other riders. It was tons of fun again - but not as much fun as having lunch with my daughter the next day and taking her for a bike ride afterwards. I like that perspective now.

So, for me at least - once I hit the wall, I got over it, with time. It gave me some much-needed perspective. I'm going to keep it fun, and focus more on the parts of cycling that drew me in - the friendships, teammates, the process of learning and improvement - vs. winning, and measuring myself by that yardstick. Also, involving my kids more with cycling, as I want riding partners when I get old.
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Old 07-13-18, 05:39 AM
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Originally Posted by TMonk View Post
^
thanks topflight. And @mattm the ride wasn't too awkward haha, the guy was nice and apologetic from the start.

Ya at some point everyone will plateau. My suggestion is at whatever level is that, join a team that has lots of participation and (ideally) camaraderie. That's what keeps me coming back. Racing with a team plan doesn't always work, but when it does, it's pretty awesome. At the very least I almost always feel like I have some level of positive contribution to my bro's result, and that feels great.
This is the only sport I know of where the goal is to upgrade to a category in which you are mediocre

Yep, we all plateau, and I totally agree that a great team is a great way to stay engaged once you realize you're as good as you are likely to get. Subjugating oneself to the success of a teammate is a great feeling. The social aspect of racing - especially at the amateur levels - is sadly minimized. It should be the primary attraction.
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Old 07-13-18, 05:42 AM
  #12129  
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Originally Posted by topflightpro View Post
@TMonk, I'm glad the crash wasn't worse.
@aaronmcd, from what I recall, you don't follow any plan or structure. You just do what you feel like doing when you feel like doing it, and you may be doing too much. Also, you've complained regularly on here about your performances, and people with a lot more experience than me (e.g. rubik) and a lot more knowledge of you personally (i.e. fudgy and mattm) have offered advice and suggestions that you routinely discount. I'm not sure what you are looking for?

I know we all go through ups and downs in our riding and training. We have good years and bad. And most of us will end up advancing to the point that we are pack fodder. For some, that's Cat 4/5s. For others, it's 1/2s. For others, it's racing against Pros. If you're not having fun, take a break. If you find you like just riding and not racing, then don't race. If you want to keep racing and you want to improve, maybe consider finding a coach who can help you a bit to find structure, regain the fitness and strength you feel you've lost and improve your efforts. (I don't want to reopen the coaching discussion with this comment, but you may be at a point when an outside perspective that you actually follow helps.)
I'll add this - as a coach, I know this, but had it reaffirmed this season in my own life. Progress isn't linear; we have years of stagnation (or even regression) that can be followed by years of gains. And gains can be physiological or other - tactical, mental, teamwork, etc. There's always something to improve. It's hard to remember that when life makes it a tough season.
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Old 07-13-18, 06:04 AM
  #12130  
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Originally Posted by tommyrod74 View Post
The social aspect of racing - especially at the amateur levels - is sadly minimized. It should be the primary attraction.
I totally agree with this. I wish USAC pushed for big clubs that encouraged all kinds of cycling activities- from simple non competitive group rides, to endurance events/charity rides, to touring, to racing. If you were on a race team within a big club, youíd have other things to do on a bike automatically if you didnít feel like racing for a season. Serve as a mentor to newbies, just enjoy group rides with friends, whatever. Sure, some people only like racing and theyíll leave bikes if theyíre not racing, thatís natural. But for people who like bikes, it would only make sense to me that you donít have to change your entire social group just to change from one focus to another. Plus if cycling clubs generally have more members, you have more volunteers to draw on to put on races, it makes it easier to move away from the promoter model if that becomes less viable if interest in racing wanes.
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Old 07-13-18, 08:03 AM
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Originally Posted by tommyrod74 View Post
The social aspect of racing - especially at the amateur levels - is sadly minimized. It should be the primary attraction.
having been mostly out of the game for a few years now, I totally agree. it's the primary thing that I missed and was the reason I attempted, well partially/half heartedly attempted, a comeback this season.
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Old 07-13-18, 01:06 PM
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Finally got a real ride in today, 2 hrs at z3/4 (by HR) just generally hammering, surging into the red here and there. Had a lot of energy after this inactive last week!
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Old 07-13-18, 09:26 PM
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Originally Posted by tommyrod74 View Post
This is the only sport I know of where the goal is to upgrade to a category in which you are mediocre

