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It's been my observation that the wide use of power meters and HRMs has led to some people just kind of dropping out of riding, particularly people relatively new to competition. Here's my theory- people start out all gung-ho with an ambitious training plan and big intentions, and get stuck to the wattage and HR numbers, and lose track of just enjoying the ride. Fun on a bike is only about the competition, and the other 90% of time is spent in a mental state of "training". As in "this is serious, I'm training". It's not a sustainable mind set over time, they have a season or two racing, maybe even some good results, then disappear with "other interests". This ringing a bell? Discuss-
 

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ZenNMotion said:
It's been my observation that the wide use of power meters and HRMs has led to some people just kind of dropping out of riding, particularly people relatively new to competition. Here's my theory- people start out all gung-ho with an ambitious training plan and big intentions, and get stuck to the wattage and HR numbers, and lose track of just enjoying the ride. Fun on a bike is only about the competition, and the other 90% of time is spent in a mental state of "training". As in "this is serious, I'm training". It's not a sustainable mind set over time, they have a season or two racing, maybe even some good results, then disappear with "other interests". This ringing a bell? Discuss-
Enjoyment on my bike comes most from competition. This is largely due to being around other people. Another part is imparting pain on other people, without ever touching them.

You interested on a bike may be different than mine. Enjoy it how you wish.
 

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I got burnt out and quit (after 5 years of racing) long before there were power meters. While the odometer, HRM, or power meter provide numbers to fuel one's obsession, they don't cause it. You have to put yourself in that state.

When I came back to riding after 8 years of doing other things I was so scared of burning out again that I didn't even use a bike computer or HRM. But when I got one I discovered that the HRM wasn't the problem, I was the problem. The HRM was just the enabler. Now I have two computers (a Polar and a Powertap) and after almost 9 years I am not feeling any signs of burnout. Every ride is a "training" ride and every one is fun, even when it's 32 degrees out, or raining, or I misjudge how tired I am and have to crawl home the last hour. My training plan is not that structured, and if I need to change it I do so. If I need a "mental health" ride where I just go and ride some junk miles for fun, I do that.

The other things I changed: I don't race every race on the calendar, only the fun ones. I set reasonable goals instead of unreachable ones. Even though I am riding more than I did before, I take more rest days/weeks. And I make sure to have a social life.
 

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I see the OP's point; the main reason I quit racing back in the 80's was that it had stopped being fun and have become an obligation.

So yeah, riders need to find the instrinsic fun in training. These days I've learned how to train hard and with (some) structure, and it's still fun.

One tip: I do "reward rides" which are random, pick a pretty day, no big races looming, and just ride for fun. Do a "junk" pace, ignore the computer, find new roads, be a tourist, joke with your buddies, wear anything except the team kit.
 

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Yeah - I can see how it might seem that way, but really it is the rider and what they're doing/how they are approaching training, rather than the tool itself.

I know I went the other way. With the tool my training improved significantly, I enjoyed it more, became a better rider and have not had anything other than injury enforced breaks, whereas before I had mental burnout breaks.

And in my case, the ability to track my progress and improvement on rehab from serious injury is quite motivating.
 

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Although I ride solo, and train almost every day after work now that the weather doesn't suck, I strive to maintain a certain speed over the course of X miles. my life is slowly being subjugated by my passion to ride, and I am starting to look for others locally who share the same passion.

The way I deal with avoiding burnout, which kind of happened to me when I was about 20 or 21, is I ride my ass off and clean house on numbers, max speed sustained speeds calories consumed wattage (still want to find that out) mileage, things like that. At the end of the ride, even if I'm about to die (Sunday comes to mind, ugh) I set aside a couple miles to cruise. Slow down, enjoy Stella for what she is, and all the work I have put into her to get where I am now. Even if it's only 15 or 16 mph, I slow down and think about all the hard work I have done to get Stella where she is today. I also find other places to ride, scenic routes, that neat little track I posted earlier tonight, local areas in the neighborhood.

