Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Overtraining, Motivation, and Goals

After my race weekend in Albany I did not want to touch a bike.  I was burnt out, overtrained, and work was piling up.  I knew I was doing this to myself as I trained like a fool the week before.  Lets put it this way, it included lots of high intensity riding and zero to no recovery.  One would think I would know better, and I do, I just didnt really care.

Either way after the weekend I was pretty fried.  Didnt help that I almost crashed on the monday night ride when I cracked my cleat in half during a townline sprint (note to self:  replace cleats more often).  The broken cleat was my excuse for not riding but not the reason.  I had simply overtrained and needed a break.

It comes down to the fact that cycling is a lonely ass activity.  It is a lot of training by yourself and a lot of time being alone.  Jeff posted a great quote on fb...
Cars are parked up and down the street. the smell of the grill and the sound of laughter wafting out to the road conspire to remind a cyclist of just how alone he is. - Roadie
 The thing that we need as cyclist is support, in many ways.  We need support of the shop to fix bikes when they break.  Support of the doctors to fix US when WE break (happens to some more than others).  Support of sponsors to help us get out and race (Thank you Pepsi Cola Ogdensburg).  Support from a coach or a mentor to give riders training advice and race advice.  More importantly we need emotional support.  It sounds stupid but the later is the most important.

We get emotional support from all sorts of places.  This week Shannon, from Wear On Earth, was just chatting with me about the season and how it didnt pan out the way I had hoped.  I guess being in the hospital three times in a season will do that too you.  I don't know if Shannon was doing this purposefully but she did it masterfully,  she brought up goals.  She was asking me what my goals for the season were.  She started asking about goals for the 2011 season and how I intended to accomplish them.

I have my goals for cycling.  I want to be a cat 2 rider.  Is it a long term goal?  Yes.  Do I think I can get there?  Yes.  It is good to have long range goals.  Think of a stone path.  Your long term goal is at the end of the stone path.  Each stone on the path is a short term goal.  You need to set these goals so you can achieve them along the way as you head down the path.  A bunch of little goals on the way to the big one. 

Here is my question to you.  What are your goals for 2011?  What are your goals for cycling?   How do you keep the end, long term goal in mind?  I am looking for ideas of how to keep the long term goal in mind.  I have thoughts of putting a giant "2" on my wall so I see it every day.  Might even make it out of bib numbers.



1 comment:

  1. Tim, great post, and kudos to Shannon for her insight. I'm not a racer, so can't even begin to claim that I, even remotely, understand what it takes to do what you guys do, the sacrifices you have to make, the demands it makes of you, and the toll it takes on your body. But one thing I've learned in life, with pretty much everything that I do and any goal that I make, is that the right attitude is everything.

    Part of building and having the right, or positive attitude towards the goals we'd like to achieve, is learning how to break "negative agreements" that we've been programmed with since childhood. Negative agreements such as self abuse, self judgement, and regret. All these tend to pull us down, and when we don't meet our own expectations or goals, cause us to feel bad about ourselves and make it even harder to set further goals to achieve.

    As you work towards your cycling goals, make this positive agreement with yourself. Agree to always do your best in everything. Your best in cycling changes from time to time, it will be different on different days, it will be different during various events in your life that you will be going through, and it will be different when you are completely healthy versus when you are suffering the physical effects of the training. Just remember to make the agreement with yourself, that under any circumstance, you will always do your best. Do that, and you will avoid the self judgement, self doubt, and regret.

    I admire each and every one of you.
    -Mark Beauharnois