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No Pain, No Gain

Old 05-09-14, 05:26 AM
  #26  
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I have experienced real, serious pain in my life, more than any ride could offer up. Anyone that has had to endure multiple surgeries can attest to this one, spinal fusions and laminectomies, or having intestinal strictures and fistulas forming on your abdomen and waking up unable to even breath deeply from the incision that runs from your sternum to the top of the pubis. Having several weeks of IV therapy with chemicals running in to your heart directly that burn and make your mouth raw, is pain. Riding and the little pain you experience as you exercise your muscles isn't hurting yourself at all. If you adequately work the muscles and circulatory system some waste by-products are going to build up and be flushed away and the pain you feel afterwards or the next day are your muscles rebuilding from the workout and getting stronger.

Every ride need not be a suffering session, long easy spins are nice ways to build some base miles, intervals and hill work are for making things stronger and better able to perform. Calling someone that wants to improve their fitness, by working harder at times, foolish or stupid, is immature and flatly false.

Have at me if you wish, knowing how and when to push things to improve your fitness isn't wrong, its getting stronger and better.

Your final question about what I'm doing to work harder and add to my workouts, I have added intervals, both on the flats and on the rolling hills we have (no extended climbs in the Gulf Coast available) and doing dead stop climbs on what steep and longer stretches are in our area. My sprint speed and basic climbing ability need improvement and work. Base miles are growing, too, for endurance.

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Old 05-09-14, 05:29 AM
  #27  
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^^^ This. Well said, Bill. Exactly right.
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Old 05-09-14, 06:02 AM
  #28  
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Originally Posted by jwalther View Post
I find it difficult to ride at anything less than maximum effort. More often than not, that involves discomfort, if not pain.
How can you do this unless you only ride a couple of times a week. I assume you are over 50. I've seen young racer burn out riding hard most all the time. If not physical injury there is usually mental burn out and often real physical "over training" that requires long periods off the bike or just tooling around to recover from. I'm 68 and riding still means "suffering" a couple of times a week to be fun and have meaning and always the hope of getting better or at least slowing down getting worse! But if I'm hammering every time on the bike I will spiral downward. BTW I think there is "good suffering" when you are fit and riding well and "bad suffering" when you are not. In both cases you are hurting but one is controlled and satisfied with the results and the other you feel like the victim of others efforts-"sometimes you are the hammer and sometime the nail"
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Old 05-09-14, 06:22 AM
  #29  
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Originally Posted by jwalther View Post
I find it difficult to ride at anything less than maximum effort. More often than not, that involves discomfort, if not pain.
Who can maintain maximal efforts for more than 1 minute.

What do you do three rides of one minute each per week?

Almost as absurd as the notion that improvement does not come part and parcel with some degree of pain, whether one's perception is discomfort or the all out agony evident in many rider's faces during climbs or sprint finishes. I have finished the last 400k of a 600k with a broken elbow and have also had the great misfortune of seeing kids at the Childrens Hospital of Philadelphia in a specialized pain clinic where a gently breeze on their skin is perceived as intense pain. We all experience pain thresholds differently. I can ride with broken ribs and have done so many time. Others can't.
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Old 05-09-14, 06:23 AM
  #30  
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Nobody improves without a least a little discomfort and to some, that is painful.
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Old 05-09-14, 06:25 AM
  #31  
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Ignoring some pains, in search of that elusive HTFU badge is foolish.

As the recent recipient of four coronary stents I know. Now I ride for the pure joy of feeling the road beneath my wheels.

No fun no gain.
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Old 05-09-14, 06:27 AM
  #32  
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Originally Posted by OldsCOOL View Post
The more you ride the less your butt hurts
That was utterly false in my case until I got into recumbents. Apparently the dozens of saddles I went through wasn't enough and I should have kept trying to find the 'right one.' Oh, it never stopped me from riding and I always took it as part of the experience. It's not even the reason I switched. But now that that aspect is gone, I don't miss it at all.

