Techniques for pushing oneself

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Techniques for pushing oneself

Postby tripstobaltimore » Sun Dec 06, 2009 1:22 pm

In a race, how do you guys push yourselves? I find that this is a problem of mine. While I'm quite physically fit, I know I can race a lot faster if I learn to push myself as hard as I can. I find that I have a fear of blowing up to early, so I end up not going as hard as I know I can. Does anyone have any mental techniques/strategies that help them push themselves to the absolute limit?
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Re: Techniques for pushing oneself

Postby Redbull » Sun Dec 06, 2009 2:06 pm

all you ever need to know about HTFU
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Re: Techniques for pushing oneself

Postby Bantam Roosta » Sun Dec 06, 2009 5:52 pm

Jens Voigt wrote:Shut up body and do what I tell you....

I get paid to hurt other people, how good is that?

Haha, I love it.

With regard to your original question, I can't really help. I suffer the same problem and end a race knowing I could have put more in, but at the time was hurting and didn't push through.
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Re: Techniques for pushing oneself

Postby toolonglegs » Sun Dec 06, 2009 6:08 pm

I usually have more trouble during training than racing.
But a few things I do think about if struggling in a race...
-You spend all these hours training...what a waste of time...HTFU!
-You spend all this money for racing...what a waste of money...HTFU!
-I know if I finish this race having done nothing I will be p'ed off so HTFU and do something!
-It is only 100km's...suck it in...HTFU and rest tommorow!
-etc etc etc...just HTFU!
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Re: Techniques for pushing oneself

Postby JV911 » Mon Dec 07, 2009 8:01 am

tripstobaltimore wrote:Does anyone have any mental techniques/strategies that help them push themselves to the absolute limit?


- if you're not pushing move up a grade and you will be forced to push
- chase down breakaways
- try to ride off the front
- during training try to PB around a set course (not every training ride though)
- HTFU
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Re: Techniques for pushing oneself

Postby tripstobaltimore » Mon Dec 07, 2009 10:26 am

I race triathlons, so there's no possibility of moving up a grade. I was thinking more of techniques as to how you tell your body "shut up body your doing this" and keep pushing it.
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Re: Techniques for pushing oneself

Postby sogood » Mon Dec 07, 2009 10:30 am

tripstobaltimore wrote:I race triathlons, so there's no possibility of moving up a grade. I was thinking more of techniques as to how you tell your body "shut up body your doing this" and keep pushing it.

Music! Distract your mind with pleasant things. Or keep thinking what a bastard the guy in front is, owed you $1M for over a year and have no intention of paying you back. :wink:
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Re: Techniques for pushing oneself

Postby lukas » Mon Dec 07, 2009 1:00 pm

I don't race, but when I'm starting to hurt, and mentally convincing myself to pull it back a few cogs, I ask myself what I'm actually afraid of. When I think about it, the answer is not a great deal. A nice slab of suffering, then perhaps a spectacular blow up. Either way I'm going to get home to a nice shower and feed, and come back to do it all again. 8)

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Re: Techniques for pushing oneself

Postby Andrew69 » Mon Dec 07, 2009 1:03 pm

tripstobaltimore wrote:I race triathlons, so there's no possibility of moving up a grade. I was thinking more of techniques as to how you tell your body "shut up body your doing this" and keep pushing it.

Just aim to catch the rider ahead.
Having said that, dont forget that it is very easy to push too hard on the bike, and then blow up on the run.

Thats where I find a power meter invaluable, pacing.
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Re: Techniques for pushing oneself

Postby tripstobaltimore » Mon Dec 07, 2009 8:43 pm

I'm racing shorter distances at the moment (sprints and oly's) so it's kinda difficult to push hard enough to blow up on the run. In my mind i'm worried about this (so I don't push as hard as I can), but I know it's not really a problem.

I'm thinking of taping a quote to my aero bars (something like the sastre quote) and everytime I back off, looking down at it and reminding myself to push harder. I'll see how that goes next time :lol:

I do find having a 'carrot' (a person in front of me) helps a great deal. It's when you're slogging away by yourself and your mind wanders that you tend to slack off.
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Re: Techniques for pushing oneself

Postby JustinS007 » Tue Dec 08, 2009 9:03 am

tripstobaltimore wrote:I find that I have a fear of blowing up to early, so I end up not going as hard as I know I can.

