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Love racing - hate training

Old 08-01-16, 10:43 AM
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Love racing - hate training

How many of you are in a mental place where you love competing , -- whether it be throwing down at the Tuesday night worlds, or a downhill race, or the monthly tri

--- but you find the day to day training to be pure drudgery and almost something that just has to be tolerated to allow you the fitness or skill level to compete on the weekends -- so much so that I can almost not tolerate fun rides anymore

I have a friend who is a recreational cyclist and he just loves doddling along on meandering 50 and 60 mile loops and wishes I would go with him more. Problem is, he rides at a steady state 16-17 mph (tempo riding) and I am either riding a zone 2 recovery ride (for me, mostly slower than that ) or a zone 4 LT ride with intervals, and on these rides, I also am usually by myself - my buddy is as fit or fitter than I am, he just doesn't have the wiring to push it like that

But a 50 mile "fitness ride" in the heat just to go have a scone and some coffee? - I'd almost rather be on the trainer suffering in silent misery -

-- as a 25 year cyclist , maybe its just a phase I'm going through
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Old 08-01-16, 11:52 AM
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I love training, figuring out how to do something better. To me, the racing is almost just there to punctuate and give structure to the training.

But I also love fun rides, just heading to the coffee shop with friends or noodling around in the mountains at whatever pace.

I think one of the best things about my training schedule (which is set by my coach) is that I'm not assigned the endless zone 2 ride. It seems like its either some difficult workout or its unstructured riding where I can do whatever I want for a prescribed amount of time. So I wind up still having fun with my rec riding friends, I can work them into the mix pretty routinely. They are my zone 2 rides in essence, but I don't have to stick to the zone 2 concept in a regimented way, I can ride like a normal person on those rides and it works out.

A huge part of success I think is managing your happiness on the bike. If your training is drudgery, you might consider doing things differently, because I'm not sure drudgery will be sustainable in the long run.
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Old 08-01-16, 01:42 PM
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It all depends what you're training for, I suppose. If you're not racing nearly every weekend, I can agree that the training gets a little tough. A TT a month, or hill climb, which is what I did last year, was super difficult to stay motivated. This year, it's much better because I am racing more often.
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Old 08-03-16, 02:04 PM
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FWIW and IMHO a lot of this can come from "old school" training which focuses on hours and miles vs. a very focused training plan. The former would result in strong riders because somewhere in there they'd get the "meat" that was needed to improve from fast group rides, and it would self select to folks who thrived on miles.

You'd also end up with a ton of burned out riders. Or slow riders.

If you're a kid racing 100+ mile road races every weekend you're going to need some longer rides. But my biggest month this year was 39 hours, and I've won or podiumed a bunch including at Nats, beating folks that are doing double my hours. Take out the races and I might "train" 4-8 hours a week or less, and some of that is fun MTB rides where I get a nice payoff for slaying myself on a climb.

The other part in there is we have two pretty good weekday race series here, so I get to race a fair bit.
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Old 08-03-16, 05:14 PM
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Big Goals Can Backfire. Olympians Show Us What to Focus on Instead. - Science of Us

https://apple.news/A8JyjMQUBQnKLMotSWJyiiQ

Hopefully y'all can use this link, no idea if it's just for people with Apple products.

The article discusses different types of goal-setting & how not all goal-setting is positive. It's much more rewarding (so says this article) to focus on the process rather than the outcome. I.e. The process of preparing to do well in a race vs the winning of the race. That's 100% how I feel about it.

Winning is nice but even better is being well-prepared. Because my goal is being prepared more so than doing well, I think it brings a certain enjoyment to the training, because that is a huge part of the "process" part, the technical aspects of the racing being the other part of the process.
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Old 08-04-16, 12:05 PM
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Originally Posted by Heathpack
Big Goals Can Backfire. Olympians Show Us What to Focus on Instead. - Science of Us

https://apple.news/A8JyjMQUBQnKLMotSWJyiiQ

Hopefully y'all can use this link, no idea if it's just for people with Apple products.

The article discusses different types of goal-setting & how not all goal-setting is positive. It's much more rewarding (so says this article) to focus on the process rather than the outcome. I.e. The process of preparing to do well in a race vs the winning of the race. That's 100% how I feel about it.