Yep, we all plateau, and I totally agree that a great team is a great way to stay engaged once you realize you're as good as you are likely to get. Subjugating oneself to the success of a teammate is a great feeling. The social aspect of racing - especially at the amateur levels - is sadly minimized. It should be the primary attraction.
Well, upgrading as much as possible is a good goal IMO. Also, by definition, if one is mediocre, they are in the correct category.

Yeah, having a social aspect would be a world of difference. I've got some friendly teammates and some not so much. But it really doesn't make a big difference if I don't feel like it's a social thing. It might be different if I grew up and hung out with and made friends with ppl that also race bikes. Other than social aspect, it's just competition. Which is great - I've always been one of the most competitive ppl I know. And you have to be either ridonkeylously competitive or hella beastly just to get to cat 2. But if competition is where it's at, there comes a point where you can see the result of the overarching competition and see if, in a year or two, you still won't be mixing it up in the final 200 or riding away from a 28 mph pack. And if neither of those is happening, and you don't have a best bud you want to win, it might not be worth spending precious hours of one's life on the thing.
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Old 07-14-18, 12:47 AM
  #12134  
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Originally Posted by Heathpack View Post


I totally agree with this. I wish USAC pushed for big clubs that encouraged all kinds of cycling activities- from simple non competitive group rides, to endurance events/charity rides, to touring, to racing. If you were on a race team within a big club, youíd have other things to do on a bike automatically if you didnít feel like racing for a season. Serve as a mentor to newbies, just enjoy group rides with friends, whatever. Sure, some people only like racing and theyíll leave bikes if theyíre not racing, thatís natural. But for people who like bikes, it would only make sense to me that you donít have to change your entire social group just to change from one focus to another. Plus if cycling clubs generally have more members, you have more volunteers to draw on to put on races, it makes it easier to move away from the promoter model if that becomes less viable if interest in racing wanes.
Honestly I donít know how much of the social aspect is really in USACís hands. They do support fun rides, training camps, fondos, in addition to actual racing.

USAC defines a club/team structure, but itís up to the Local Associations, and moreso the teams, as to how itís all executed.

Really I think racing is what you make it. No one organization or club or team can deliver the social experience each individual wants. If you want a big social club that involves racing, make it happen!
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Old 07-14-18, 12:51 AM
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As for my training, I havenít been lately. Really only done races lately lol. 9 rides since the 27th, only two of them werenít races.

Been feeling tired af, sluggish, etc. That time of year I guess. That or Iím getting old.. wondered if it was an iron/blood issue, but happened to have a blood test done today and all seems normal. Just need to rest.

Intelligentsia cup next week! 10 races in 10 days.. woo!!
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Old 07-14-18, 06:32 AM
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Originally Posted by aaronmcd View Post
Well, upgrading as much as possible is a good goal IMO. Also, by definition, if one is mediocre, they are in the correct category.

Yeah, having a social aspect would be a world of difference. I've got some friendly teammates and some not so much. But it really doesn't make a big difference if I don't feel like it's a social thing. It might be different if I grew up and hung out with and made friends with ppl that also race bikes. Other than social aspect, it's just competition. Which is great - I've always been one of the most competitive ppl I know. And you have to be either ridonkeylously competitive or hella beastly just to get to cat 2. But if competition is where it's at, there comes a point where you can see the result of the overarching competition and see if, in a year or two, you still won't be mixing it up in the final 200 or riding away from a 28 mph pack. And if neither of those is happening, and you don't have a best bud you want to win, it might not be worth spending precious hours of one's life on the thing.