Go and intentionally 'blow up' in training a few times. Pick a tough course and smash it from the start. Make yourself fail to go at that intensity the entire way. This will teach you a lot about where your limit lies and what your true abilities are. Then you will start to get a feel for where you race limits are.

You are saying that you know you could have gone harder in a race, but how can you be certain of this? We often like to think that we could have, but it's hard to trust 'gut feel' in these circumstances if you really think about it. I really like that you want to go harder at what you do. Keep it up.
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Re: Techniques for pushing oneself

Postby drubie » Tue Dec 08, 2009 7:04 pm

JustinS007 wrote:
tripstobaltimore wrote:I find that I have a fear of blowing up to early, so I end up not going as hard as I know I can.

Go and intentionally 'blow up' in training a few times. Pick a tough course and smash it from the start. Make yourself fail to go at that intensity the entire way. This will teach you a lot about where your limit lies and what your true abilities are. Then you will start to get a feel for where you race limits are.


This sounds pretty good to me - I'm hopeless in that I have a tendency to misjudge effort in the first half of a race in the heat of the moment and end up shattered. I'd have done a bit better last weekend if I had saved up some of that HTFU for the end of the race. The really good handicap racers in the club pretty clearly know when to go for it and when to back off, but finding that out is the trick.
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Re: Techniques for pushing oneself

Postby tripstobaltimore » Wed Dec 09, 2009 1:39 pm

JustinS007 wrote:
tripstobaltimore wrote:I find that I have a fear of blowing up to early, so I end up not going as hard as I know I can.

Go and intentionally 'blow up' in training a few times. Pick a tough course and smash it from the start. Make yourself fail to go at that intensity the entire way. This will teach you a lot about where your limit lies and what your true abilities are. Then you will start to get a feel for where you race limits are.

You are saying that you know you could have gone harder in a race, but how can you be certain of this? We often like to think that we could have, but it's hard to trust 'gut feel' in these circumstances if you really think about it. I really like that you want to go harder at what you do. Keep it up.


I have a good idea of where my threshold is, it's just that threshold efforts require some degree of 'flirting' - it's not a clear cut line. In a race its a lot harder to make yourself flirt with the threshold line, as if you blow up, its all over. I keep telling myself "next time, just smash it", but when you are out there, it's a lot harder to do.
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Re: Techniques for pushing oneself

Postby Wayfarer » Wed Dec 09, 2009 5:22 pm

Perhaps you need some power training in the gym, so you can use quick sprints from time to time. powerfully sprinting for a couple of seconds, then maintaining the speed you get up to will improve your avg speed.
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Re: Techniques for pushing oneself

Postby twizzle » Tue Dec 15, 2009 8:38 am

Andrew69 wrote:
tripstobaltimore wrote:I race triathlons, so there's no possibility of moving up a grade. I was thinking more of techniques as to how you tell your body "shut up body your doing this" and keep pushing it.

Just aim to catch the rider ahead.
Having said that, dont forget that it is very easy to push too hard on the bike, and then blow up on the run.

Thats where I find a power meter invaluable, pacing.


+1 - I won a C grade time trial on Sunday, even beating the climbers in grade and half of B grade as well. Couldn't have done it without the PM, because I was able to keep the power consistent rather than pacing on HR or my (hopeless) "rate of perceived exertion". In the end, I timed it perfectly, HR peaking at 97% as I crossed the line. PM beats the hell out of RPE.

If you are reaching the point where you want to back off, it's because you have gone lactic and your power production is failing and it's all over. On a road race, sometime you have to do this to stay with the pack, but there's no point on a time trial.
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Re: Techniques for pushing oneself

Postby goneriding » Mon Dec 21, 2009 2:35 pm

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Re: Techniques for pushing oneself

Postby foo on patrol » Mon Jan 04, 2010 1:23 pm

tripstobaltimore wrote:In a race, how do you guys push yourselves? I find that this is a problem of mine. While I'm quite physically fit, I know I can race a lot faster if I learn to push myself as hard as I can. I find that I have a fear of blowing up to early, so I end up not going as hard as I know I can. Does anyone have any mental techniques/strategies that help them push themselves to the absolute limit?