Sometimes a simple change of scenery instead of the same morning group ride with the same guys on 7,000-dollar CF TT bikes can help. I have a group of locals I ride with who don't even own road bikes and I like to cruise with them once in a while and shoot the ****.
 

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people burn out because they stop enjoying what they're doing. if a power meter does that to you, then, by all means, it's not the tool for you. but I have never encountered this.

the ones who don't want a power meter don't get them. some use them as tools, as I like to think I do, to enhance what they like to do, which is ride. and some people obsess, as they will obsess over absolutely everything in their lives, and a power meter or whatever enhances their obsession.

I have never heard anyone say that a machine ruined their enjoyment of the activity, and I don't think that sentiment is widespread. I have heard people say that it's nice to go without once in a while, but that's different.
 

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well for me having a power meter has helped me in training better which will lead to better race results (i hope :) ) but not doing good in a race and getting dropped is all the motivation that i need to ride and train. plus being a fat kid growing up and not wanting to look like that again is motivation as well. sometimes ill just go MTB cause it changes things up and its just for fun but it will still burn cal's and lets me spin.
 

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I've seen a similar, related problem, though it's cause is too little discipline rather than too much.

Rather than following a solid training plan - which is the true benefit, the apparently precise metrics only allowing for a small honing of the gains - some become slaves to the number on the display. They become absorbed in seeing new max values every week, in accumulating training load (whether by miles, KJ's, heartbeats, or whatever) and forget that the true gains only come during periods of adequate rest.

You won't find a decent coach that will say other than the first two rules of success are working hard enough on the hard days, and riding easy enough on the rest days. Any bloke can tun himself into a hammerhead, that only takes a drive to succeed. It's a greater challenge to spin easy, when every fiber of your being wants to crush the folks you are riding with. Too often, the powermeter becomes an evil twin riding partner, always pushing you to do just a little more.

Except, that is, for the terminally lazy, but for them the question never comes up.
 

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and forget that the true gains only come during periods of adequate rest.
is this true? I've seen it and like it oft-quoted, but I have never seen any science to back it up.
Yes, you need to rest, or your performance suffers. but that's different from whether "gains only come during periods of adequate rest."
in my view, which is somewhere between opinion, judgment, and synthesis of what I've read, your body likely continues to adapt during all but the worst fatigue. Rest I don't thik is when the adaptations occur -- I think that they likely occur regardless. What you won't get without rest is those best performances. Pushing harder becomes pushing as you did the day before -- because it hurts, still -- and maybe you're not going to be able to hit 800 watts for 30 seconds or whatever as you might have that day had you been rested.
Distinction without a difference? maybe. all I know is that I was talking to a guy -- a 51 y/o Cat 1, and he's still got it -- and he was talking up the go hard/rest hard thing. I have never seen this guy go easy, and I asked him what that meant to him. He said that rest was an hour and a half easy ride and that he takes a day off the bike maybe every two weeks.
That ain't what most people would call rest.
 

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danl1 said:
I It's a greater challenge to spin easy, when every fiber of your being wants to crush the folks you are riding with.

OMG this is SO true, thats what kills me the most. im on the cool down leg/recovery and somebody passes me, it is so hard to say dont chase/pass then and stick to your ride. i just keep saying how much $$ i payed for my powertap and that if i dont listen to it then i might as well have just burn the $$. that helps me stay on track :D
 

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ZenNMotion said:
It's been my observation that the wide use of power meters and HRMs has led to some people just kind of dropping out of riding, particularly people relatively new to competition. Here's my theory- people start out all gung-ho with an ambitious training plan and big intentions, and get stuck to the wattage and HR numbers, and lose track of just enjoying the ride. Fun on a bike is only about the competition, and the other 90% of time is spent in a mental state of "training". As in "this is serious, I'm training". It's not a sustainable mind set over time, they have a season or two racing, maybe even some good results, then disappear with "other interests". This ringing a bell? Discuss-
I have a theory too....

Since the mid 1800's there has been a steady decline in the sea pirate population and at the same time an increase in global temperature. Here is a chart that backs up my claim.




