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Burnout and Loss of Interest

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Burnout and Loss of Interest

Old 08-12-22, 12:28 PM
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procrit
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Burnout and Loss of Interest

My hobbies throughout my life have always had three phases... the honeymoon phase of learning something new, the "I want to be the best I can be at this" phase, and then the dreaded "I think I want to do something else now" end phase where I stop. Cycling, weight lifting, shooting sports, motocross, doesn't matter, it's happened to all of them. The one that I have pretty much done off and on throughout my adult life has been cycling though. It's the freedom, the fitness, sun, scenery, etc that is virtually free and can be done anywhere, right out of my front door, or almost any place I travel to. But I always seem to drive myself into a burnout phase, whether it be one year, or four years, there's always some end point.

What do you guys do to keep it fresh and avoid burnout? Am I the odd man out when it comes to this? I'd love to get back into race shape and do some masters races, but I'm also nervous I'm just going to over do it and mentally want to pull back. Any thoughts or help appreciated!
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Old 08-12-22, 12:33 PM
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Buy or build another bike.

Spend a sedentary day at work.
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Old 08-12-22, 12:50 PM
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If you're as experienced as it sounds and masters, assuming age here, maybe you could consider lightly racing and mentoring a youth rider on your team or another team.

It's something I see some local former higher level racers do. They ease off some, still race at a lower level, but they put youth through their paces with drills or hooking them up with entry level repaired bikes or staking routes at cyclocross races or organizing things. Not being a race promotor, just being a good steward and a local sage or mentor.
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Old 08-12-22, 02:00 PM
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burnthesheep has good advice. Get involved in the community and growing the sport.

Do you have a distinct off season phase with a few months of de-training and lower TSS? I am usually quite excited to FTP test and start putting in miles over the winter. Subsequent FTP tests with higher values are equally motivating, and then I'm racing. I'm usually pretty done and tired by the time summer roles around, and I make a point of not training big every weekend and not racing for several months.

Real periodization is probably not needed for an amateur like me that tops out in the 90-100 TSS range, but I feel like it is rejuvenating mentally.
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Old 08-12-22, 06:37 PM
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Sounds like we are a lot alike; cycling is really the only thing I've done consistently (18 years now) and even then there are gaps.

I've learned that when I get a few days away from my routine, I realize how enveloped I am in it and how much better my life is without it.

Right now I'm learning languages, and the sunk cost is real so I really don't want to quit.

I'm also coding, but to be honest, once I figured out the complicated stuff it's basically a second job now. I want to launch my site because I believe in the product, but its probably going to be more pain than its worth.
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Old 08-12-22, 07:29 PM
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Originally Posted by furiousferret View Post
I've learned that when I get a few days away from my routine, I realize how enveloped I am in it and how much better my life is without it.
I'm only 15 years in, but cycling certainly highlights how much a creature of routine that I am. Of course, there has been some strain in my personal relationships because of it. Additionally one needs to learn to be flexible and "go with the flow", which I am (slowly) improving on. Some of that is me just being hyper "Type A".

On the flip side, I also feel like my cycling habit has some pretty huge QOL perks, and overall benefits my life. I've felt that more as I've grown into mentorship, volunteer and community type roles within cycling. I could see some sort of civic/political advocacy in my future as well. I get that urge from my dad's side.
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Old 08-13-22, 09:23 AM
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Yea I just need to keep it in perspective and I think getting my two boys into mountain biking over the last 6 months has actually been great not just for them but for me as well.

I actually bought a brand new high end bike (BMC timemachine road) but it hasnít done anything motivation wise for me. Iím actually still riding my old cannondale more. I got a couple mountain bikes recently too, and I am definitely enjoying trail riding a lotÖ
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Old 08-13-22, 11:09 AM
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Ain't nothing wrong with MTB. I do some XC and endurance type mtb races every year. I usually ride it once a week.
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Old 08-13-22, 12:26 PM
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I really feel compelled to keep training because I want to keep up on our Worlds rides, and enter races. I'm aware that I sometimes go a bit overboard, but I could be obsessed with worse things. If anything, I probably suffer from the reverse, which is never feeling accomplished "enough". At 46, I'm still really enjoying my cycling, and next year I think I'll make a really concerted effort to finally get my cat 2. My plan is to get my track accreditation, race this winter, then do a full season on the road too.
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Old 08-13-22, 12:29 PM
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Now days my health keeps me from ridding like I want to. So there is no burning out. But 30 years ago there would be times I would go months without a ride or even any interest in a ride. But eventually I would find myself moving one of my bikes out of the way and notice some handle bar Tape coming loose. And then on securing it, decide to check the wheels true, and then adjust that brake cables, and then...

Happy Happy, Joy Joy...
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Old 08-15-22, 09:05 AM
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I've been through this several times. Here are two ways I've dealt with it:
  • Changing disciplines - e.g. taking up MTB or track.
  • Taking breaks. I've gotten into the habit of taking a month off of riding and training. I can still ride or lift if I want, but I don't have a plan. I generally find I lift more during that time.
For me, burnout comes from a lot of places. Disruptions, like work stress, injuries or illness, are probably the worst. Then comes repetition. I don't mind doing the same rides ever week with the same people, but do we have to discuss all the intricacies of the ride over beers afterward? Can't we talk about something else?
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