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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I did my first three collegiate races this weekend and discovered something interesting. It doesn't seem like I'm able to push myself as hard racing as I am training. This seems really counterintuitive, and I'm wondering if it's related to my spending so much energy worrying about the squirrelly people around me and not enough of it making my legs go around. Has anyone else had similar experiences?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
HebrewHammer said:
I don't bike race, but I XC ski race and what I've found is if you go too hard during training, you can't go hard when it counts.
Are you talking about overtraining or having leftover fatigue from training sessions? If so, that's definitely not the issue for me. I haven't really had a huge training volume.
 

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I am starting to think I need longer than average recovery time. When I take off 3 or more days I have very strong rides. If I push a few days in a row and go easy for a couple before a race I don't do well. I seem to need a long, full recovery, and not a 'taper' even with a moderate training schedule.

Maybe you are similar,
 

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Mr. Jones said:
Are you talking about overtraining or having leftover fatigue from training sessions? If so, that's definitely not the issue for me. I haven't really had a huge training volume.

Do you have any goals while racing?

Are you on a team? Are they working for you or you working for them?

Are you trying to get into breaks? Or just sitting back?

Sounds like you need to have a plan.
 

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chances are the races are much harder than your training. racing is riding at threshold followed by attacks at above threshold intensity. i'd be willing to bet most of your training consists of subthreshold followed by above threshold which is much different
 

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I would definately think that the races are probably pushing your body to its limit and you feel like you should have more but your body is already working at max for most of the race. Your training unless its done with a power meter is probably not pushing you as hard as you think. It could also be in part to parts of your body not being as strong as others. Your legs could feel strong but if your lungs are working at capacity you can't push any harder. I don't think it is as much about over training as some here would suggest.
 

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I have that some days and in my case it's related to external stress which causes hormonal balance from adrenal fatigue, e.g. reduced testosterone due to high cortisol from the stress. What sometimes works for me is, taking a deep breath and taking a flyer!
 

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Mr. Jones said:
Are you talking about overtraining or having leftover fatigue from training sessions? If so, that's definitely not the issue for me. I haven't really had a huge training volume.
I was talking more about leftover fatigue. I just know that for me, if I ski 20km or 30km before a race, I suck.
 

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Most people get to a race and expect to perform at peak going from cold to race with little or no warm-up. Doing a light, but longer warmup, often helps get the body ready for the more intense exertion. Also make sure to get the lactic acid flush started by doing a couple of really short bursts during your warm up. It is a fine line for everyone for sure, it just takes some time to find your right amount of warmup. If you watch good velo guys, they seem like they ride more on their rollers than the actual race. Even during my hard training days I feel the most energized between 1 and 2 hours into riding. The beginning and end of tough workouts and races will aways be tough though!

As a former competitive swimmer, I can tell you that for most races during the season a long tapper isn't required. Maybe go lighter for a day or two. If you truly want to tapper for a big race it is a whole process which involves slowly reducing the effort and duration, that isn't to say stop doing hard drills, just do less of them for shorter durations. I am not going to begin claiming I know the best way to tapper on a bike, but there has to be plenty of resources here that can give you more precise information on what I am getting at.

I think what kenyonCycleist makes a lot of sense too. My first race was a crit in which I felt really prepared only to find out that my training intensity to that point was not even enough to keep me in the race for 2 laps. Start training with a coach or group or riders that are better than you so you can push yourself above and beyond.

Lastly, don't overlook race day nutrition. Carb loading before races can actually make you feel like crap the day of the race. Essentially, you should just eat your normal diet around race day since your body is used to a certain type of energy intake and consumption pattern. Suppliment some gels or drink for a little more simple and complex sugars, but don't expect that heaping pile of Noodles from the night before to make you faster on race day if you haven't been nutrition training that way all along.
 
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