I agree that the goal is to upgrade, and that's OK. I just meant that once one reaches one's terminal category, as many of us have, there can be a sense of "what now?" after a few seasons.

The social aspect means more to me now that I'm in that stage of my racing life. I enjoy having teammates, and I'm lucky that we've purposefully built a team of people I like to hang with, and would even if we didn't ride bikes. I like watching them improve, too, and helping where I can.
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Old 07-14-18, 09:44 AM
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i'm back in 'Murrica after 2 weeks abroad, actually got back early enough yesterday that I could have gone out or on the trainer, but didn't. Definitely would love to be in a position where I could spend a couple of months and ride a lot between excellent meals with lots of inexpensive but good wines lol Did 2hrs on the trainer today, tempo/sweet spot type to shake off the cobwebs after being off since tuesday. I guess this coming week will be getting back to short intensity because #crossiscoming lol
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Old 07-14-18, 11:49 AM
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Dang. Crashed on the ride to the ride. Crossing the Yolo Causeway with 3 teamies on the way to the Davis (formerly Wheelworks) Ride. I must have caught the edge of a parallel crack in the asphalt, which chewed up my front tire. Blowout, fell into my buddy on my left, we both went down. Ruined jersey, ruined gloves, broken helmet, and a ruined tire and wheel. Huge gouges in the brake track that I don't think I'll be able to sand out. And road rash of course.

But extremely thankful that's it.

No broken bones, no concussion, no broken bike. My buddy had a pretty bad case of road rash and maybe a concussion. His wife came to get him and took him to the ER to get checked out. We're lucky that one of my teammates is a MD and he called ahead to the doc on duty so they were waiting for him. Waiting to hear from him for an update.

Be careful out there guys!
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Old 07-14-18, 12:15 PM
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Glad it wasn't worse @caloso
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Old 07-14-18, 12:34 PM
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Damn. Teammate has a broken clavicle. Dammit.
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Old 07-14-18, 01:12 PM
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@caloso. Man...sorry to hear about your crash and teammates broken clavicle. Heal up fast to both!!!
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Old 07-14-18, 01:30 PM
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Club size.. @Heathpack. Lightning Velo Home Page Is a large club that offers the features that you discuss. It may not be convenient for you vis a vis location but it represents what you seem to be looking for. I belonged to a larger club when I started racing but we did not actively promote a social component of the club. However, club racers did do some social rides that were organized ad hoc.
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Old 07-14-18, 02:31 PM
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Originally Posted by tommyrod74 View Post
I agree that the goal is to upgrade, and that's OK. I just meant that once one reaches one's terminal category, as many of us have, there can be a sense of "what now?" after a few seasons.

The social aspect means more to me now that I'm in that stage of my racing life. I enjoy having teammates, and I'm lucky that we've purposefully built a team of people I like to hang with, and would even if we didn't ride bikes. I like watching them improve, too, and helping where I can.
Im one of those people who struggled to become a decent rider/racer and set a goal to become a 3 l, and I busted my butt to get there. Once I did, my coach asked me that question: What now?

I didnt have an answer, and it took a lot of the fun out of it for awhile. (It didnít help that I injured myself trying to get to a 2 and couldnít ride for a year, but thatís another issue.)

changing to track last last year helped me really reclaim my enjoyment for the sport.
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Old 07-14-18, 10:21 PM
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Wasted a Saturday, which is like killing a unicorn. Had to skip my morning ride for my nephews birthday party, which I really didn't have to skip considering it went 2 hours later than planned. So it was what I call a 'flip day' one that was planned as a positive day of training and turns into a negative. See below:

Planned Morning: 70-85 degrees, no wind, fast group ride, healthy breakfast.
Actual Afternoon: 95-105 degress, 20-25 winds (mostly headwind), solo, lethargic from cake and ice cream

@caloso, glad you're okay. One of my biggest fears is causing an accident and injuring someone else. That's got to feel terrible.

