Viewing 40 posts - 1 through 40 (of 128 total)
  • Athlete life…. :(
  • Kryton57
    Full Member

    With the last three months training compromised by two viruses and knee tendonitis, I’m at the point I can’t be arsed. I just feel fed of being told that I can eat and when, when I can ride and how, and not having the freedoms of beers and my decisions when to ride my bike.

    Tomorrow I need to rush about packing bike and gear for a 3hr trip to Cannock chase, camp (admittedly that’ll be quite nice in this weather) get up Sunday, race for 6hrs, then get home for 8pm ish. My weekend will be gone to bike, bike bike.

    Instead I quite fancy a lie in, a social club run or solo MTB ride and a few beers sat on the garden furniture in the sun. But this of course is a massive dent in kicking off my season with other training and racing based around how the Cannock event goes.

    I’m just sitting here in a funk about it all. However, it feels difficult to give it all up, which no doubt some will suggest is the easy thing to do e.g. stop. Anyone else been through this and can offer advice?

    wors
    Full Member

    If you’re not enjoying it, don’t do it.

    wbo
    Free Member

    I actively retired when the stress of training wasn’t worth the rewards.

    You’ve been wrangling with this for a while now, and I think you’ll need to decide one way or the other soon. My personal advice would be to find something you can improve at , and is less time consuming i.e. running

    haggis1978
    Full Member

    Yes I can relate. Sorry but this happens to everyone who’s in serious training for something. You have setbacks, you have bad days, you have bad weeks! You just have to knuckle down and get on with it. I don’t always enjoy my training but I always enjoy the end result.

    I work away from home and each of my last three leave cycles I’ve came home and my wee boy has given me a cold he’s caught from nursery. Prior to that something similar happened then I got over eager, threw myself in to training 3 times a day and pulled my hamstring. Not happy.

    wbo
    Free Member

    Bit more background from me – I was a good enough runner to have a couple of england vests, and a box full of england, south of england medals etc. But to get to that level and hold it is a lot of work, and I didn’t want to just drift down to being a good veteran etc… ergo I retired and went back to climbing, and spending time with the kids etc. Now they’re getting older, and I’m getting more time for climbing, but the stresses have gone.
    Also, when I stopped running seriously, I kept running, but just doing the bits I enjoyed. So my timed performances completely fell to pieces, but if it was a sunny day and I want to go for a nice run, that’s ok, and I run most mornings as it’s nice to do something before work, but the stress is gone

    rollindoughnut
    Free Member

    Hey mate. You know I’m here to chat when you’re ready.
    You remember how I burnt out? How after years of training and racing, my mind and body said no more? It was phrased in the same way as you’re describing; exhaustion, injury, resentment…
    You remember how it took a few years to come to terms with it? But you know how happy I am these days doing bikepacking, clubruns, interesting mtb rides and even the occasional race.
    It was a MASSIVE process. My whole identity was tied up in racing. It took so long to work through it all.
    If I can help shorten that process for you then I’d be so happy to help do that.

    frankconway
    Full Member

    Give it up; re-discover the pleasure of biking for it’s own sake, enjoying the scenery and nature around you.
    Spend more time with family.

    rollindoughnut
    Free Member

    I ride or run every single day now. I love bikes and exercise more than ever. With no pressure to perform or numbers to chase, I just seek out whatever floats my boat at the time. The last two weeks I’ve been out with the C group on the clubrun because I wanted to just cruise on a road bike. The week prior I did the A group because I wanted a smash fest.
    So far this year I’ve ridden canals, bivied in bushes during storm Eunice, bikepacked the YD300 in February! There’s a whole world of adventures out there. Racing round in circles now seems rather small and pointless to me. However I will be doing the Builth Wells marathon because that’s point to point and fantastic.
    You always loved a clubrun. You took pride in being strong and fast. That is enough you know?
    Remember the feeling of riding round Swinley, chatting away? No targets or goals apart from having a good time.