As for me, I'll ride in what I call the 'discomfort zone.' It's the endorphins! But if it actually hurts, I back off. Pain is not the sign of weakness leaving your body, it's the sign of pain.
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Old 05-09-14, 06:51 AM
  #33  
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Originally Posted by qcpmsame View Post
Calling someone that wants to improve their fitness, by working harder at times, foolish or stupid, is immature and flatly false.
Ride on, Brother. Well said.
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Old 05-09-14, 06:58 AM
  #34  
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Originally Posted by BlazingPedals View Post
That was utterly false in my case until I got into recumbents. Apparently the dozens of saddles I went through wasn't enough and I should have kept trying to find the 'right one.' Oh, it never stopped me from riding and I always took it as part of the experience. It's not even the reason I switched. But now that that aspect is gone, I don't miss it at all.

As for me, I'll ride in what I call the 'discomfort zone.' It's the endorphins! But if it actually hurts, I back off. Pain is not the sign of weakness leaving your body, it's the sign of pain.
Keeping what I said in context, there are those that begin riding and when reading forums cant understand why sit bones and glutes are hurting. This is why I bore my self to near insanity on a trainer staring out the window at 10ft snowbanks.

Then, there is the fit issue. I ride a bike others call a teeth rattler, pain inducing ride. But for me, I love it. My aluminum forked sub-18Lb Cannondale Criterium Series rides like a dream because of the fit.

Last edited by OldsCOOL; 05-09-14 at 07:02 AM.
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Old 05-09-14, 07:11 AM
  #35  
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When people say "pain", "suffer", "torture" about a bike ride I consider it to be hyperbole. Actual pain arises from a physical injury or other malady. Two different things.
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Old 05-09-14, 07:13 AM
  #36  
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Originally Posted by Dudelsack View Post
Suffering is good for the soul. It purges us of our iniquities.
inequalities too
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Old 05-09-14, 07:37 AM
  #37  
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No pain, feels good.
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Old 05-09-14, 07:49 AM
  #38  
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Originally Posted by Weatherby View Post
Nobody improves without a least a little discomfort and to some, that is painful.
just not every ride.
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Old 05-09-14, 07:52 AM
  #39  
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The "no pain no gain" mantra is another conventional wisdom like many of them that is completely wrong. It is just another lie that has been repeated so many times that most people take it for the truth.

It is some what like the fact that people assume if you are going to ride a bike, you have to suffer the pain of a bike seat, especially early in the riding year. That is not true if you ride almost any recumbent.
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Old 05-09-14, 08:27 AM
  #40  
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Originally Posted by eja_ bottecchia View Post
Ignoring some pains, in search of that elusive HTFU badge is foolish.

As the recent recipient of four coronary stents I know. Now I ride for the pure joy of feeling the road beneath my wheels.

No fun no gain.
+1 I haven't had the stents (yet) but, I do adhere to your philosophy. Others can constantly strive to improve and I respect their motivations. I prefer to let it happen while I'm enjoying myself.....and it does! Quantifying my efforts is completely at odds with my efforts.
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Old 05-09-14, 09:13 AM
  #41  
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The secret is in knowing how much is too much. I've found it easy to injure my joints. Sometimes feeling no actual pain during the activity. Then the next time there is a little twinge which keeps getting worse from session to session. Eventually I have to cease whatever is causing the pain, sometimes for several months. Mostly I'm talking about weightlifting or other strength training. Hasn't happened with the bike yet but I have stopped riding for several days to a week from time to time in the last few years.
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Old 05-09-14, 09:22 AM
  #42  
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I dont want cycling to be painful, but there is a pleasure to be gained by getting stronger, to be able to comfortably maintain a group pace that is faster than what you were able to maintain before.
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Old 05-09-14, 09:51 AM
  #43  
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transcend the bicycle
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Old 05-09-14, 09:52 AM
  #44  
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Originally Posted by jwalther View Post
I find it difficult to ride at anything less than maximum effort. More often than not, that involves discomfort, if not pain.
I can relate to this. I have always tried to push myself hard at the expense of a good training plan. I may lay out a training plan, which involves hard rides and recovery rides, but as soon as I get on the saddle my mind jumps to go-go-go. Since I tend to be a solo rider I don't have the support of other to keep me in check. My character flaw.
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Old 05-09-14, 10:46 AM
  #45  
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Originally Posted by Weatherby View Post
Who can maintain maximal efforts for more than 1 minute.

What do you do three rides of one minute each per week?

