Viewing 40 posts - 41 through 80 (of 128 total)
  • Athlete life…. :(
  • molgrips
    Full Member

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

    This is why I like ITTs. No matter how fit you are you can always do a ride that is going to properly test you and show you what you’re made of. The mental challenge is always there.

    twonks
    Full Member

    Life is one big compromise.
    These compromises change with age, ability, lifestyles and ultimately wealth.

    Kryton, if you are not racing for a living – you don’t ‘need’ to race and place well.
    That means you are doing it because you want to but, are now worrying if it is all worth it.

    I suspect most of the worry and anxiety comes from your perception about what happens if you stop, not what benefits stopping will bring.

    More than a few times the obvious thought is ‘I’ll pile on the pounds and become miserable’
    This is the scariest and easiest one to fall back on, as nobody wants to be too fat and immobile, especially when used to the rush and feeling of being fit.

    But reducing exercise doesn’t have to mean huge weight gain. You know this but your mind won’t let you put it into context.

    I have loads of thoughts and reasonings that could have some relevance (happy to share these, but conscious that it could come over a bit preachy on a forum), although the underlying one is – ‘you won’t stop being you if you give up racing’ Even if just for a while to see if the passion and desire returns, a rest and regroup doesn’t hurt.

    masterdabber
    Free Member

    The question of whether you continue to race at perhaps a lower level as a result of cutting back your training and enjoying it more will depend very much on you. The suggestion is certainly valid but it doesn’t work for everyone.

    I raced kayaks from schoolboy days through to my early 20’s. By my mid/late teens I was training very seriously often for around 4.5 hours a day…. 1 hour on the river before work then another 3 + hours in the evening (having sometimes skived off from work a bit early) doing more river work, running, weights. During this “serious” period I became a junior British champ at a couple of distances and a member of the Mexico Olympic squad. I never made the final selection (my doubles (K2) partner getting injured never helped) but I could have no complaints, it was fair. I carried on training and made the selection for the European Championships in Moscow in 1969. Then at the last minute the BCU had a funding prolem and cut the team down to something very small.  That really p*ssed me off. It made me reassess what I was trying to achieve. All that effort and no reward. Additionally I was paying very little attention to my career or earnings.

    The result was that I took a bit of time out but came back to training after a couple of months but at a very reduced level. I enjoyed the training but when the next season’s racing started again I started getting beaten by people I always used to beat. I stuck with it for a little while but then just knocked racing and what I would call training on the head. I never raced again and never kayak trained again. I did some running training with my girlfriend (now Mrs MD) who was a top 400/800 metre runner and enjoyed that.

    When I got beaten after 1969 I wasn’t upset by getting beaten by those who, historically, always beat me or gave me a hard tme, it was getting beaten by those I always dismissed as no competition.

    We’re not all the same but that was how it worked for me.

    theotherjonv
    Full Member

    I sort of understand that. I stopped playing cricket when my eyesight started to fail me – I mean not picking the ball up as fast as I did, not that I can’t read an eye chart. I dropped a level but I got frustrated quickly – being a technical sport it is not something that is ‘done just as well but slower’ – you were in with folks that couldn’t catch, had horrible technique but good eyes, played on worse grounds and so on and I soon dropped out.

    But being beaten in a race that is largely dictated by fitness and power to weight, etc., by someone who’s only faster than you because they spend all their time training. I can live with that, ‘cos I like cakes and doing stuff with my family more. They’re not faster because they’re better, they’re faster because they have different life priorities.

    Kryton57
    Full Member

    Er, so an update; I’m not racing tomorrow, and I feel massively relieved.

    I did the pre-race and it went two ways

    a) All I could think of what w/kg, power, weight, speed, data, what if, more data – ffs what have I become! I’m mentally a mess will not enjoy the weekend or the race and risk a DNF/more anxiety by going

    b) Aka Mark Lewis, I rode for 45 mins and dropped 443 cals – whoop!

    Thanks Twonks for this:

    Kryton, if you are not racing for a living – you don’t ‘need’ to race and place well.
    That means you are doing it because you want to but, are now worrying if it is all worth it.

    I suspect most of the worry and anxiety comes from your perception about what happens if you stop, not what benefits stopping will bring.

    Its pretty much spot on. Tomorrow I’m going out on the bike for a couple of hours in the sun then doing something I’ve wanted to do since the last lockdown – stop on the way back for a pint in the Owl.

