Motivation/Fitness hole, slog through or rest up?

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Motivation/Fitness hole, slog through or rest up?

Postby Jashy » Thu Oct 18, 2007 12:22 pm

Hey guys, sorry in advance for the ramblings but I'm in a bit of a hole at the moment. After doing 9 weeks of structured training, slowly building up hours on the bike, I'd made absolutely phenomenal gains so I took last week off to shake off any accumulated fatigue. However this week I just can't get it going, I feel flat on the bike and am literally forcing myself to get the 6 hours on the bike I planned. this is down from the 9 hour week I did 2 weeks ago that felt relatively easy.

Its obvious that my body is just taking a rest at the moment, catching a breath after such a fantastic increase in fitness. The question is, do I keep my hours up and continue to force myself to ride, or do I ride only when I feel like it (which given my current state of mind wouldn't be much)?

Perhaps its just my mindset thats a bit off. I still enjoy my rides but every ride has a purpose now, with a set HR zone. I don't really go out and just cruise around anymore, maybe that's what's missing? Thoughts? Ideas?
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by BNA » Thu Oct 18, 2007 1:04 pm

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Postby Birdman » Thu Oct 18, 2007 1:04 pm

I was thinkin halfway through there, you seem flat and a bit unbothered. Just go out and have a cruisy warmup about 5km's or so.

It will feel like a comfortable ride and easy, but you wont want to go any faster, for some reason the legs and lungs don't allow it. IMO just push through it. If you are finding it hard keep that steady pace, go home and wait till tomorrow.

Thats only my opinion, i was in the same predicament and i had to break through it.

Mitch.
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Postby europa » Thu Oct 18, 2007 1:14 pm

This is the problem with 'training'.

Just get on the bike and go for a ride. If you're not keeping records, leave the computer home. Head off down to the beach for an icecream.

I periodically ride down to Willunga for a pasty. Sure, the pasty isn't good for me diet wise, but they are very tasty, and sitting out in front of the bakery munching away and watching the town at work is relaxing and fun, and when I get home, I've got another 70km to put in my log :D

You don't have to ride at a fast pace. There's nothing wrong with a meander along a bike path.

It's not your body that's burned out, it's your mind, so give the mind something pleasant to do. You'll probably find the pace lifting anyway :wink:

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Re: Motivation/Fitness hole, slog through or rest up?

Postby LuckyPierre » Thu Oct 18, 2007 1:24 pm

Jashy wrote: ... The question is, do I keep my hours up and continue to force myself to ride, or do I ride only when I feel like it ...

Most of it's already been said, but it sounds like you need to ride for fun - then sneak back into training.
If you keep pushing the training aspect of your riding, you risk a lot more than any setback in fitness you might see if you just give yourself a week or two of having fun.
My big tip - do a Richard - ride somewhere to get / do something rather than just to ride. You'll probably enjoy yourself even more if you can do it in a group - there's nothing quite so soul-destroying as long periods of training on your own.
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Postby DavidH » Thu Oct 18, 2007 2:05 pm

I agree with Peter and Richard. Take a few days off from training but don't stop riding. Just hop on the bike and enjoy a gentle ride for a change. By the sounds of it you have made great gains - if you keep the legs turning over you aren't going to lose any of the gains.

After a few days of cruising you'll be motivated to kick it into high gear again.

I always try to have one or two easier rides a week just to enjoy the scenery. And by easier I mean dropping the usual training average speed down by 1-2km/h.

Stick with it mate! It's definitely worth it.

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Postby Kalgrm » Thu Oct 18, 2007 2:10 pm

As others have said, it sounds more psychological than physiological.

Try riding a different bike for a little while (eg MTB) if you have one. Or chuck the bike in the car and drive a couple of hours to a new place and explore it on the bike.

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Postby mikesbytes » Thu Oct 18, 2007 2:41 pm

If you not enthused, then your not enjoying yourself and if your not enjoying yourself why are you doing it?

As per some of the other posters, I'd go and do something else, like some sprints up a local hill such as razorback or something smaller.
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Postby europa » Thu Oct 18, 2007 2:58 pm

Kalgrm wrote:Try riding a different bike for a little while (eg MTB) if you have one. Or chuck the bike in the car and drive a couple of hours to a new place and explore it on the bike.


That's where the Europa fits in with me - a completely different ride. Maybe you need a fixie :wink:

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Postby Birdman » Thu Oct 18, 2007 3:07 pm

Come on guys you have to give it to Richard it has been quite a while since he has tried to push a fixie onto anyone.