    Have a look at an alternative calendar. Check out Audax UK. You’re good over longer distances. Also look at touring. Doesn’t have to be sleeping in a hedge. The majority of touring cyclists use hotels. Imagine how amazing it’d feel to break new barriers in the distances you’ve achieved? Just you and the road.

    YoKaiser
    Free Member

    I’ve just posted in the YouTube thread about a guy called Mark Lewis. His target is to be above average, at the moment he’s throwing himself into a serious attempt at an event, he’s very good at explaining his outlook and I think it’s relatable to how you are feeling about stuff just now. He’s quite amusing too so an easy watch and just might help with the direction you might want to take.

    https://youtube.com/c/MarkLewisfitness

    SaxonRider
    Full Member

    Could be worse. You could have lost every ounce of fitness you once had, and put on far too many kilos! I can no longer even do a chin-up, and some of what I wore up until two and a half years ago is just a memory.

    thegeneralist
    Full Member

    Am I the only [ non racing mtb] person reading this and thinking WTF, just get out and ride your bike if you want to, don’t if you don’t.

    Fair enough I’m just a punter, not a honed athlete…. 🤔🙄

    molgrips
    Full Member

    Try a different challenge. Long distance ITTs are all the rage now and much easier to train for. Because noone cares except you. As long as you complete the ride you win.

    I’ll do one with you if you like 🙂

    fossy
    Full Member

    I used to Time Trial alot – managed it until late 20’s when married life/house etc then kids came along.

    I don’t race anymore, and have had some really bad injuries from cycle commuting, so I’m selective what I do now. Loving it. I still don’t pootle, MTB or road I’ll ride as hard as I can. It has to fit in to life, but going off for the day racing etc, erm no. I always prefer to ride from home, and I can do that on road or MTB.

    molgrips
    Full Member

    Am I the only [ non racing mtb] person reading this and thinking WTF, just get out and ride your bike if you want to, don’t if you don’t.

    It’s a bit more complicated than that. If you’ve based your whole life around something and given it everything, you e set yourself a challenge and your need to succeed is a huge part of your identity. It’s very hard to just walk a way, and the desire you had doesn’t just go away either.

    molgrips
    Full Member

    @Saxonrider I can barely do a chin up either.

    markgraylish
    Free Member

    Am I the only [ non racing mtb] person reading this and thinking WTF, just get out and ride your bike if you want to, don’t if you don’t.

    Fair enough I’m just a punter, not a honed athlete…. 🤔🙄

    +1

    pictonroad
    Full Member

    I don’t know how ANYONE does it. Not the training and the hardship, that’s completely understandable. It’s the avoidable of colds I don’t understand.

    This time of year has been a write off for me since child one came along. Cold after cold and then usually at least one chest infection. This year Covid joined the party. 👍😎

    Genuinely no idea how anyone in the real world stays viral illness free long enough to stay fit.

    I doff my hat to you for sticking it out this far.

    thegeneralist
    Full Member

    It’s a bit more complicated than that. If you’ve based your whole life around something

    But he hasn’t. I seem to recall 7 years ago the most important thing in Kryton’s life was which shades to buy to go with his latest rep- mobile. Dont get me wrong, I think it’s great that he races (raced?) but perhaps it’s a push to say that he’s based his whole life around it,?

    and given it everything, you e set yourself a challenge and your need to succeed is a huge part of your identity. It’s very hard to just walk a way, and the desire you had doesn’t just go away either.

    Nobody’s saying he shouldn’t set challenges and achieve them. I totally get that it’s his identity. I also get that it doesn’t go away. But there’s loads of other options.

    I used to climb fanatically ( but in a very mediocre way) I onsighted f7a at my “peak” which is complete middle of the road puntersville. I couldn’t train much so focussed on trying to do 100 routes in a day.
    Then I tried kayaking and set a goal of being able to paddle grade 4 comfortably.

    Then decided to do 300 miles in a day.
    West highland way.
    Ski Broad Gully
    Cuillin ridge
    Etc

    All these are pretty low level challenges, compared to people who are really into that shit, but they did the job for me. They were worthwhile challenges based on where i was at the time.
    I completely define myself by physical activity, so I fully appreciate how awful it would be not to do that.