Winning is nice but even better is being well-prepared. Because my goal is being prepared more so than doing well, I think it brings a certain enjoyment to the training, because that is a huge part of the "process" part, the technical aspects of the racing being the other part of the process.

Interesting

Not exactly the same , but my plans for going to Mammoth Mountain next month have been de-railed --- I need a few more runs in some local races before trying to contest a biggie (work has been too busy to get to the slopes for more event specific training- I am way behind) -- and regarding work - its how I pay for all this nonsense,

I guess I could look at that as a failure on my part , get depressed, and put the downhill bike up for sale -- or continue to move forward with the training I CAN
do and vow to maximize my time on the mountain when I can get a break to get to New Mexico and Colorado to train on more event specific stuff (Or I could just go and have a good time on the slopes and not worry about the stop watch for a few days -- I can actually do that with mountain bikes --- its training on the road that has been the problem for me )


----
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Old 08-05-16, 08:04 AM
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I'm still confused on a number of levels:

1. What is it about your training that you don't like? You don't like the zone 2 rides? You don't like the hard workouts? You don't like riding alone? Or you think it would be boring to ride with your friend? (And OMG, no scone post-ride, those things are calorie bombs.). You need to do workouts on the trainer and you don't like the trainer? Probably a lot of those things could be modified/eliminated/morphed into something you do like. I mentioned above that my schedule basically consists of three things: mentally/physically challenging workouts, fun rides, racing. I have a pretty wide spectrum of cycling friends, so I can work a lot of people into these rides and somehow cobble together something of a cycling social life that meshes with training.

2. I know nothing about downhill MTB racing except that it looks dangerous. Mammoth as I understand it has some very scary downhill runs. So if your training is de-railed to the point where it's unsafe for you to attempt Mammoth, by all means stay home. But if not training enough has just resulted in you being in a state where you'll be slow and you know you have the skills to do the race, why not go? You could change your mindset from wanting to be competitive to "let me go this year and see the course, race at that altitude, see how I like the bike/equipment choices etc on that course, get used to the venue, get in a dry run of shipping the bike to that locale when it really doesn't matter, etc", all so you could do better next year. Maybe it's just too much trouble and expense given the distance. But it could also be a really cool trip and a chance to do the race with zero expectations. Sometimes things like that are actually worth the effort.
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Old 08-05-16, 02:14 PM
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Originally Posted by Heathpack
I'm still confused on a number of levels:

1. What is it about your training that you don't like? You don't like the zone 2 rides? You don't like the hard workouts? You don't like riding alone? Or you think it would be boring to ride with your friend? (And OMG, no scone post-ride, those things are calorie bombs.). You need to do workouts on the trainer and you don't like the trainer? Probably a lot of those things could be modified/eliminated/morphed into something you do like. I mentioned above that my schedule basically consists of three things: mentally/physically challenging workouts, fun rides, racing. I have a pretty wide spectrum of cycling friends, so I can work a lot of people into these rides and somehow cobble together something of a cycling social life that meshes with training.

2. I know nothing about downhill MTB racing except that it looks dangerous. Mammoth as I understand it has some very scary downhill runs. So if your training is de-railed to the point where it's unsafe for you to attempt Mammoth, by all means stay home. But if not training enough has just resulted in you being in a state where you'll be slow and you know you have the skills to do the race, why not go? You could change your mindset from wanting to be competitive to "let me go this year and see the course, race at that altitude, see how I like the bike/equipment choices etc on that course, get used to the venue, get in a dry run of shipping the bike to that locale when it really doesn't matter, etc", all so you could do better next year. Maybe it's just too much trouble and expense given the distance. But it could also be a really cool trip and a chance to do the race with zero expectations. Sometimes things like that are actually worth the effort.