Actually i think it has been a while since you have written the word fixie. :D

Hurrah!!! :lol:

Mitch.

oh...i love the exploring idea too!!! i love getting out on unused roads and cruising along
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Postby Bluerider » Thu Oct 18, 2007 4:24 pm

Whats a Fixie ! bah humbug :lol:

Thats the worst and know your feelings, for the soccer season I train extra and the practice match's get you into tune, if you take a week off it's like starting all over again !
Just got to get back on the bike as others have said and get on with it.
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Postby Deanj » Thu Oct 18, 2007 4:52 pm

Maybe don't pay to much attention to the HRM zones for a few rides. Just go out and ride at the speed you feel comfortable.
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Postby inaminit » Thu Oct 18, 2007 5:23 pm

Like the others have said...throw in some enjoyable variety.

All my rides since being back on the bike in July have been purely for "training", with each and every ride having a specific reason and defined target to achieve. Although I loved all the rides, saw some huge improvements, and achieved things I never thought possible, they were becoming a bit dull.

That was until Saturday when we bought my wife her first bike. Now in addition to my training rides, I'm also going along for her rides as well and using them for my recovery. We've been out for 3 rides together 7km Saturday in 25mins, 11.1km in 35 mins on Sunday, and 14.1km in 46mins on Wednesday.

Although the speed and distance is less than my normal recovery rides, I am thoroughly enjoying them and I'm actually noticing the scenery now! They are totally relaxing and I have found that I've been able to put in a bit extra effort and have a new enthusiasm for the training rides.
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Postby Mulger bill » Thu Oct 18, 2007 6:47 pm

At risk of overkill....

Get an MTB Jashy, twice a week go out for a 45-60 minute ride, no knicks, no HRM, no fancy shoes, no goals, nothing but a fiver in your pocket and a song in your heart :) Unleash your inner 16 year old.

Never forget that riding is the second funnest thing you can do with your time, concentrate on a regime too much and it becomes a chore.

Shaun

BTW, the MTB gives you more options when "just riding about", there's more rough than smooth paths in the world.
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Postby toolonglegs » Thu Oct 18, 2007 8:38 pm

Alot being said but I will throw in my 2 cents.9 weeks is a lot if this is your first big go at training,cycling is one of those sports (great sports) that the youngsters don't win everything!,there is a reason riders peak in late 20's...early 30's.That is because it takes a long time to get the conditioning... mental as well as phsysical.Think at least 2 or 3 years.So if after 9 weeks you are struggling,don't worry about it.I suggest stop riding during the week,then by the weekend you will be chomping at the bit to get back on the bike.So you lose a bit of fitness,if you are not training for a big race/ride then it is no big deal.It might be in your head but it is probably because you are tired,better to rest than wear yourself down and get sick (it will happen).
I have been training hard for last weekend,2 months slowly building up the k's...i am way off peak fitness/weight but am really happy with how much I have got back in that time,just like you have got.But now the 24hour is over I feel a bit flat,tired and even had a killer migraine today.I wont be riding at all during the week,yeah i will probably put on a kilo,lose some fitness but not very much after such a big ride...no big deal,by Saturday I will be hitting the hills or racing and will be ready for the next goal.Not sure what that is yet!!!.
So don't worry too much,just enjoy a few days off and KNOW that when you get back on after a rest it will because you can't wait instead of forcing yourself to. :D :D :D
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Postby Jashy » Fri Oct 19, 2007 2:23 am

Look at all these responses! Thanks for all the advice and kind words guys :).

I took your advice Richard and rode to a friends place about 21k away, I kept the HR monitor on, but I didn't look at it once, just soaking up the scenery and enjoying the ride. It was much slower than normal (24 km/h) but it was a very pleasant ride even with the light headwind. After spending an hour or so there I started home. It felt really good, with the wind on my back and the slight downhill all the way home. So all in all a refreshing change.
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Postby Jashy » Fri Oct 19, 2007 2:44 am