    But he’s not at that stage.

    Just find a different challenge…

    remedyflyer
    Free Member

    Why dont you take a year out and just ride for fun when you like and after a year see how you feel.I raced MTB for 10 years then a few years at cyclocross which is a shorter season going back a while as in 1996 when the masters came in I did 35 MTB races and 4 cross races that year and had good results which made the training worth while for years now I ride for fun ride more than ever not so good on the wallet have way more bikes than when I raced I know ex-racers that once they stopped racing never rode again which I thought was odd but talking to them later they only cycled to race not for fun takes all sorts.

    tthew
    Full Member

    Why dont you take a year out and just ride for fun when you like and after a year see how you feel.

    That’s exactly what I was going to suggest.

    My uncle is a serious cyclist, not so much racing for many a year, but loads of rides and big miles. Occasionally he just gets fed up with it and largely sacks it off for 12 months.

    Kryton57
    Full Member

    But he hasn’t. I seem to recall 7 years ago the most important thing in Kryton’s life was which shades to buy to go with his latest rep- mobile. Dont get me wrong, I think it’s great that he races (raced?) but perhaps it’s a push to say that he’s based his whole life around it,?

    Thankfully those days are over. I am 4 years into it though. Stopping feels like giving up, succumbing the inevitable weight gain and generally a failure. Annoyingly I had a very good year last year, so to having the last three months sabotaged to 90% of power and +2KGs which seems impossible to lose feels horrible.

    Anyway, thanks for all the advice. RD I may give you a call in the week. YoKaiser I watched the latest Mark Lewis vid – yes its very good, and its reminded me that a) at least a positive attitude about this weekend is needed and b) his Zwift race that to forget the leaders and do my thing. Affecting this is the fact after COVID I have a relenting fatigue post illness which goes up and down daily – yesterday I was bouncing, today I felt like I haven’t slept for days. Plus, last year I quit this event because it was the last of my year and I was exhausted – I really don’t want to fail it this time.

    So there you go, there’s my revised target – to go, finish the event and forget the placing. Rather than throw toys out the pram tonight, I’ll get it done and get some more relaxed thinking about the future on our Easter Break with the family in a weeks time and see if I need some time out.

    theotherjonv
    Full Member

    lots of good advice above. Being blunt – are you actually any good? I mean really? Is it your living, because it’s become what defines you and if that’s all to be a bit higher up the mid pack, albeit of a decent standard race class, sounds to me like it’s no longer worth it if you don’t enjoy it.

    You could still race, and still be mid pack – or better – of the class below, or the one below that, without giving your life up for it. That’s not the same as pot hunting, don’t drop straight to fun and clean up obvs. But you’ll get all the adrenaline still, and while you might sometimes think ‘I could be a class higher if only I trained more….’ I’d probably wager you’ll be holistically a lot fitter than you are now.

    Do it, for a year/season. See if you really miss it or actually enjoy it more? Because if you ain’t winning, and aren’t earning a living from it, then the biggest prizes go to the people with the biggest grins.

    theotherjonv
    Full Member

    Oh, and losing that last 2kg….. absolutely. If only I could shift the first 2 and then the in between 11 I’d be with you. But I’ve just got my kit out for a quick trundle tomorrow on the gravel bike, and already the grin’s on my face in anticipation. Who’s the winner now!

    footflaps
    Full Member

    @Saxonrider I can barely do a chin up either.

    According to the other thread I’m one of the heavier STWers, (13kg above my old XC race weight) but can still do chin ups!

    🙂

    fossy
    Full Member

    I got enough shoot from the boss getting injured riding to work, never mind racing….and we promote ‘active travel’.

    Depends upon what your career is. I ended up driving a mate to work for two months after he smashed his leg in Judo. Our employer had no sympathy (this was before my urrent role).

    My choice was ‘I’ve got work on Monday’.. as regards racing the bike went.

    mrlebowski
    Full Member

    Been where you are Kryton – injuries & all.