    Going forward, I’m going to watch some more Mark Lewis videos then have a think about Riding is Training rather than the other way around. I’m enjoying the fitness and the workouts but not the rigidness, and I enjoy the healthy diet but not the compromises, so I’ll approach the Gorrick 6h in May on the basis I enjoy Minley, I can go, race and be back in the same day. Whatever life throws at scheduled training beforehand – including an eye on the fatigue I’m experiencing – needs to be enjoyed and not compromised. Same with the July Pivot 12hr – so what if I was top ten last year and might not be this year, its a great weekend which Jnr enjoys so lets go for that reason.

    I’m not a naturally gifted athlete so it takes a lot of hard work to be “good”, if I remember I’m a family man of two with a family, Job and holidays to deal with then being better than average on a bike for the sake of everyone else happiness is a decent outlook to aim for rather than having a miserable 50yo moping around the house trying to be 7th at something no one will ever remember.

    jam-bo
    Full Member

    I came to terms with mediocrity a long time ago. It’s liberating.

    theotherjonv
    Full Member

    I came to terms with mediocrity a long time ago. It’s liberating

    Leaning tower of Pisa with copy: "MEDIOCRITY It takes a lot less time and most people won't notice the difference until it's too late."

    mert
    Free Member

    I came to that realisation last year.
    Every autumn i start looking at training for my big come back, it never happens.
    So last autumn i had a bit of an epiphany, I’ve finally accepted i’m never going to race competitively again. I don’t have the time, the mental fortitude or the inner drive to push myself that hard. Or the money to keep myself in kit and entry fees!

    So last autumn i made a few tweaks to both my XCO bikes, more comfort, more grip, more travel, sold a handful of bits and pieces, and bought an endurance bike. It’s been a massive struggle to pay for it, but i can just push off and ride where i want, at the speed i want, dirt tracks, back roads etc.
    I’ve even dug out a bar bag and some of my old bike packing kit so i might do so cheap weekends, ride over to the next city on saturday, stop in an AirBnB and ride back with a hangover.
    Or maybe just the 30km round trip to town and get an ice cream and watch the world go by.

    And yes, i was pretty good BITD, i know how to train, how to push myself, i have been given kit/”paid” to race, i’ve got 7 or 8 years of middling to good results. Probably 60 odd podium finishes across disciplines and classes (got an utter kicking at elite level though, i wasn’t that good!)
    And, in the long run, if just riding my bike for a couple of years gives me the fitness and the urge to race again, i will. If it doesn’t, i don’t care.

    I mean, i started out “just riding my bike” (CTC/Audax/RSF) in the 80’s and 90’s, no reason that it couldn’t happen again.

    anagallis_arvensis
    Full Member

    Come and do the Southern XC race tomorrow, I shall be aiming for mid table mediocrity in the open race!!!

    theotherjonv
    Full Member

    you can’t aim for mediocrity, you have to settle for it.

    rollindoughnut
    Free Member

    I spent the morning riding round the three hills of the Hurtwood. I cruised up the bridleway climb from Holmbury hill to Leith Hill Tower. I remembered how utterly broken I’ve felt on that climb in the past and realised that now I don’t race I’m so much fitter! Without targets I just ride everyday for the love of it. If I’m tired I go slow, if I’m not I look for climbs.
    Brought me so much pleasure just feeling great, out on my bike, fit as a butchers dog.

    rollindoughnut
    Free Member

    Met a smashing lady at the top of BKB. We talked about how racing felt less important to us these days and at that moment I knew I’d done the right thing quitting the treadmill.

    steve_b77
    Free Member

    If you’re not feeling it, don’t do it. In some respects I’ve been there, as in podium at major international kind of event (AG) – but you know that – and basically a whole year of watching what I ate, training an awful lot, sacrificing family time, doing crazy shit like thinking that a round trip commute of 130k was a good idea twice a week – well it was and I hit my target, but by the end of the year I was f@$ked, I raced when I thought I just had a tight chest, ended up passing out, paramedics, temp of 40, resting HR of 100, blood pressure through the roof, blood O2 through the floor,so I had a break.

    I’ve barely ridden more than 400k in a month since August last year, but I’m enjoying it.

    Now to be honest I just race for the fun, yeah I want to do as good as I can without hating it, and I try and I’ve not done bad at regional CX this year, but I also like beer 😉

    I’ll be there tomorrow, it’d be nice to do well, I might even scrape top 10, nearly did last time out, but if I don’t, it’ll be a nice day on the bike.

    anagallis_arvensis
    Full Member

    you can’t aim for mediocrity, you have to settle for it.

