Thursday, July 05, 2007

Being True

This is my first season of racing and my first year of working with a coach. Over the past 4 months I have come to a conclusion - training is damn hard. There is a difference between just putting in miles with buddies and actually training. Being true to your training is not easy to do. Also, unless you focus on what you are to do, a training session can morph into just another ride. Being true to your training and committing to the workout is what you have to do to improve. I am realizing that as I see improvement in myself.

I am also finding that as the intensity ratchets up it is important to monitor your nutrition and liquids. Tuesday and Wednesday of this week were rough for me because I let myself get a bit dehydrated after the race on Sunday and a hard interval session on Monday. I took yesterday off and "super hydrated." I feel a hell of a lot better now.

I left work at 4:30pm today with the bike on the Scion and dressed in team kit bound for the Thursday Night Crit. I got to the track to find the gate locked. It had stormed in South Austin all day and the track was soaked. They decided to cancel the races for safety. Keep in mind the track has 10 corners in 0.8 miles. I checked the web site before I left but it appears I missed their cancellation posting by a few minutes. Figures.


Blogger bryan said...

You nailed it, Chris. I learned that lesson a couple of running seasons ago. Anybody can go run, but it's tough to work. Same thing on the bike. I ride with guys who do 200+ miles every week, but they don't work. All they're doing is training to ride 16 mph for two or three hours. A little burst or hill, destroys them.

It helps, for me at least, to think of what I'm going to get out of each ride. Today was race simulation -- holding pace up the hills and over the top, surging on some, etc. It's hard to do by yourself, but I see the results when I go on faster group rides. And I dread the tough days when I get up ... even when I roll down the driveway. That goes away after about 10 minutes, and I love it.

7/5/07, 10:39 PM  
Blogger oldmanandhisbike said...

Chris/Bryan: I like the "just another ride" concept, myself. Training is for young bucks (with talent) like you. More power to you both for sticking with the program and pushing your abilities. When I was involved in organized sports, I always gave it 100% and took a very serious approach to training. It just didn't seem to make sense not to.
But now, I get more out of being on the bike than I do from the competitive side of cycling. I still try to push myself as much as one can to ride longer distances and more difficult routes, but now it is for the benefits of being fit and endorphin rush! I am fully in favor of racing, love to watch it and support those who work hard to be successful at it, but always temper that love with the joy of just riding.

7/6/07, 5:12 AM  
Blogger Chris said...

Bryan - yeah. I can usually turn those "this is going to suck" into "that was awesome" after a few minutes as well.

Oldman - I hear ya brutha. My post was about how it is hard to go from being a recreational cyclist (which I have always been) to trying my hand at organized training. For me it has been difficult to stay on track with the training and not just enjoy the ride like I always have. Because as Bryan says, if you don't train to race conditions, your body won't respond when you need it to in a race. To be honest, I have missed getting on the bike without having an agenda and being hooked up to HR montitors and checking my cadence, etc.

7/6/07, 6:59 AM  
Blogger oldmanandhisbike said...

I understand and applaud you for taking a shot at it. I just can't ride consistantly enough to make the gains necessary to be competitive. It is a lot like my golf game. You have to play regularly and focus on every aspect to improve or just have fun with it.
Call me a slacker, because there are many guys my age and older who are very serious and competitive. There are certain events I will enter and it is a test of my fitness, but I do nothing specific except ride to prepare for it. I have tried more this year to put in extra "laps" or increase my effort on the trail to prepare for a race and it does help. I just can't concentrate on HR's and intervals or mileage vs. time.
I'll leave that to you young pups!

7/6/07, 7:26 AM  
Blogger lauren said...

oh man, yeah, the training hours are so intense. training is so hard and time consuming.

and the focus. you have to try to stay focused.

and then there's family and work and eating and sleeping.

you're tough for trying it. and sticking with it.

i did the road racing and training for 2 years and then fizzled.

7/6/07, 9:28 AM  
Blogger bluecolnago said...

all that serious training sounds like hard work!

7/6/07, 1:22 PM  
Anonymous Fendergal said...

Yes, training is hard and requires concentration, but I am motivated by knowing that I will see results from my training. I'm also motivated knowing that the high intensity will help me drop those few pounds I put on in SE Asia!

I don't really miss those chaotic, sometimes-all-day group rides from years past, but in the fall I treat myself to a few muffin rides to the bakery.

On those days when the ride seems like a death march, having music helps a lot.

7/6/07, 6:44 PM  
Blogger Chris said...

Lauren - did you totally give up on road or do you still race from time to time?

Blue - very true.

Fendergal - Muffin rides sounds awesome. I want to go! We don't have a good bakery around here.

7/6/07, 7:31 PM  
Blogger chatterbox said...

Ah, the training. I'm just finishing up my second year of focused and consistent training. It is a lot of work, and the structure takes a lot more mind share than the opportunistic rides with friends.

It does put a kink in the rides with friends. They want to do scenic meandering with long hills, which doesn't really fit into my training for the most part, so I have to try to fit them in on 'free' days, which are few and far between.


7/6/07, 9:37 PM  
Blogger bbElf (a.k.a. panda) said...

I'm at a point where I'm trying NOT to get too caught up in the training. This year I've developed a tendency to worry about how much I am able to train vs. how much the other girls without jobs etc. are able to train...that can get oppressive. And at this point in the season I figure if I'm having fun I'm successful!

7/9/07, 11:20 AM  

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