I didn't think that being sick of training was such an unusual phenomena - I raced track with a guy who would show up for some open track time, then sit in his car for 30 minutes trying to decide if he wanted to ride or not--then he would turn around and drive home without ever unloading , -- but he would bring it on Friday night

-- some days I don't even want to look at the bike , unless its one of my vintage restoration projects ---which are fun to take for a spin - (technically that's still cycling , but with no training intent)- I almost prefer getting in 30-45 minutes on my concept 2

But I have some issues that are likely outside the bounds of this forum -- I'm going through a divorce/separation right now and feel kind of a "Whats the point" sensation often

I'm also a Clyde - I was losing weight slowly but steadily before the marital strife strictly with diet changes -- it was exciting , as every 5 lbs off, I could stay with my main group longer and longer at the local crit series, until finally , I broke through and completed a 45 minute + 2 without getting dropped
--- but now - the weight is falling off quite rapidly I assume from stress , but it is not a healthy feeling. I'm still able to sit in , even though I have almost no base miles, but the zest for mid week rides is gone, --- like I said, unless its on one of my vintage Italian lightweights


The downhill stuff --- I originally started that as a way to enjoy cycling as a heavier Clyde, -- initially it was just for giggles, but I have a extensive motocross background, -- and I kind of took to it quickly, - even with being quite large at the time --- I made some plans for some races, even mapping out specific weekends to get to closer locations for local race series and things like that, because, even with some native ability, - you have to learn to ride the rocks ------- but civilian life has gotten in the way and just finding someone to house sit while I go hit some slopes in NM or something for a couple of days has been an enormous pain (I reside on a acreage with a bunch of critters)

Note: I CAN ride my mountain bike without necessarily feeling like I have to go racing - taking little weekend expeditions to great ride spots is mad fun that I recommend to anyone

Last edited by DMC707; 08-05-16 at 02:22 PM.
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Old 08-05-16, 02:48 PM
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Originally Posted by DMC707
I didn't think that being sick of training was such an unusual phenomena - I raced track with a guy who would show up for some open track time, then sit in his car for 30 minutes trying to decide if he wanted to ride or not--then he would turn around and drive home without ever unloading , -- but he would bring it on Friday night

-- some days I don't even want to look at the bike , unless its one of my vintage restoration projects ---which are fun to take for a spin - (technically that's still cycling , but with no training intent)- I almost prefer getting in 30-45 minutes on my concept 2

But I have some issues that are likely outside the bounds of this forum -- I'm going through a divorce/separation right now and feel kind of a "Whats the point" sensation often

I'm also a Clyde - I was losing weight slowly but steadily before the marital strife strictly with diet changes -- it was exciting , as every 5 lbs off, I could stay with my main group longer and longer at the local crit series, until finally , I broke through and completed a 45 minute + 2 without getting dropped
--- but now - the weight is falling off quite rapidly I assume from stress , but it is not a healthy feeling. I'm still able to sit in , even though I have almost no base miles, but the zest for mid week rides is gone, --- like I said, unless its on one of my vintage Italian lightweights


The downhill stuff --- I originally started that as a way to enjoy cycling as a heavier Clyde, -- initially it was just for giggles, but I have a extensive motocross background, -- and I kind of took to it quickly, - even with being quite large at the time --- I made some plans for some races, even mapping out specific weekends to get to closer locations for local race series and things like that, because, even with some native ability, - you have to learn to ride the rocks ------- but civilian life has gotten in the way and just finding someone to house sit while I go hit some slopes in NM or something for a couple of days has been an enormous pain (I reside on a acreage with a bunch of critters)

Note: I CAN ride my mountain bike without necessarily feeling like I have to go racing - taking little weekend expeditions to great ride spots is mad fun that I recommend to anyone
I have no depth of knowledge or experience with training as a general concept, I've only been cycling for 3.5 years and I only know myself. So what do I know about how usual or unusual being sick of training is?

The only thing that I'd say on that is: if your goal is to race, I'd figure out a way to make the training palatable. Maybe this is my perspective as a 50 year old woman, but I can't imagine things would go very well for me if I wanted to race but couldn't stomach the training. I could see a young fit guy with a boatload of talent maybe getting away with that and still managing to have fun racing. But if you're not that guy, it might not be fun at all to try to race without training. It might just be frustrating. Which is really not something you need right now.