    You haven’t seen me ride!!

    sirromj
    Free Member

    Give trials riding a go if you still want to ride bikes and a challenge. Will still beast you, but in an entirely different way. Quantifying your rides by distance becomes completely irrelevant. Commit to practising the skills several times a week and you’ll see progression.

    Kryton57
    Full Member

    Good luck in the race this morning Steve B – I did think about the discussion we’d had about your bronze medal experience earlier in the day.

    I cleared my race diary last night with the exception of two races, and will have a rethink / replan today with sensibility in mind.

    Lankysprinter
    Free Member

    I did go to Cannock for the race today and absolutely hated it! Not of fan of the rooty, lumpy nature of those tracks they used, too much of that for me and not enough double track or fire road mixed in. I’m sure some people loved it but for me it killed my back and set my nerve pain off big time!

    I’m giving racing one more go this summer and if I still don’t like xc I’m trying cyclo cross or sticking to road

    anagallis_arvensis
    Full Member

    you can’t aim for mediocrity, you have to settle for it.

    Had to settle for the back of the field in the end…think I need a new rear mech!

    Lankysprinter
    Free Member

    Ouch! What did you do that on?

    thegeneralist
    Full Member

    absolutely hated it! Not of fan of the rooty, lumpy nature of those tracks they used, ……not enough double track or fire road mixed in. 

    Eek. Says it all really. Sounds utterly ghastly.

    Move to Germany perhaps….

    Edit. Just to be clear, not liking lumps and roots and instead wanting moarrrr fireroads sound ghastly.

    anagallis_arvensis
    Full Member

    Ouch! What did you do that on?

    No idea, came out of a descent through the woods started pedalling and then all hell broke loose, chain was jammed between cassette and spokes, which is odd because I was in about 3rd smallest gear. Must have hit something in the woods that bent it without noticing.

    molgrips
    Full Member

    Not of fan of the rooty, lumpy nature of those tracks they used, too much of that for me

    Ooh, maybe I should’ve gone, I like trails like that. I’m heavy but powerful so I can power over them and my weight gives me momentum, so I do relatively better. Even though it’s still hard!

    rollindoughnut
    Free Member

    I like a mixture during a race. I personally think a good course should have some real power sections, ideally a long, hard climb, then technical singletrack for the more skilled to bring their heart rate down a little.

    rollindoughnut
    Free Member

    Anyway. This is going off topic.
    Here’s another illustration of why not racing regularly is a good thing:
    I woke up this morning feeling tired and a bit run down, so I did bugger all today. Ate lots, had a bit of booze, watched the women’s downhill.
    Lovely, and no guilt.

    Kryton57
    Full Member

    Despite the fact my coach has filled in the next two weeks of dedicated sessions, I’ve a hefty week of travelling this week and a forest family holiday next week.

    So, taking this into my own hands, its two hard evening MTB rides Tuesday and Wednesday, then some 1hr early morning rides before every one else gets up on alternate days on hols…. followed by beer and wine in the evening 🙂

    Looks like my races this year now boil down to Torq in your sleep in May, Mayhem in June, Southern XC Marathon in June and the Pivot 12h in July.

    That’ll do thanks.

    steve_b77
    Free Member

    Good luck in the race this morning Steve B – I did think about the discussion we’d had about your bronze medal experience earlier in the day.

    Yeah training for the Euros was bloody hard work, bordering on selfish – well not bordering, it was – but I got what I wanted I keep thinking about doing it all again, but to be honest I reckon it’ll be when the kids are older, so it might be a quest for a stripey jumper when I’m in V50 and can afford more time, without interrupting family life completely for about 9 months.

    As for yesterday in Cannock I enjoyed it, it was also bloody hard work and just the right side of warm to not end up a salty mess at the end, as I’ve not exactly “trained” for a 6 hour effort it took some doing, in fact the last time I rode for that long was the Dirty Nocka in September ’21!

    I pulled the plug at 5 hours and 72k, could’ve done another lap within the cut-off, but frankly couldn’t be bothered and give the trails were in very similar condition to the September ’21 edition and the course almost identical I was pretty pleased to have covered the same distance in 40 minutes less than the previous outing.

    On a course related note, I think the one they set out for the Nocka is perfect, just the right balance of fire roads, climbing, tech and flow, it would make a bloody brilliant 12hr or even 24hr course if the forestry would let them hold an over nighter, which they won’t, but that’s another story. It’s all rideable, it holds up pretty well in crap conditions and the Takeroo has enough space to put host that kind of thing.

