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  1. #1
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    Unhappy I just can't seem to find a happy-medium.

    When I'm "on", I'm a force to be reckoned with. I have endless motivation to do the hardest training sessions. I'm mentally sharp and the legs feel fresh. I eat right. I recover well. I look ahead on the schedule and have goals that motivate me. You know the drill.

    This is how I've felt for the past two months or so. My Spring and early-Summer Brevets were over. They had zapped my top-end speed but I had a base that was miles wide. I was building and seeing steady improvement. The speed was coming back to my legs. All was well.

    Then comes the setback. Family responsibilities took over for a week. My wife went away on business and I was a single dad. I was doign some serious scrambling with the kids. I even took it to the next level by taking my daughter on a camping trip with my bike club last weekend. All this took me out of my normal routine. I miss a few training sessions, eat like a horse, and it all comes crashing down.

    In just a week, I'm completely void of motivation. The few pounds I was working to loose have returned. The legs feel heavy and sluggish. A glance at the schedule doesn't help. The season-ending races that I was training for begin this weekend. Not a good time to fall in a rut.

    Unfortunately, this trend repeats itself over and over again. I go through incredable highs and lows throughout the year. I go from Euro-pro to couch potato. I never seem to be able to just maintain a steady rythym.

    I find that near continuous bike related stuff to be overwhelming. With constant tinkering of bikes, rediculously-hard training sessions, race stresses, nutrition, sleep/recovery, I feel like I never get a break. I eventually ask myself "Why". So how many of you go through this type of scenario? How do you stay on target while dodging bullets along the way? Am I just too involved for my own good? What do you do when you find yourself asking "Why"?
    Pain is weakness leaving the body!!!
    Work to Eat / Eat to Live / Live to Ride / Ride to Work

  2. #2
    Domestic Drivin' E-Thug
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    Quote Originally Posted by biknben
    When I'm "on", I'm a force to be reckoned with. I have endless motivation to do the hardest training sessions. I'm mentally sharp and the legs feel fresh. I eat right. I recover well. I look ahead on the schedule and have goals that motivate me. You know the drill.

    This is how I've felt for the past two months or so. My Spring and early-Summer Brevets were over. They had zapped my top-end speed but I had a base that was miles wide. I was building and seeing steady improvement. The speed was coming back to my legs. All was well.

    Then comes the setback. Family responsibilities took over for a week. My wife went away on business and I was a single dad. I was doign some serious scrambling with the kids. I even took it to the next level by taking my daughter on a camping trip with my bike club last weekend. All this took me out of my normal routine. I miss a few training sessions, eat like a horse, and it all comes crashing down.

    In just a week, I'm completely void of motivation. The few pounds I was working to loose have returned. The legs feel heavy and sluggish. A glance at the schedule doesn't help. The season-ending races that I was training for begin this weekend. Not a good time to fall in a rut.

    Unfortunately, this trend repeats itself over and over again. I go through incredable highs and lows throughout the year. I go from Euro-pro to couch potato. I never seem to be able to just maintain a steady rythym.

    I find that near continuous bike related stuff to be overwhelming. With constant tinkering of bikes, rediculously-hard training sessions, race stresses, nutrition, sleep/recovery, I feel like I never get a break. I eventually ask myself "Why". So how many of you go through this type of scenario? How do you stay on target while dodging bullets along the way? Am I just too involved for my own good? What do you do when you find yourself asking "Why"?
    I think you already know the answer to this but ummm.... take a break? Racing isn't worth it at this level if it's not for fun. If your racing and training become a chore then it means that you're experiencing burnout and it's time to turn if off a little. It doesn't mean that you have to stop riding or training, but just remove the structure a little and some of the intensity and plan to come back stronger a few weeks down the road. Do a true basemiles ride on the weekend instead of a race or your local hammerfest. Take a Tuesday/Wednesday off just because. In all probability, you'll come make fresher and chomping a little to get back out there and make yourself suffer again. Cycling can definitely become an addiction just like everything else, and when you race, you have to watch out for those signals and act accordingly. I've eaten some pre-reg fees in the past just because I realized it would be pointless to race. There is no "big race" really if you're an amateur. They all feel important, but you have to remind yourself that there's always another race on the calendar. Your plateaus are always annoying, but in the sport of cycling, the plateaus come more regularly then the big gains.

  3. #3
    hrv
    hrv is offline
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    Same boat here. Except I got to asking 'Why?' back in May. Had a ton of base built starting in October. Been biking but no racing, and no real serious training. Mostly doing other recreational stuff. Now I'm ready for another change, and that's back into racing. Next one is this Saturday. I'm in for a shock, but a welcome one. Just go with the flow, don't sweat it. Life's too short.

  4. #4
    BrooklynVelo
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    Hate to say it

    But it sounds like you're just ready for the season to be over. I know exactly how you feel. I ended up ending my season a little earlier than I had wanted to, simply because I was too tired and unmotivated. All that did was make my race results suffer and turn me into a not so nice person to my wife, who is a saint with the racing in the spring/summer/early fall (she comes out to watch my races at 6.30 on Saturday mornings every now and then and she'd come to my crits too if they weren't in the middle of nowhere, I know I've got it good).

