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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So I ended last season with a great year. I upped my average speed on most of my rides to above 21 mph solo. I upped my distances to roughly 200 per week for the majority of the season. I picked up a weekend bike that has far more carbon than my "commuter" bike that once showed off its carbon fork *grin* like it was the king of the road. With all of these accomplishments and more that aren't worth boring you all with I was completely frustrated with my performance at the end of the season.

It didn't hit me until tonight what the problem was. I just realized that I started to get so focused on my average speed, miles per week, climb routine and countless other things that can be measured is what ultimately ruined riding for me. I had forgot how much fun it was to just go ride. Instead of checking times at key points of every ride to see where I was pacing compaired to my last ride.

The crazy thing is that now I have realized this I am more motivated to ride now than ever. I have had some great seasons but last season I think I took it past the point of fun and ultimately I didn't have fun. So the season was full of personal records but ultimately was dissapointing.
 

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dump the cycle computer for a month or two (or all this season)and see if that changes things. You'll still know about how far you went (assuming you ride similar routes) but you won't know your average speed, checkpoints will be meaningless, etc. It's been a long time (about 14 years)since I've had a cycle computer (my last being the very first avocet ever) but look forward to getting one to see my avg, max speeds, current speed, etc). I've been the same way in other sports like climbing. Going for the #'s isn't as fun as just climbing. To each his/her own. Others love & thrive on it.
 

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every once in a while, the computer has to go. You ride for the sake of riding. I've been taking the month off without the computer. I keep the same routes and then just try to create a pace that I feel comfortable with. Cyclism is not about just average speed, miles, times, etc.
 

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eminence grease
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I'm having a bit of a 2005 hangover as well. A couple of years ago, I started setting goals for myself in terms of mileage. My standard metric was to always ride more miles in any given month than I did in that same month in previous years. I work a pretty lengthy full-time job, I also travel. But using that method, I went from 6500 to 8000 to a bit more than 8200 last year. Not bad for me, given the amount of time I have for riding.

But it left me feeling pretty two-dimensional. There was Work-Terry and Riding-Terry. And I didn't like it. So I started this year ignoring the competition with previous years and aiming to refresh my love for the road. And then promptly went out and rode my best January ever. :rolleyes:

Since then, my interest has really flagged. Combinations of travel to Asia, crappy weather and a general feeling of malaise have caused me to re-think my riding once again. My wife offered another solution - ride less this year in any given month than in any other. And for the last 6 weeks I've done just that. I'm only riding now when I feel like it, not whenever I can and slowly it's coming back. Got out last night for the first time in 10 days, 22 miles after work around the village, and it was great. My legs even hurt a bit. I'm heading for the worst March in 5 years and loving it.

Some of us need a compulsive habit - we enjoy the ritual, we enjoy the tracking and we enjoy the mental rewards. But, it's a very fine line between loving it and hating it, and learning to walk it without falling off into the hate-zone is a tough thing to acheive.
 

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Non non normal
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I always have put my time on the bike in context with the rest of my life.

There are too many other things I enjoy than to just ride the bike all the time. With that said, I enjoy riding the bike as much as any of my free time hobbies. I always scale back in the late fall and winter and do other things during those months and just ride enough to keep a base (45 miles per week) that doesn't make me suffer too much when I up my mileage in March.

I haven't worried about miles too much and I get in over 4000 miles a year. It is really about what works for you and always remembering "too much of a good thing is NOT a good thing"
 

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Thanks..... Terry

I'm having a severe hangover from 2005 as well. Last year I hired a coach, followed my training program to a "T", rarely missing workouts, passing on group rides so I could ride solo and get my intervals in. I was very fit, and faster than I'd ever been heading into the race season. Then shoulder surgery interrupted most of the season. I stayed active thru my recovery, got back on the bike, regained my fitness, and did very well in a few races. Then the offseason hit, and I had no motivation to get on the bike. I fired the coach, and almost completely stopped riding.

I've had my best ski season in years (22 days so far), played a bunch of volleyball, gone on cruisers with my wife, and ridden only when the weather was nice and I felt like getting a ride in. There were a few beautiful winter days where sitting on the couch with a book and a glass of wine was way more appealing than riding. Since November I've been lucky to average 4 hours a week on the bike.

I'm looking forward to playing a lot of doubles volleyball tourney's this summer, and going on long hikes.

Terry, like you I'm heading into the season in the worst physical shape in years, and I couldn't be happier about it. Thanks for the post......
 

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Burn out?