    Before my knee went I was racing well. Top 10’s at events were common place. Post injury I tried to get back to where I was & it was HARD. Even harder we’re the days like you described & the feeling that I couldn’t be arsed. If I wasn’t fast anymore what was the point?

    Anyway long story short; after reading that endurance racing was harder than I remembered I switched to local & shorter xc events. Combined with stuff on a team I’ve fallen back in love.

    Point being you do need time away from the bike (?!) to Stefan charity & motivation. Particularly when you’re just doing it doing it for the love of..

    Hob-Nob
    Free Member

    Being blunt – are you actually any good? I mean really? Is it your living, because it’s become what defines you and if that’s all to be a bit higher up the mid pack, albeit of a decent standard race class, sounds to me like it’s no longer worth it if you don’t enjoy it.

    As harsh as it sounds, this. Unless you are being paid to do it, you’re not an athlete, what place you come doesn’t define how much food you can put on the table or pay the mortgage.

    I am a racer, and have done so to a reasonable level & had some half decent results over the years, but I am under no illusion that literally no-one beyond my riding group who also race or riding friends knows, or cares whether you won the race, podiumed or whatever. And even if they did, it’s forgotten in 48 hours.

    Riding bikes is meant to be fun. If you want to be semi serious and train to do the best you can, then great – just take a step back and do a reality check. None of us here are racing world cups.

    stevious
    Full Member

    I stopped racing a couple of years ago (not through choice). One of the most useful parts of the process for me was to sit and write down the things I enjoyed about training/racing – it’s helped me to figure out what parts of that process were important to me so I’ve been able to work at keeping them in some way.

    No saying that you should necessarily quit, but a reckoning of what aspects of the lifestyle you like might help bring a bit of perspective.

    ac282
    Full Member

    Who is telling you what to eat and when to ride?

    If you just eat what you feel like and ride when/how you want to will you go that much slower?

    tall_martin
    Full Member

    I fenced competitively.

    I gave it up and mountain bike instead.

    Sunday up early, 3h in the car, sit about waiting…. FIGHT more waiting…FIGHT!… Either win or get kicked out of the completion Fight and then I’d always lose. Fencing is direct elimination so I was top 25% and I’d either get a massive kicking as my last fight or lose via something stupid. 3h back in the showers seething and angry….

    All that was for 30min max of actual fun fighting time.

    I almost moved to Hungary to train. There is a lot more fencing over there and I thought it would be good to see just how good I could get if I put everything into it. In the end I decided that my life would be better with more balance.

    So now I ride bike with my mates. There’s a lot more chat and laughs and it’s never been a serious thing for me.

    Sounds like you need the non serious fun bit of biking and less of the seething anger required to get to the next level of competition.

    BruceWee
    Full Member

    Being an athlete and going to competitions is a major commitment. Quite apart from the training and the lifestyle you have to follow which would be hard enough for someone with a job family, etc, you have to do it all on someone else’s schedule ie, the competition organisers.

    I’m someone who really struggles if I don’t have a specific goal to train for and for years now I feel like I’ve been in the wilderness. I used to compete at an international level in karate and my entire life revolved around preparing for competitions. Since I stopped my fitness and athleticism has seen a steady decline to the point that even just getting out on the bike isn’t fun as I struggle to get up the hills and then feel knackered and weak on the way down.

    Even just getting out and enjoying the ride wasn’t really an option anymore.

    However, about six months ago I came across the term ‘hybrid athlete’. I started lifting weights again and was enjoying seeing the numbers going up. Then I came across Fergus Crawley and his 600:60 challenge.

    https://barbend.com/hybrid-athlete-fergus-crawley-600-sixty-challenge/

    This was the lightbulb moment for me and now I have a very specific goal in mind that even has a catchy title. I’m aiming to do a 500:500 before I turn 50 (I’m 40 at the moment). That’s a 500kg powerlifting total and a 500km ride within a 24 hour period.