    How many more races do you have in the season? Is taking off early a possibility or is Skylands still pushing strong through the end of the season? I know that BVF is (I believe) ending the season with the Bear Mtn race and the PP race on the 11th of Sept. Since I'm going on vacation next week and my fall grad school schedule starts on the 5th I won't be anywhere near in shape to race the next weekend so I was able to call it quits and take a little time to run and to enjoy being on the bike again. You wouldn't believe how much it helps.
    Damn the Man, Save the Empire
    Brooklyn Velo Force

  5. #5
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    Overtrainer's anonymous

    Quote Originally Posted by biknben
    I find that near continuous bike related stuff to be overwhelming. With constant tinkering of bikes, rediculously-hard training sessions, race stresses, nutrition, sleep/recovery, I feel like I never get a break. I eventually ask myself "Why". So how many of you go through this type of scenario? How do you stay on target while dodging bullets along the way? Am I just too involved for my own good? What do you do when you find yourself asking "Why"?
    Classic symptoms of overtraining. The "why" you should ask is why you started riding bikes in the first place. Was it ever fun, or are you one of those people who only enjoys something by accomplishing specific goals? Time for some Zen.

  6. #6
    Bike Addict
    Reputation: Merlin's Avatar
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    I feel your pain

    This time of year is when I've "popped" in the past. I've done 14 races so far this year and only 2 of those were crit's the rest were road or MTB races over 2 hours in length. I've never felt this good in mid August. I've been keeping the intensity at a minimuum and taking time off when i feel wasted.
    My .02cents, you sound over-trained and your taking the whole thing to seriously, which is causing your lack of motivation, BECAUSE YOUR NOT HAVING FUN!
    Take a week and just spin most of the time, zone 1-2, maybe a few hard efforts to keep the legs fresh. I bet you will be even faster then if you did your real hard training efforts.
    Ride to eat, eat to ride.

  7. #7
    More Cowbell!
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    Quote Originally Posted by biknben
    Then comes the setback. Family responsibilities took over for a week. My wife went away on business and I was a single dad. I was doign some serious scrambling with the kids. I even took it to the next level by taking my daughter on a camping trip with my bike club last weekend. All this took me out of my normal routine. I miss a few training sessions, eat like a horse, and it all comes crashing down.
    You might not like to hear what I've got to saw but here goes ...

    I was a dedicated rock climber and mountain biker for years. I was pulling down hard as a climber. All my vacations were climbing related. I'd head off for the weekend and climb all day Saturday and Sunday and drive home late Sunday night. Doing things like hiking in at 5am, climbing all day, then getting back to the car at dusk or dark were common. Then I'd hit the climbing gym a couple days a week. In the meantime, I mountain biked on the off days and could do some epic rides (not a racer) on the mtb.

    Then I had kids. They are now the numero uno thing for me and the other stuff gets stuffed in around the corners. I quit climbing almost overnight. I couldn't justify spending whole weekends off with my climbing buds. Weekends are for family. Mountain biking was the same way. It was at least 45 minutes to the good trails -- then factor in 2-4 hours on the trails and that puts a dent in most of the day.

    I might also add that as far as climbing and mountain biking go, the thing that got me off was pushing myself as far as I could. If I couldn't do hard stuff, I just wasn't going to be able to have fun. I'd always want to do that hard climb or epic ride and the fact that I was top roping at the kiddie crag or doing laps around the metro trail wasn't going to cut it. I was all or nothing.

    That is what brought me to road riding. I could leave from my doorstep. I could cycle early in the morning before work. I could commute by bike. I could make riding almost transparent from my family life. And I could push hard ... or not. My choice. However, I needed that intensity that I got from climbing and mountain biking. So I decided that I would race cyclocross. The season was pretty compact. The races were short and very spectator friendly. There are plenty of races within 1 hour of my house. And it is intense!

    I want to race more. There is a velodrome not too far away and track racing is soooooo fun. There are two weekly road race series close to home and they run for 6 months of the year. There is a local crit series that runs 6 weeks in June and July. I want to race, race, race. But I also want to spend time with my family. So I put my effort into training for cyclocross.

    Cross races are only 45 minutes long so you can do reasonably well training 8-10 hours a week with a heavy dose of intensity as the season gets closer. It is perfect for me.

    Family stuff comes up all the time. Enjoy it. Confine your season to a reasonable length. Shoot, I'm sure those brevets were pretty time consuming not to mention logging the prep miles. Seems like that was a pretty good goal for the year -- plus some limited racing. I know you have the desire to be all that you can be. However, life has to have balance.

    NOTE: I don't want you to infer that I'm suggesting that you don't spend enough time with your family. Not at all! I just want to remind you that life happens and that's a good thing! Also, it looks like you had a good time camping (saw the pics you posted in NCD).
    Pro rep, yo!

  8. #8
    use the crosswind
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    we've all been there or are there

    From reading your posts, you've accomplished a lot, done some epic rides. No one can maintain that level indefinitely, and raise a family, without backing off a bit. You may want to incorporate more active recovery rides and rest throughout your season. But right now I agree with most of the other responses that have stressed taking a time out, backing off a bit, and simply rediscovering the joy of being on a bike.

    Every season, especially the last few when I've logged A LOT of early season miles (and I'm not getting younger), I've struggled to maintain motivation through late summer into fall. This year I took it easier than usual early in the year, really tried to log some solid foundation miles. Then gradually ramped it up. I've found that it helped, but I also never felt "the force" that I felt at times in other seasons. I think next year I'll be even more focused in utitlizing periodization, choose some events that I want to excel in, so that I really DO peak a couple of times during the season.

    Good luck mate!
    Although it is not true that all conservatives are stupid people, it is true that most stupid people are conservative.
    --John Stuart Mill

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