    But in all honestly, just get out an ride, if you’re feeling this way I’d consider binning the coach off and get your life back, spend the money you’ll save on riding in different places and cherry pick events to do, it’s way better.

    thestabiliser
    Free Member

    Consider ditching the coaching, it’ll be adding to the pressure and sense of expectation

    robbo1234biking
    Full Member

    Out of interest do you employ a coach to provide accountability i.e. you are more likely to stay on track with a coach?

    I know you looked at just using TrainerRoad which I think would get you 90-95% of the way there but if you need that accountability (from the diet perspective as well) then fair enough.

    I am doing Mayhem this year – will be my first ever MTB race! Look forward to being lapped by you 😉

    mikertroid
    Free Member

    I’ve done lots of racing over the years, but I’ve always accepted I’m there to make up the numbers!

    I have changed focus to setting myself a couple of annual challenges, in different sports and yes, I’ll still race bikes, but mainly for the fun of it. My goal nowadays is not to finish last!

    DrP
    Full Member

    I know what you mean and appreciate the challenges you face..
    I ebb and flow when it comes to racing/riding/fitness/challenges..

    I often enter WAY more things that I realistically can fit in – being a single parent means making big choises..I can’t do any events the weekends i have my kids, so that’s 50% of weekends gone..
    Then I don’t want to pi$$ off my OH… but also racing IS important to me, so I hope she understands that too…

    Then of course, if you want to do well, it’s not jsut the race date, but the training/practice/etc leading up to the race…

    In my mid 30s I would stress about being ‘unfit’ for a month or two (as @pictonroad mentioned – a cold can take you out the game for a month!)… now I’m nearly 40 I TRY to be more relaxed, and appreciate my fitness can ebb and flow over a 6 month period…

    My big challenge is that I have rather rigid ways of thinking – if I set myself a goal (i.e a zwift training programme) tehn I struggle if I don’t stick to it ALL… cos then I think “well I’m not doing 100% of it, so may as well quit it all”…. I really need to cahnge this way of thinking…
    Same with racing… I feel IF i can’t give it my ALL, then I may as well not effing bother….

    Something I did note with my racing progress is that (humble brag coming..) in my early 30s I’d race XC etc and come mid pack..that was fine, that was fun…
    THen when i started getting podiums…then golds…then having to “defend my title” it became a lot more pressure..I’d get (and still do) REALLY anxious before a race… so the higher up teh ranks you get,the more the pressure builds!

    Anyway… I hope you manage to find inner peace, as do i..

    DrP

    EDIT – Robbo’s comment is a good one:
    “Out of interest do you employ a coach to provide accountability i.e. you are more likely to stay on track with a coach?”
    I can deffo see that a financial investment in a coach or programme really does add accountability!

    mahowlett
    Free Member

    Similar to what others have said, but, learn to ride the learning curve. Every skill/sport has a learning curve and there comes a point where it takes more and more time and effort to make smaller and smaller gains, if you want to be the best at one thing, you have to embrace that and spend more time than anyone else improving that skill, but that comes at a cost, and the cost is that you’ll have no time for anything else, you have to sacrifice learning other skills, sacrifice time with your family, sacrifice your career.

    The alternative is competance at many things, become a jack of all trades, it takes much less time to be competant at something than it does to be a master, but you can manage many things, you have to stop comparing yourself to the rest of the world and learn to be happy with what you can do. We all know the response you get from a non cyclist when you tell them you cycled 50 miles, do that for a lot of stuff, and screw what Nino Schurter thinks of your XC abilities. It’s better for your mental health, it’s better for your comfidence and you get to be a more useful human being come the apocolypse 🙂

    mrlebowski
    Free Member

    I had a conversation with a slightly older friend a while back (him 56 – me 51) & it was something along the lines of “Do we train to race or race to train?”

    Racing for me gives my riding structure & focus. I’ve been training to do something physical ever since I was 24 & joined the marines. It’s what I do & I enjoy it. It keeps me out of the pub, off the shite food & looks after my health. I don’t obsess about my data much just so long as I’m there or thereabouts (I’m not doing it for a living…)

    I realised long ago that too many events really takes it out of you so I’ve only 4 this summer (2 team & 2 xc) plus the Ex Enduro with a mate – but that’ll be for kicks & beer.