    This summer I’m planning on the first stage which will be a 250:250 so we’ll see how it goes.

    This has been a game changer for me. I’ve got a specific (some would say barely achievable) goal that I can aim for but it’s entirely on my own schedule. If I had to do this on a competition organiser’s schedule I don’t think it would be possible.

    I discovered that what I enjoyed about elite level competition was the process that went into it. If I think about it, I didn’t even really enjoy the actual competitions themselves (although the trophies were nice).

    ahsat
    Full Member

    after COVID I have a relenting fatigue post illness which goes up and down daily – yesterday I was bouncing, today I felt like I haven’t slept for days.

    Kryton you seriously need to be careful. Carry on like this bouncing from high to low, and you have a real risk of developing ME/CfS. We talked a bit about this before as I’ve sat through hours and hours of NHS Long Covid courses. You might be good to back off for a bit and have a break for you long term physical, as well as mental health and get that fatigue under control.

    crazy-legs
    Full Member

    I did it for years and was lucky enough to do week on/week off shift work which really helped with training.

    Then I remember finishing one spectacularly muddy NPS on Sunday afternoon, facing a 4hr drive home after another mid pack finish and just thought “why?”

    4hrs drive, camped in a muddy field on Saturday, spent a day prepping, 2hrs racing, 4hrs driving again and a cost of £100 in fuel, race entries, food etc then the time and cost of cleaning the bike and that was it. After that I only entered more unique events like Three Peaks CX, did a few basic crits to keep my fitness up and just enjoyed it.

    I do really admire the people who can just keep racing for decades sometimes. Shows a lot of commitment and inner strength but the reality for most people is that other stuff comes along. There’s a mental hurdle of adjusting to it though after the relative routine of healthy eating, training, focus and so on to just wake up and go “yeah, gonna have a lie in then a massive bacon sandwich”!

    theotherjonv
    Full Member

    but you don’t have to stop racing, or training. Just dial it back to a balanced level, and accept that racing for 17th in sport or vets can be just as exhilarating as racing for 17th in expert. Doing it for decades does show a lot of inner strength but the flip is not true – just because you want to ease back and smell the flowers does not label you a failure.

    It does sound to me like a mental thing though – you (Kryton) are validating your identity by being as fit / fast as you can be and then berating yourself when (bluntly) you’re still (in your mind) ordinary. You’re not I’m sure – probably what, top 2% of MTBers in the country once you include all those that never cable tie a number on?. But unless you’re top 0.2% or even top 20, no-one else really cares, honestly, and you need your inner self to have a word with yourself and realise it. I don’t even know what your real name is, and I’ve never looked up your race results, but I do see your agonies on here and I know you for them…..

    I know it’s harsh but it’s a realisation I had with myself, over work rather than sport but the effect was the same. I was driving myself too hard, still couldn’t achieve everything I wanted and was making myself miserable trying. Doesn’t mean I stopped working hard, but now I enjoy it a lot more and can lift my head up and look around at what I have done rather than “what might have been if only…….”

    Sorry, bit tough love there but I think in your heart you know it. And as me and others have said, you don’t have to jack it entirely, just dial it back. Ride and race for pleasure, but also sit barefooted in your garden with a beer too, and if at the end of the season you’ve missed it so badly, then make a comeback.

    Kryton57
    Full Member

    Thanks all, I’ve woken up with a headache, a little tired and a Body Battery at 98%. I’m about to do 45mins pre race on the turbo which will determine what happens next.

    Stevious and Tall Martin thanks for your posts. I will write down what I want to do becuase I do enjoy the workouts, healthy eating and a lot of the races and involvement but your right in that I need to do them on my own terms. So I think taking my foot off the gas, having no expectations and keeping it local / looking for social opportunities to ride with me managing my own time. Being heavy and lethargic on the sofa fills me with dread. I’m thinking that’s what I’ll do for the remainder of the year to keep it ticking over.

    Crazy legs experience is what’s facing me this morning, and I quite like the idea of Martin Lewis principle and Brucewee’s experience.

