When training feels tough.

grawp Posts: 46
edited February 2012 in Health, fitness & training
Wondered if any racers would like to share stories about the less than glamourous side of training.
I'm working as hard as possible to get ready for my first season of competition (I'm 37 and finished 24th in the Brass Monkeys Rd 3 last month, just to give some perspective. I'd like to finish 10th in something this year).
This weather is a bind. Me and a friend did 4 hours hilly road riding on Monday night in the sleet and rain, 4 hours trudge through mud and overly familiar trails on Wed night and are planning 4-5hrs on the road tomorrow. Have signed up for the 12hrs of Exposure so want to get the miles in at this critical phase.
Overall seem to managing training and resting well, but it is forecast to be potentially icy on the roads tomorrow am, and you just know the trails won't be frozen enough :lol: .
Some manly (and womanly) tails of hardship might just help me out mentally at this point...


  • njee20
    njee20 Posts: 9,613
    It shouldn't be a chore, I'm not that sure I'd keep going if I wasn't enjoying myself! Once I start getting fitter I always enjoy it more, just think of the future results!
  • grawp
    grawp Posts: 46
    Enjoyed 50 miles today on local trails. Difference was I took my ipod with some podcasts on it and it was sunny rather than pitch black. I enjoy the feeling of getting fitter so am prepared to put in some tougher sessions from time to time.
    So no stories of grinding though wind and rain or being broken miles from home then?
  • Yea training can be tough, but that's why it's called training.......right? I've been caught in bad weather, headed out in gales, on icy roads/trails, when it's been bitterly cold and chucking down with sleet, caught in a snowy blizzard and had to jump on a bus. Water bottles frozen, injuries, broken bikes, blood, gravel rash, no energy and completely wasted! It's character building and it's often the tough times that get you through a very hard race or event. If you want to do the training you just have to get out there and get on with it, plus when the weather is rubbish you feel extra satisfied for doing your training.

    If your signed up for 12 hours of exposure you may experience some very bad weather and some very dark times mentally, putting the training in now will help you to prepare for it. Like njee, I enjoy my riding/training a lot, yea I would opt for dry dusty trails over mud any day but that's something we can't control. Focus on what you can control, keep it up :D
  • njee20
    njee20 Posts: 9,613
    The 2 most grim moments I can recall were both very closely related strangely, well rather the second was a direct result of the first.

    Tale of woe and misery first:
    Christmas Eve several years ago, decided to ride down to see the rellies (only 35 miles each way) while my mum drove. Got down fine, exchanged pleasantries and I started to ride home. About 5 miles after leaving, at about 5pm, just south of the South Downs (heading over them) the end pulled of my gear cable right in the STI, dumping me into the 11t sprocket with not a lot to do about it. Cue climbing Bury Hill (luckily the shallow side) in 39/11, in the pitch black, on Xmas eve. Stopped about 2/3 of the way up and managed to rig it into a slightly more sensible gear, 16t or so. Left my multi tool at the side of the road though annoyingly. Got home eventually.

    Tale of misery and woe second:
    On a training camp in Lanzarote about 4 months after the above I was suffering a little having been caught off guard by the heatwave (previous week had been c20 degrees, it was 32+), about 5 hours into a ride my STI seized - it turned out because bits of cable from the above incident had found their way into the gubbins, and yet again I found myself stuck in my 11t. Not wishing to hold the group up I said I'd just spin home alone, obviously losing the protection of the group. The other 6 or so guys left me to get home on my tod. I swiftly got completely lost, not really paying attention to where I was and found myself on a dead end road with no idea how to get back to our villa, with 90 miles in my legs, no water, no money, a rather tall gear and feeling pretty shagged. Went into a surf shop; they didn't speak English, I didn't speak Spanish. Just about managed to get directions in French back to our villa and a fresh bottle of water. Headed off into the mental headwind and grovelled the last 10 miles or so back at about 50rpm. Not fun.

    Character building, both of 'em.
  • Just read this, worth a read for inspiration when the weather turns bad.

    http://bicycling.com/blogs/fitchick/201 ... rs-stones/

    Like your stories njee, especially the xmas eve one. We do get ourselves into some silly situations in the name of bike riding :-)