Almost as absurd as the notion that improvement does not come part and parcel with some degree of pain, whether one's perception is discomfort or the all out agony evident in many rider's faces during climbs or sprint finishes. I have finished the last 400k of a 600k with a broken elbow and have also had the great misfortune of seeing kids at the Childrens Hospital of Philadelphia in a specialized pain clinic where a gently breeze on their skin is perceived as intense pain. We all experience pain thresholds differently. I can ride with broken ribs and have done so many time. Others can't.
Let me clarify. What I was trying to convey is that I'm not a relaxed, smell the roses kind of rider. I enjoy getting out and pushing myself as hard as I can when I ride. Obviously that can entail different levels of effort on different days. If I know I'm only going 20 miles, I'll push harder for that distance than I will if I know I'm riding 50+. Sorry for not making myself clear.

I'll make you a deal. I'll try to be more precise in my communication on the forum if you promise to be less snarky. Hope you get to ride this weekend. We're expecting rain here. . .
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Old 05-09-14, 12:19 PM
  #46  
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Originally Posted by 65madone10 View Post
I can relate to this. I have always tried to push myself hard at the expense of a good training plan. I may lay out a training plan, which involves hard rides and recovery rides, but as soon as I get on the saddle my mind jumps to go-go-go. Since I tend to be a solo rider I don't have the support of other to keep me in check. My character flaw.
Have you seen your strength and overall speed improve by riding this way?

I know for me, that amount of effort would involve a good deal of suffering, if not a certain level of pain. I'm not talking about debilitating pain, but an emotional or mental response to burning quads and searing lungs. In other words, its going to hurt.
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Old 05-09-14, 12:23 PM
  #47  
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Old 05-09-14, 01:22 PM
  #48  
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There are several 'truths' that I have found to be applicable:

That which doesn't kill us, makes us stronger

Pain is what you feel as weakness leaves the body

Pain is just Mother Nature's way of telling you that you are alive.

maybe I should put those in a different order!

I try to 'push myself' to better my time over the same course. My former commute of 10.7 miles each way had railroad tracks about two miles from each end. My goal was to do that 9-ish miles in a half hour - for an average speed of 18mph. That also includes the five of the seven traffic lights. No 'rolling stops', other than one right-on-red after stop if the light is red. After that 18mph+ pace, I'd slow it down to under 12mph for the last two miles so I could get a good 'cool-down'. My record was the 10.7 miles in 33:40, which I consider very good for this old man. Most days were 35-37 minutes, block-to-block.

The funny thing - I always feel better after a good spirited ride. Sometimes for several days. Oh, sure, I may be wobbly when I get off the bike at first, but give me ten-fifteen minutes and I feel absolutely great. I attribute that feeling to me burning off most of the accumulated toxins in the old body. It may be what others call a 'runner's high'.

Longer distances are ridden at a somewhat slower pace.
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Old 05-09-14, 02:22 PM
  #49  
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Originally Posted by GFish View Post
Have you seen your strength and overall speed improve by riding this way?

I know for me, that amount of effort would involve a good deal of suffering, if not a certain level of pain. I'm not talking about debilitating pain, but an emotional or mental response to burning quads and searing lungs. In other words, its going to hurt.
Yes, it has improved over the years. I am a stronger rider now at 58 than I was at 45, BUT I wonder if I could have been even stronger by following a good training plan with hard days and recovery days.

Part of my style may also be a reaction to stress from work. I tend to relieve my stress by pushing physically. That has always worked better for me than setting on the deck, in the shade, with an iced tea.
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Old 05-10-14, 09:50 PM
  #50  
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I haven't done structured training for the last several years of over 30 years of riding. At 71 if my resting pulse is below 50bpm I try to ride that day. I appreciate the pain of cycling countered by a sizable dose of endorphins. Having had significant experience with surgical pain and accompanying recoveries, I can attest to the fact that cycling pain is life at its best. I currently ride around 200 mi. per week and climb 8000 feet. If the legs haven't recovered I ride 40 - 50 miles with climbing at a heart rate of 65-75% of max. Usually my rides are at Zones 3 and 5 and Strava Suffer Scores are extreme. I have found this unstructured training to increase strength, speed endurance and decrease body fat.
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