It sounds like you have a lot on your plate, between the divorce and the homestead and work and needing to lose weight and wanting to race. My life is pretty swell now but I spent 10 years digging myself out of a pretty deep hole which included some of the same things you're experiencing- unsolvable family issues over which I had zero control that played out over years, the need to lose significant weight, 100% lack of physical fitness, mega job stress. Trying to solve too many things at once can just lead to not wanting to do anything. You just have to chip away at it, little by little.

Maybe it would make sense to take a step back and reassess. Do you like cycling for its own sake? Maybe you should just use cycling as something to improve the quality of your life and burn some calories for the immediate future. Take the stress of "needing to train" off your plate right now. Ride the MTB socially. Get through the divorce. Decide if the homestead & critters are more important to you than travelling for cycling and racing (because they're somewhat incompatible things on a practical level). Not sure of the exact details of what you should do, just giving you some food for thought. Mostly the idea is that it's sounds like you need to simplify your life right now.
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Old 08-05-16, 04:11 PM
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Originally Posted by Heathpack
Big Goals Can Backfire. Olympians Show Us What to Focus on Instead. - Science of Us

https://apple.news/A8JyjMQUBQnKLMotSWJyiiQ

...
I absolutely love this quote from the article:

“The track doesn’t care about your feelings,” she said. “You’ve just got to move forward.”
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Old 08-05-16, 07:53 PM
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Bikes are fun. If you aren't having fun you're doing something wrong.

Problem with racing bikes is that we get a lot of personal baggage tied up in it and sometimes lose perspective. And there's always the finish-o-meter and Offthebackistan passport staring us in the face. It can be hard to shrug off a "poor" performance, and we're type "A" OCD idiots in the first place, so the answer to everything is to train more/harder/longer.

Bad answer.

Add in life stuff and it's pretty easy to go from "I am killing this workout" to "This workout is killing me" for the exact same ride. 80% of training is almost all mental.

I just went through this with a client who lives in a really poor place to ride and has a ton of job stress that was making him miss rides and workouts. I could read it coming. He asked my advice and it was pretty straight forward. If it's not fun, and you're not getting anything positive out of it, why do it? I told him my feelings wouldn't be hurt if he quit, he could always restart, and that riding should be something he looked forward to. So he quit. I probably could have come up with some "work through this" answer but barring some major change in job and location, that would have been just dragging out the inevitable.

If you have a goal it's often easier to stay motivated. Or not.

I'm going to track nats Monday. I went and rode my MTB today. Could have gone out and done some 2k intervals on the fixed gear. But I really needed the mental recharge of chasing quail up the trail and petting a few hiker dogs.
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Old 08-05-16, 08:58 PM
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Originally Posted by Racer Ex
client who lives in a really poor place to ride and has a ton of job stress that was making him miss rides and workouts.


I'm going to track nats Monday..

Hey! I'm not working with you yet ??!!

Pssst -- your a week late -- I thought that was last week in T-Town
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Old 08-05-16, 09:44 PM
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Sounds like you're a little burned out, it happens. Especially when your cycling goals are competition or performance related. I've been there.
I started biking when I took up triathlons 30 years ago. For me Triathlon training started off with doing as much as I could within the confines of family and work. After finally becoming competitive and years of training, I got tired. Then started to see how little I could do and still remain competitive. Eventually only signing up for races made me train, no races no training. Eventually I quit racing/training and concentrated on my family and business. Fast forward 15 or 20 years a new life, wife,family and business and started training again. This time no timing my runs, bike rides or swims. Way more fun. Signed up for some races/triathlons and am only keeping track of my average speed on the bike. So much more enjoyable, however the now 50 to 54 age groupers are still tough!
Take a break, change your goals, appreciate all rides, drop the race training mindset or stop timing your rides til you feel better. Good luck brother.
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Old 08-06-16, 01:29 PM
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Originally Posted by DMC707
Hey! I'm not working with you yet ??!!

Pssst -- your a week late -- I thought that was last week in T-Town
T-Town was yutes nats. Old Fogey Nats at Indy. I did do elites a few years back, it's one of those things where if it's close I'd go, but there's not a lot of sense in flying across the country to race the kids and find out I'm old.

I knew that already
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