I don't now about these power metre thingies, but I found when I was racing, that by just saying over and over to myself that, my legs weren't hurting,and that everyone elses legs were hurting more helped. In saying this,it did not happen over night. It will all come down to how determined you are,and whether you are prepared to make yourself hurt more :?:
Think of it this way. :idea: Imagine that you have a nut you need to get off a bolt,but try as you may,it just won't budge.So you take a deep breath,and summons all your energy,into one last go at it. As well as this you are also more than a little angry at the time,so this feeling is raising you adrenalin levels to,which when used with your train of thought,in having one last go at it. This is what you are striving for,and knowing how to harness it to your advantage, is the hard part.
Practice and practice it. This is the only way you will get better at it,and the fitter you get the easier it will become. Bit like nervous energy,to much and you will go like crap.
Hope this gives you something to work on, not easy, lust mind over matter! :)

Gary
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Re: Techniques for pushing oneself

Postby brentono » Mon Jan 04, 2010 5:00 pm

Gary,
Your words ring bells, as we are of the same era...
How we were instructed to control our minds, with "will"
Great words, and ones to follow.
Since leaving cycling have studied Chen Tai Chi, and now understand,
that what we envoke, as you say...
So you take a deep breath,and summons all your energy,into one last go at it.

... this is (inner) mustering our "Chi"... only wish I had understood these studies (Chen Tai Chi),
to their ultimate levels, when racing before, could have been, possibly, "invincible"... beyond belief, one might say.
A recent example of a Premier (Wu Shu) troupe travelling show, was to move across razor sharp sword blades,
at speed, using only mind, and with a scientific measured effect of defying gravity... all's possible.
(with little or no signs of negative effects, truely inspirational, and no tricks needed)
Thought of the times when you throw on the line in a track finish, willing yourself to win, and
basically lifting yourself across the line, envoking all your power, in one final lift of the bike and self.
Mind over matter.

It is a discipline, I recommend for all, for balance of mind and body, and for strength and power.
Worth a look... for any of the young-ones that may wish to achieve something, in the sport of Cycling.
Technology is OK, but so is thousand plus years old spiritual disciplines, eh!
Just my 2c, and a bit of a rave, hope I didn't take over your space?
Thanks,
BrentonO
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Re: Techniques for pushing oneself

Postby foo on patrol » Mon Jan 04, 2010 6:17 pm

Hey Brenton,
Mate no dramas from me :!: I think that if someone, whether young or old, asks for some help, and I can help out with some thought on it,and then a bloke that has more experience at a international level, comes in and says that is a good idear.Then I am more than happy for you give your wisdom on the same topic. :D I never got to my potential due to ,getting hit buy a truck, and then working in transport, so I am only to glad to help if I can. :)
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Re: Techniques for pushing oneself

Postby brentono » Tue Jan 05, 2010 8:43 am

foo said-
I never got to my potential due to ,getting hit buy a truck

Young, and just getting going, I got hit in the back (car), training, flew throught the air for 30-40 metres,
no helmet, landed on my shoulder (collarbone broke) If I landed on my head, well? no worries. ;)
That made me HTFU (as stated here) took a few months to get going again.
A Truck, that's heavy duty. That should have tuffen'd ya up, mate. (Smile)... we all may never
reach our full potential, only WE, each and everyone of us, personally, know that.
Bit like all the talk here, sometimes, amongst the players, competative, aggressive and tuff.
In real life, it makes me wonder, how hard they really are?
The competition, is with yourself, and what you tell yourself when YOU want to HTFU!
(not you personally, Gary, but the ones here who repeat the same questions,
and don't want to hear the answers- train more, train harder, push more, push harder... they know ;)
Or just ride to enjoy it, racing or touring, which probably works out for the best.
"And more $ won't make you a better rider... unless it buys you time."

Enjoy yours.
Cheers
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