toolonglegs wrote:Alot being said but I will throw in my 2 cents.9 weeks is a lot if this is your first big go at training,cycling is one of those sports (great sports) that the youngsters don't win everything!,there is a reason riders peak in late 20's...early 30's.That is because it takes a long time to get the conditioning... mental as well as phsysical.Think at least 2 or 3 years.So if after 9 weeks you are struggling,don't worry about it.I suggest stop riding during the week,then by the weekend you will be chomping at the bit to get back on the bike.So you lose a bit of fitness,if you are not training for a big race/ride then it is no big deal.It might be in your head but it is probably because you are tired,better to rest than wear yourself down and get sick (it will happen).
I have been training hard for last weekend,2 months slowly building up the k's...i am way off peak fitness/weight but am really happy with how much I have got back in that time,just like you have got.But now the 24hour is over I feel a bit flat,tired and even had a killer migraine today.I wont be riding at all during the week,yeah i will probably put on a kilo,lose some fitness but not very much after such a big ride...no big deal,by Saturday I will be hitting the hills or racing and will be ready for the next goal.Not sure what that is yet!!!.
So don't worry too much,just enjoy a few days off and KNOW that when you get back on after a rest it will because you can't wait instead of forcing yourself to. :D :D :D


I'm not totally new to training. I was training/racing a few years back, albeit not with the structure and planning as this time around. Unfortunately as you've pointed out it looks like I'm trying to get fit faster than my body and mind wants to.

Once again thanks everyone for the responses, I think I knew what the answer was as soon as I wrote down the question, but I just needed it to be said.
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Postby Bnej » Fri Oct 19, 2007 8:34 am

I tell myself I'm just going for a nice easy ride cause it's a nice day. Later I find out how I was lying. ;)
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Postby mikesbytes » Fri Oct 19, 2007 10:26 am

Bnej wrote:I tell myself I'm just going for a nice easy ride cause it's a nice day. Later I find out how I was lying. ;)


+1
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Postby europa » Fri Oct 19, 2007 12:40 pm

If you want to push your intensity up, just ride with someone else. It's worth an extra 10 bpm on your average HR.

Glad it's working for you mate.

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Postby Halfanewb » Fri Oct 19, 2007 12:58 pm

mikesbytes wrote:
Bnej wrote:I tell myself I'm just going for a nice easy ride cause it's a nice day. Later I find out how I was lying. ;)


+1


+2 :)

this is where the passion kicks in!!! break through this barrier jashy and on the flipside of it you will have a different problem - if you don't ride you get withdrawals and you start breathing heavy when slipping on the leg warmers :shock:
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Postby MichaelB » Fri Oct 19, 2007 2:01 pm

When my alarm went at 4:30am after a crappy nights sleep due to th elittl;e one, it took me a few minutes to win the debate of getting up and riding.

I amde it and had a good ride and enjoyed it.

Keep going, but as others have alluded, think of it as something less than "you have to do", but want to do as you enjoy it.

Keep riding and smiling ....
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Postby Jashy » Sun Oct 21, 2007 11:34 am

I raced today at Smeaton Grange, they put in B grade because I won C last week. I was hoping to just be able to stay in the group to the end, that was until they decided to run a combined group of A and B. Just 4 laps in I was absolutely exhausted and about to fall off the back when the pace eased a little, I managed to stay on for 40 mins but an attack at 3 laps to go was just too much for me. I wish I could have held on to finish but I was a C grader in an A grade race. I'm quite happy with how long I managed to stay on however, and the fact that my first real ride this year was in August makes me even happier. I didn't think I would be anywhere near this fast so soon.

Even with this problems I've had this week, I still managed to clock up nearly 7 hours and 200k. But most importantly I feel like I have energy in my legs again, even after the grueling race. :)
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Postby mikesbytes » Sun Oct 21, 2007 4:10 pm

Hey Jashy, they really threw you in the deep end.

And thats a classic lesson, hold on for dear life, because the pace will ease at some point.
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Postby KillerHeadWind » Sun Oct 21, 2007 6:34 pm

Jashy wrote:I raced today at Smeaton Grange, they put in B grade because I won C last week. I was hoping to just be able to stay in the group to the end, that was until they decided to run a combined group of A and B. Just 4 laps in I was absolutely exhausted and about to fall off the back when the pace eased a little, I managed to stay on for 40 mins but an attack at 3 laps to go was just too much for me. I wish I could have held on to finish but I was a C grader in an A grade race. I'm quite happy with how long I managed to stay on however, and the fact that my first real ride this year was in August makes me even happier. I didn't think I would be anywhere near this fast so soon.

Even with this problems I've had this week, I still managed to clock up nearly 7 hours and 200k. But most importantly I feel like I have energy in my legs again, even after the grueling race. :)


Great effort to hold on for as long as you did. It was amazing to watch the acceleration of A grade last week, and I don't think I'd last one lap with them.
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