    Whenever I’m out I always try to take a positive out of the ride. Yesterday it was dry roads, not much traffic & a beautiful sunset over the Chiltens as I rode home. Did I hit my targets? Yeah, but that was a bonus in hindsight. The real plus was riding through some gorgeous countryside. The day before? Horrible, nasty lung throwing up intervals…I can’t say I enjoyed those, but what I did enjoy was the feeling after & the beautiful sunny blue sky on my ride home.

    My point being don’t forget to look up, stop, & smell the flowers (metaphorically speaking…)

    I also guess I’m lucky as I really LOVE riding my bike!

    the-muffin-man
    Full Member

    Be wary of stopping completely!

    My cycling life was built around competing of some sort. Then I had to go on medication (for life) which completely killed my form.

    It didn’t stop me riding, but I was never a bimbler – just riding for ridings sake – there had to be a purpose. As a result my interest waned and the bikes haven’t been ridden in years.

    Kryton57
    Full Member

    I do have a coach and yes I enjoy the accountability and learning that goes with it. Perhaps what’s obvious is that I’m busy at work, and together with kids things & hols I rather over committed my time and the April schedule is a nightmare.

    I don’t want to stop completely. I emailed my coach this morning asking for generalised suggestions for 1hr workouts over the next 2 weeks for me to fit in as I can rather than a prescriptive diary, then we get back on track a bit for Torq in your sleep but leaving time for me to have a beer at the weekend.

    After that is Mayhem in June, Vittoria Marathon in June, Pivot 12h in July and probably a Gorrick in September,

    I did enjoy a hard ride yesterday albeit with some rear mech issues. I posted in the Weekend Pics thread at my Tea stop.

    See you at Mayhem Robbo! I won’t be staying over but perhaps will catch up with you before the start.

    jameso
    Full Member

    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?

    I have no direct advice but I do relate to some of this. I think we are on different wavelengths in terms of the Type A behaviour though. fwiw, from what I have set training plans down for and worked at because it was something vital to my self respect and personality, something I needed to have done in life etc –
    1) What is your main motivator in all this, what is the goal? It’s probably not as simple as a top 5 result, it’ll be more personal than that. No need to set it out here but you need to be honest with yourself.
    2) How will you know you’ve achieved it? If you can’t answer this I suspect your answer to 1) was off.
    3) When you achieve the goal, what comes next? Because going after the same achievement over and over again suggests that your answer to 1) may have been wrong, misguided or simply not honest with yourself.

    It’s worth working through this one. I can say that what little I did do in racing still was a big, life-affirming thing for me. I still think of going back to that cycle of work and goals as I found the training very positive and rewarding but I know I got what I wanted from it and having done that my motivations are different. That’s not a loss, it’s finding a sort of peace or an answer I wanted.

    The other thing is I believe you can stay at 85-90% of your peak fitness and really enjoy riding, be fast and stay in shape etc, without formal training. The last 10-15% is a fkload of work and focus to tune up something that you can maintain through a decent pattern of winter miles and spring/summer sprints for the enjoyment of the activity. Good habits and a more relaxed attitude towards it rather than something set in stone that you beat yourself up with. All the training really gives you ime, for endurance fitness, is more matches not massively bigger match heads. Lighting a few per ride always feels good and you won’t lose that. And someone else is always faster, we all have good days so who cares who’s fastest on that one day. It’s just an ego thing really.

    Milese
    Free Member

    I like racing and training and having something in life to focus on, for me. If I’m not on the wagon and i’m off the wagon, really struggle to find a happy medium, but I’m average.

    But, the more you ride at a well trained level, the more friends you make who are good. I’ve now got the problem of being naturally weaker than a lot of my mates, so I need to be in good shape to be able to enjoy riding with them. Which is good that it keeps a bit of pressure on….

    stevious
    Full Member

    Ooh, @mrlebowski has described my approach to athleting (it’s a word) very well. I like to have a ‘what I liked about my ride’ prepared to tell my wife about when I get back.

    On the subject of coaching, I was listening to the Matt Stephens Unplugged podcast earlier and it made me think of this thread. Specifically in this one with Conor Swift:

    https://sigmasports.podbean.com/e/connor-swift-on-premature-celebrations/

    And this one with the Downing brothers

    https://sigmasports.podbean.com/e/double-downing-russ-and-dean-s-top-training-tips/

    They talked a bit about how how much more successful they’ve been as coaches & atheltes when they’ve been able to be honest and clear about when they’ve been struggling.