Originally Posted by tommyrod74 View Post
I agree that the goal is to upgrade, and that's OK. I just meant that once one reaches one's terminal category, as many of us have, there can be a sense of "what now?" after a few seasons.

The social aspect means more to me now that I'm in that stage of my racing life. I enjoy having teammates, and I'm lucky that we've purposefully built a team of people I like to hang with, and would even if we didn't ride bikes. I like watching them improve, too, and helping where I can.
I've raced about 40 times and have yet to race with a team mate. Our team is more of an ambassador program; guys race but no one races full time. The bike shop really just wants a presence in the local scene, and tbh that's probably a better model to actually getting consumers in the door. Its frustrating, I'm friends with most on the team, but its frustrating when we have a circuit race 15 miles from our shop and we have 15 guys show up to a shop group ride and only 2 race that day.

The thing is, I'm probably a good teammate, but I'm terrible solo. I just have no kick and not having that 1-3 minute surge is a death knell in racing. The one thing I can do is go on the front and put in good watts for long periods of time, which I'm sure is useful to someone. So I may race with a real team next year. Being a Master's racer in the IE we're limited to 2-3 teams though.
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Old 07-15-18, 04:38 PM
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Some depressing talk about racing bikes going on here. I encourage all of you to try out some racing in different disciplines. Then you can have a 370TSS (hrTSS, but I would estimate it pretty close to that) in 5hours kinda ride when you do your first gravel race.
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Old 07-15-18, 08:03 PM
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Had a fun group ride on Saturday that is more like a road race. Fun to mix it up with Cat 1-3s.

Link starts about 17 min from the end, when an attack goes following a break of 3 (which includes one of my teammates). A bit after that I'm in small group with teammate and tell him I will attempt a sacrificial pull. However later I wondered if we would have been better off working together rather than me burning all my matches at once (my teammate stayed away, but never caught the break of 3 that finished ahead). Then later I get on the chase where we are sprinting for 5th.


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Old 07-15-18, 09:47 PM
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Track camp at Velo Sports Center in Carson - Thursday 2K motor work, Friday, 3x4k pursuit intervals, Saturday leg opener (warmup jumps and a couple of efforts) and Sunday race: team pursuit and individual pursuit.
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Old 07-16-18, 02:48 PM
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Didn't race Sunday cuz I did 90+ miles on Saturday. Went to ride for an hour in the evening mainly just to get out of the house. Left hooked by a car, which promptly sped off with one other car chasing. The chasing car returned after deciding against following the wrong way down a one way street. Called it in and gave the plate number, then waited for the cops for 3 hours in a dinky little dive bar full of friendly drunk hispanics with very little english speaking skills, and talking to a very drugged up and dirty homeless woman outside who insisted she knew that car and is probably still talking to herself about the incident.

Bent derailleur and sore leg from ramming it into the driver side at 20 mph, but pretty much ok. Mainly just pissed that someone would drive off like that.
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Old 07-16-18, 02:59 PM
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Dang, Aaron, glad it wasn't worse! It'd be a good idea to run by the local urgent care place and have your leg looked at, a 20 mph impact is nothing to sneeze at. Kudos to the guy who chased after the car and got the plate number, though I'd put money on either the plate or the car being stolen. Glad that guy was smart enough to not go up the one-way street, too.
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Old 07-16-18, 04:28 PM
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Originally Posted by aaronmcd View Post
Didn't race Sunday cuz I did 90+ miles on Saturday. Went to ride for an hour in the evening mainly just to get out of the house. Left hooked by a car, which promptly sped off with one other car chasing. The chasing car returned after deciding against following the wrong way down a one way street. Called it in and gave the plate number, then waited for the cops for 3 hours in a dinky little dive bar full of friendly drunk hispanics with very little english speaking skills, and talking to a very drugged up and dirty homeless woman outside who insisted she knew that car and is probably still talking to herself about the incident.

Bent derailleur and sore leg from ramming it into the driver side at 20 mph, but pretty much ok. Mainly just pissed that someone would drive off like that.
Damn man, heal up!
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