    Ashat, I don’t think I have long Covid and i did have the mildest Covid ever, but what I seem to have is a long recovery time post virus and a resting hr that’s never gone back to within 4/5bpm of what it was. I took me 3-4 weeks to train properly after Covid in January, then 10days ago I had viral signs yet nothing other than headache, fatigue and a swollen lymph node. 10 days later of easy training (taper) and here I am with a headache still.

    Not going today feels like I’ve failed, but I think staying at home, riding a couple of hours locally tomorrow and having a good think about things is the right thing to do.

    Edit: we posted at the same time this…

    It does sound to me like a mental thing though – you (Kryton) are validating your identity by being as fit / fast as you can be and then berating yourself when (bluntly) you’re still (in your mind) ordinary.

    Has an element of truth in it, it’s an insecurity I guess.

    theotherjonv
    Full Member

    (and wrt the weekend’s away camping with friends and competitors – everyone should race with a stinking hangover at least once. Horrific but also very satisfying)

    theotherjonv
    Full Member

    Has an element of truth in it, it’s an insecurity I guess.

    IANAPsych (add your own ending, and make your own mind up 😉 ) but I think it is.

    You can keep pushing harder and harder and honestly, you’ll not achieve much more than you have now. Accept it, embrace how good you are, not how good you aren’t. But you could ride to the cafe in Z2 right now, it’s a lovely day, and they do a great flapjack.

    thisisnotaspoon
    Full Member

    As others said, find something fun. I seem to dip in and out of racing sailing dinghies. Probably comparable costs to mountainbiking. It took about 3 years to drag myself up from the back of the pack to some sort of competitive consistency. At the time spending a small fortune to race for a weekend was reasonable, about £80 for 3 days racing, maybe £50 in fuel, something will break, and for everyone’s sanity no one works out what the cost of hardware is divided by the hours used.

    The trouble I have with sailing is the lack of controll over the good days. You can go months before you get a day with a steady breeze, it’s warm, the lake not choked with weeds, not getting abuse from the f****** fishermen, etc. At least riding a bike it’s just “weather” and you dress for it.

    If it’s the variables and the traveling that’s causing strain. Could you swap disciplines? Take up BMX, road/crit racing or track cycling which have better supourted regional competitions, or even just TT’s? A Thursday evening track league is probably just as competitive, but might be a shorter drive, the variables more controlled, the training more objective, than driving across the country at the weekend to an ill defined top third/top ten finish.

    I’ve recently taken up powerlifting. Still only deadlifting 100kg for 5 reps, but it’s far more motivating when that goes up 2-5kg every time you go to the gym than zwifting or training with a power meter and every session pretty much looks the same and the number goes up a fraction after 8 weeks of turning yourself inside out several times a week.

    BigJohn
    Full Member

    Last time I was asked if I had any allergies my answer was “doing things half-heartedly”.

    Fortunately I’m now old enough to justify not doing things that ruin my life.

    I’m also, bizzarely, allergic to oranges but I don’t think the two are related.

    thegeneralist
    Full Member

    One other suggestion as you get older is to replace some of the basic endurance/strength challenges with skill and mental challenges.

    So for example, rather than just picking up ~200kg 3 different ways and then running 40km at a certain speed…

    Work out how to sail a dinghy as fast as possible in the prevailing conditions against the ever changing boat situation.

    Or get good enough at technical climbing moves that you can contemplate doing them without a rope over and over again.

    Or add in the logistical challenge of navigating along a 10km ridge without making mistakes. Being able to work out where to go despite the exhaustion and fear gnawing away at you. Arranging things so you can get back to your car without any assistance.

    Try and challenge multiple aspects of yourself all at once, rather than just some of the physical ones.

Viewing 40 posts - 1 through 40 (of 128 total)

You must be logged in to reply to this topic.

Thanks for popping by - why not stay a while?IT'S FREE

Sign up as a Singletrack Member and you can leave comments on stories, use the classified ads, and post in our forums, do quizzes and more.

Join us, join in, it’s free, and fun.