    It made me think @Kryton57 , it might be worth thinking about how your relationship is with your coach and whether there are changfes you can make to that relationship so he can help you avoid digging yourself as deep as you have.

    twonks
    Full Member

    @jameso @kryton57

    If I may be direct and hopefully not too far off the mark (picking up from previous comments)

    1) What is your main motivator in all this, what is the goal? It’s probably not as simple as a top 5 result, it’ll be more personal than that. No need to set it out here but you need to be honest with yourself.

    I don’t think Kryton has a goal with regards to the racing as such, more towards the life of an athlete. Although he may not realise it, his goals are to not stop – simples. If along the way some top placings come as a result, so much the better and a sense of achievement will no doubt be rightfully felt – but the fail is to not do it at all and pile weight on, get unfit. One test of this is to write down what failure would be in your eyes (Kryton) and what said failure would do to your life. Might be a bit tricky now as I’ve outlined what I think you’d say, so it isn’t a blind question any longer.

    The goal may actually be to stay fit, healthy and competitive. The fear is by not racing and training competitively, these goals can not be met. Viscous circle then sets in and it all becomes mental as much as physical because of course one can remain fit and healthy without such (relative) extremes of training etc, it’s just that Kryton can’t (doesn’t want to) see this yet.

    The fear is being addressed already, as shown by cancelling Sunday and clearing the diary. What has to be done now is to realise why it has been done and what can be done in its place to make sure the desire to stay fit and healthy is taken care of.

    I’m in danger of meeting myself coming backwards going into this without input from Kryton, so I’ll stop there and see if some of it is correct,

    Kryton57
    Full Member

    Twonks, I’d say thats a very insightful summary, and quite accurate. I’m a bit complicated phsycologically, so your questions are hard to answer.

    Now, I did go through this with work, so I’ll try to express the same here.

    Success for me is external recognition of something I do as good from a person that I myself have a respect for. Its not about money, certificates or medals. Going through a coaching process and being at the sharp end of races is great, but having people/adversarys pat me on the shoulder or recognise me with competitive concern is THE validation. Sorry if that sounds ego driven.

    So having gone from social MTBr to Racer and acknowledged as such was a validation – check. Going from Trainerroad to a Coachable was the next step – check. Being coached to top 10 National 12hr and top 5 Gorrick 6hrs put me at the sharp end and earned me handshakes and acknowledgment from adversaries – my greatest validation that I was good at a form of MTB racing.

    I don’t want to stop, I just had a bunch of conflicting interests and needed a reset. But in doing so I realised that – as Steve B and others have iterated – there’s a price to pay and a commitment to make to get up at the front. I’m 50 this year and have a busy stressful job (enterprise sales) and I wanted to have holidays with beer and good food to celebrate my milestone, and not having holidays whilst counting cals and with a bike / gym schedule between half a lager twice a day.

    I need to find the right balance or effort vs outcome, but this year I want to be a bit more social whilst maintaining my fitness. Maybe I’ll hit the scales and 10-12hr training weeks next year, who knows. But I do know I’m not comfortable sitting on the couch day in day out, and I enjoy riding my bike most of the time. Last Sunday – the first proper dry trails day for ages – brought the beginnings of a smile back to my face, I need to hold on to that enjoyment of effort with pace and speed.

    FWIW my coach has been very understanding, has backed off my schedule and encouraged me to have a holiday next week and also offered his time should I need a non structured chat just to pour out my issues. We’ve been together for a while and he does have a good understanding of me, so knows that stress=fail for me so I feel he’s giving me the space I need currently.

    Crikey, talk about pouring your heart out in public….

    theotherjonv
    Full Member

    Honestly, I think you need to. It’s a good place to do it, there’s a lot of people with direct or indirect experience who will listen and offer advice if you want it.

    One thing concerns me:

    Success for me is external recognition of something I do as good from a person that I myself have a respect for.

    True self esteem comes from within. Looking in the mirror and seeing a good person, one you’re happy with is worth 100x chasing the validation of others. So many athletes are totally insecure because of this, and I suspect when the capability fades as inevitably it does with age, injury or fatigue, and you no longer see your name on the selection list for the Olympics, or in the national squad or in the top 10 at a Gorrick or whatever it is, then that self worth ebbs away too. And leaves you in a dark place. Please talk to someone about that properly, and although I don’t know you or them, I don’t think your coach is that right person.

    4 Ways to Stop Relying on External Validation

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