I can relate to your experience, and I appreciate your wisdom and courage to share it with us. I believe that the competition spirit in all of us can take us down if we do not balance it with the right perspectives and realistic expectations. Epectations towards oneself first (oneself is our worst enemy) and towards those sorrounding us- our family, our riding peers, our work peers. Cycling is a noble sports activity that is to me a lifestyle that started as a hobby. I appreciate cycling for it occassionally brings back precious memories, like the joy I felt when I got my real first racing bike, all deck up with DA, Ambrosio tubulars, and a really light and pretty aluminum frame. Yes, go back to those early memories when you fell in love with cycling, and you will recharge your passion for cycling!
c0braje7 said:
So I ended last season with a great year. I upped my average speed on most of my rides to above 21 mph solo. I upped my distances to roughly 200 per week for the majority of the season. I picked up a weekend bike that has far more carbon than my "commuter" bike that once showed off its carbon fork *grin* like it was the king of the road. With all of these accomplishments and more that aren't worth boring you all with I was completely frustrated with my performance at the end of the season.

It didn't hit me until tonight what the problem was. I just realized that I started to get so focused on my average speed, miles per week, climb routine and countless other things that can be measured is what ultimately ruined riding for me. I had forgot how much fun it was to just go ride. Instead of checking times at key points of every ride to see where I was pacing compaired to my last ride.

The crazy thing is that now I have realized this I am more motivated to ride now than ever. I have had some great seasons but last season I think I took it past the point of fun and ultimately I didn't have fun. So the season was full of personal records but ultimately was dissapointing.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks for the great responses! I am still looking forward to riding this year and with a wealth of experience I am sure it will be a good season. I just think a little perspective is all that I needed. My wife enjoys running and has always been content with 5K's. I never understood why she was always so happy running the same distance and not wanting to push it further. I would always say, why not train for a marathon?

The thing with cycling is that it is so easy to add the miles up. If you can do 30 you can do 50. Then 50 turns into 75, then a century. Once you have that done you start asking yourself can I ride further.

I think my wife has the right idea. Keep it in perspective and keep it fun.
 

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I've had some brief times over the past number of years where I didn't feel much like riding. Starting happening to me last August, and about every August. It has to do with how much I ride in May, June, and then July. I am on the bike, or I am at work. And that leads to burn out.

What I am finding this year, is that I trained up for events, already done one: Spring training series. That is now past me, and my next definable goal isn't until mid-May. Won't start working toward that until April 15.

But there is one thing that always draws me back into the road: I love to go fast. I have an addiction to speed, and I guess to that end, pain too. I love it. I love the suffering, I like to make others suffer. It sounds sick, but it's really great to me. Cycling on those two wheels with no sound but those two wheels makes me smile. Pain or not. I love the sweat, the Lactic acid, and most importantly, the speed.

That's it, in a nutshell. See if you can latch on to the thing about cycling that you love the most, and do that.
 

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Yep.

Last year was hard to get the rides in because my wife was ill and was in
and out of the hospital no less than three times. Three different surgeries.
But that was then.

Things have turned around for her recovery and I'm champing at the bit to
ride again. I was a bit burned out in 2004 when I had unlimited time to tide
(was unemployed) and now that I am working again I can't wait.
 

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I know exactly what you mean. I began focusing on racing a few seasons ago, and I raced for three seasons. The first season was by far the best. I had no real expectations. The second season was tougher because I had expectations which turned to disappointment because I placed too much pressure on myself. In turn this led me to racing undisciplined and not being patient. The third season created a burned out state which was heightened by some conflicts with a couple guys I rode with. The fun and the friendships started to erode. Last season, I rode the fewest miles I had ridden in 8 years. I feel just short of 1500. I gained some weight, and I became frustrated in my energy level going down. I created a plan to try to balance some of it. I do focus on my speed this year, but I don't let it get to me. Afterall, I basically took the last 18 months off the bike. I know it is coming. I love riding tremendously, and I am glad that I refound the bike this year and so far am enjoying it. It is sad that it took me 18 months to want to ride again. I wish I had taken my buddy Tom's advice when he preached to me about overtraining, and doing somthing else a few times a week other than the bike to stay in shape. I am examining those words very closely now to prevent major burnout from happening again.
 

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It happens to everyone at some point and I wouldnt' worry about it. My story is similar to others. started riding 5-6 years ago and began racing immediately (2nd week on the bike, I got shelled obviously). The racing fired me up and I got on a training program and was in the best shap of my life and always at the front of the pack with ease. 2 springs in a row I came down with a mysterious fatigue that ruined the best part of my season, and the 2nd year I got so pissed off I hung the bike up for 10 months. Last year, my first year back, I just wanted to ride to get back in shape. Now the fire is back and I want to race again. I would also recomend not paying attention to the numbers. I always look at rides in "time" not distance. I tell my friends I want to go out for 3.5 hours and they are always confused, they all want to talk distance. Well, distance isn't important if you ask me, especially when you live in the mountains. If I lived in Kansas I could ride a hell of alot farther in 3.5 hours than I can in the Sierra Nevada. The love will come back eventually, and if it doesn't so be it. Find something else you enjoy, but I think once cycling gets into your blood it is one of those things that you can never let go. Try to explain to someone why you go out and ride your bike 70 miles so that they can understand.....you can't really do it, but we all understand why, though that reason may be slightly different for all of us.
 
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