Its apparent global warming is directly related to the decline of sea pirates! :thumbsup: Also if you noticed there was a rash of Somali pirates this fall/winter while at the same time this has been one of the coldest winters in a long time. Hell here in Memphis we had a foot of snow two weeks ago!
 

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danl1 said:
Too often, the powermeter becomes an evil twin riding partner, always pushing you to do just a little more.
Interesting. For a while, I blacktaped my PowerTap on recovery rides. Wattages kept coming in high - my coach was driven nuts by it, and finally told me to untape it for recovery rides, and my wattages started coming in where they should have. And, as a result, I got faster.

The biggest thing my power meter did was make me slow down.
 

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I'll admit to being guilty of burning myself out last season by "chasing" power numbers on every ride. Really it was 100% my own fault, like was mentioned before a power meter will push to go as hard as you need to as well as make you go as slow as you have to...

wayne
 

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wfrogge said:
I have a theory too....

Since the mid 1800's there has been a steady decline in the sea pirate population and at the same time an increase in global temperature. Here is a chart that backs up my claim.




Its apparent global warming is directly related to the decline of sea pirates! :thumbsup: Also if you noticed there was a rash of Somali pirates this fall/winter while at the same time this has been one of the coldest winters in a long time. Hell here in Memphis we had a foot of snow two weeks ago!
Temp should be on the X axis and pirates on the Y. :nono:
 

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wfrogge said:
I have a theory too....

Since the mid 1800's there has been a steady decline in the sea pirate population and at the same time an increase in global temperature. Here is a chart that backs up my claim.




Its apparent global warming is directly related to the decline of sea pirates! :thumbsup: Also if you noticed there was a rash of Somali pirates this fall/winter while at the same time this has been one of the coldest winters in a long time. Hell here in Memphis we had a foot of snow two weeks ago!
What? Correlation does not imply causation????
 

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yes painfully familiar...

ZenNMotion said:
I This ringing a bell? Discuss-
yep abso farkin loutly! I was 'said guy' for years, basing the training on HR (w/spd, cad) first then Power after that (both atr same time to). And it was all about the nuimbers and sticking to zones, which TBH sucked...most of the time it was too easy, coming back with a sore a$$ rather than sore legs (especially in winter sticking to these crappy zones made me loose all my fitness...and I only realised lately when I look back)

so instead of basing my training on zones I do what I 'feel' like and 9 times out of ten its longer and or harder than I did when I was using hr and power to structure training. Now its just Spd (actually it was nothing for a couple of months, I just wanted to ride!) a few months ago - just wanted a break from 'my coach' on my handlebars all the time....if you dont enjoy training, you dont enjoy riding, chances are you are doing it wrong and are just clicking away year after year not improving much, after you get to a certain point of fitness.

I am now looking to measure all these things again (spd/hr/power) but use it to monitor the training rather than 'measure' and 'dictate' training. And Im so much happier (and stronger for it) Im now using a 39x23 again in steep mountains (went to compact for a few years) bad idea in my case...your experience may vary :smile5:
Actually the compact is coming back into my mind but only if I have a 21/11 on the back with a 36 up front =1.71 v's a 39/23=1.69, so the compact is actually a harder gear to move round, with added bonus of a closer ratio cassette (all in line except 1 2t distance from the 21-19(18-17-16-15-14-13-12-11)

I can now see why Lance seeks out all those dirt and fire rds and remote new places...to keep it fresh...if 'it' isnt fresh then the legs dont work as best as they can :)
 

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b24fsb said:
OMG this is SO true, thats what kills me the most. im on the cool down leg/recovery and somebody passes me, it is so hard to say dont chase/pass then and stick to your ride. i just keep saying how much $$ i payed for my powertap and that if i dont listen to it then i might as well have just burn the $$. that helps me stay on track :D
tut tut tut...
 

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estone2 said:
Interesting.

The biggest thing my power meter did was make me slow down.
yeah and thats good why now? - for recovery sure its good, but for training by the meter, rather than your legs? - been there done the meter (was too easy) now I listen to the mind and legs - if only I divorced it years ago :mad2: :D
 
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