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Learning to over come Pain...(7 posts)

Learning to over come Pain...Canidraftyou
Jun 11, 2001 4:04 AM
How can I learn to over come pain, while in a race? I don't know if I lack conditioning, NOT!, Muscle endurance or the ability to over come pain, hell, maybe all of the above. It seems, when the pack picks up the pace on hills, I cant keep up. I have alot of miles logged in and im working on intervals. My last race I was able to keep the pack in sight at the end of the race, my good friend says, its the lack of over coming pain, Since I was able to keep them in sight, that im working as hard or harder than most, because im racing solo most of the time. HELP!!!

Thanks ya'll
depends on the painDuane Gran
Jun 11, 2001 6:53 AM
There is something to be said for overcoming pain, but we should be careful not to use this term so broadly. It is a true statement to say by and large the winner of a race is the person who is willing to suffer the most. Of course, there are riders of lesser fitness who may be suffering just as much or even more who don't finish well, so don't take this mean that pain = good finish.

Some pains, like the burning feeling in the legs is a sign that you are going anaerobic. If you are only 50% into a race then you are probably in trouble. No amount of gutting it out will probably make the difference. In my experience, this is one of those times when you listen to the body and look for a way to hide in the pack and recover.

A sharp pain, like a cramp or stomach ache, can really mess up your race. Sometimes you can ride it out, but this varies from person to person. I've met guys who puked in the race and never missed a pedal stroke.

Here is the little bit of wisdom I have gleaned about the issue... pain threshold and our understanding of it operates in layers. Currently you are probably capable of handing a larger load than you thought imaginable at some not so distant time in the past. In six months you will have had further exruciating experiences that put present pain issues into perspective. My point is that the well goes much deeper than we think. You can take this in the positive way (you are capable of much much more) or the negative way (you can hurt much much more).

You are probably right about suffering more than you need to by being on the back. There are no awards in cycling for the person who hurt the most, so my advice is to do whatever it takes to move up the pack and get off the back. The back of the pack is an unforgiving place to be. You will work harder back there. In my opinion, the only good reason to suffer in the race (barring the transition into good fitness) is to do something constructive in the race, like go for a prime, bridge a gap, break, cover a break or sprint for the win. These are good times to suffer, but dangling off the back of the accordian is a decidedly bad investment if you can avoid it.
depends on the painCanidraftyou
Jun 11, 2001 11:00 AM
I must say, alot of what you said, I agree with. I have done 7 races to date, and not yet have I finished with the pack, I have no experience sprinting to a finish, or fighting for a prime...THAT SUCKS. I have alot of power for sprinting, but have yet to show it off. Not using my weight for an excuse, July 1st is one year on the road bike and I am 189 lbs at 5'10". The only thing I have alot of experience at, is trying to "bridge the gap" between me and the pack. When most talk about bridging the gap, they're talking about putting themself up with the break away. Me, im just trying to hang on and catch the group again. You are so right its a accordian effect. If we was talking "SEX" the accordian effect is a good thing...LOL, but not in racing.

I want a top five finish so bad, I am whiling to suffer and have, pain has never been a problem with me in other sports, Football and Soccer. I am only trying to identify a potential problem. I have high hopes in moving up to Cat 4 next season, but i must first achieve my top five finish first in Cat 5. Ill have over 12 races in by the end of this season. I dont want to hang around in Cat 5 forever like some do.


Peace out
dealing with painMass Biker
Jun 11, 2001 1:08 PM
I thought I was a pretty good climber until on one of our weekly training rides last year, I was truly schooled by a newbie who destroyed me time and time again on our hill loop. I asked how he managed to deal with the pain and he said that his background in US national rowing helped. When asked about workouts, he suggested a low weight/high rep routine. I adopted his routine during this past winter to some level of success. The key to his routine is "training through the pain". Once I had built some base lifting strength, I began this workout: 3 sets of squats. 30 reps each set. Start at 50 lbs, work up to 80-90 lbs. Relatively short rest between each set. Cycling pain is a different beast altogether - it isn't as acute as being hit by a linebacker and is entirely self imposed. Focusing on staying smooth and consistent as your body progresses towards exhaustion is a critical component to success. With time, you learn how to dance on the edge of blowing up/blowing other people out of the water. It does get easier with each successive season. - MB
dealing with painCanidraftyou
Jun 12, 2001 12:26 AM
Very good!
I agree, dealing with self inflected pain is the key. I like what you said, "Focusing on staying smooth" in fast draw (ref. shooting sports) being smooth and stay focused is the key to success, for smooth is fast. When climbing, I pay close attention to my form as I do in form sprints.

Thanks for sharing,

A book to read:Lazy
Jun 11, 2001 4:06 PM

It's called "Sport Psychology for Cyclists".

Very good book. Stresses concentrating on breathing and has several excercises. Definitely worth the $$.
A book to read:Canidraftyou
Jun 12, 2001 12:30 AM

The last book I got, was the Cycling Bible, very glad I did. Ill take your suggestion, and order this book.