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Smarter Than He Looks
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All day yesterday I was excited about hitting the trails after work. I got home from work, got changed, got my gear ready and headed to the trailhead. Checked my lights (no Magicshine explosion!), dropped in, started pedaling...and suddenly found I had no power at all! My bike seemed heavy. Climbs seemed steeper and longer. Several times I checked to make sure I had the right air pressure. I finished my ride, but it wasn't fun at all.

No real explanation; there were a few 'soft' unfrozen spots. I've been eating pretty well the past few days. My core is good-sore from a class at the Y, but didn't feel any direct effect of that during my ride. Oh well, it happens. On the other hand there are days that I absolutely have to drag myself out there and end up feeling really fast, light and powerful (for me). Hopefully my next ride is one of those!!
 

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Stucco Bucket
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1,920 Posts
Yea I get those too. Ive learned im a zone rider, not real explosive and If I stay low in the heart rate, I feel like im working harder. :shrug:
 

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Pivoteer
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3,445 Posts
My ride yesterday started the same way. I knew as soon as I hit the first hill that i was in trouble. But I carried on and suddenly, like a switch, my body decided it was time to go to work. I spun up a hill that I would normally mash and my body started feeling better and better.

By the end of the ride I had a huge smile....Sometimes I think we put too much pressure on ourselves to have fun when we get the chance and we try too hard. After I made the decision to dial it back a bit my body started to cooperate.
 

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Def days where not feeling the groove! Funny, how some days that you expect to be tough end up being great and then other days start good but end bad. I think as riders we all want to get better and that puts too much pressure on ourselves, for god sakes its not work! I hate the days where I cant do anthing right, ie- spin out on hills, wreck on log piles, etc, etc.
 

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Happens to me frequently.

Usually comes on after several days or weeks of constant riding or after making some sizeable gains.

I find I get so jazzed to ride when things are going well that I "overdo" it and don't realize it till I'm out on the trail.

I'll be fired up to ride, hit the trail, and then I'll get knocked back by how much work the short steep hills are or how rough and "off" I felt during a difficult tech section.

It's funny, because the same traill a few days earlier had me feeling that it was the best ride ever.

Too much of a good thing? Being greedy?

When it happens the easy "cure" is several days off the bike with increasing intake of hydration-beer-ice cream-pizza-sleep-more attention to work-etc.

That remedy seems to provide the necessary blend of rest-guilt-and self loathing to allow the cycle to repeat itself.

It's been keeping me on the bike and motivated to ride for several hundred days a year for a loooooooong time.
 

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406 Posts
I use to get that way with running. I would be looking foward to my run that day. But as soon as I started running, I felt like I hadnt eaten or slept in a day and had a huge weight on my back. Sometimes I think the body and mind dont talk to each other and they are both feeling different that day.
 

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psycho cyclo addict
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3,036 Posts
I had the same feeling on a night ride last night. Must be a tremor in the forz ;)

It was ~32 degrees out and I slogged through 1/3 of a ~14 mile night trail ride in a daze.

I started thinking about the Night Rider from the original Mad Max movie which inspired me to tear it up the remainder of the way. His memorable line was: "I'm a fuel injected suicide machine. I am the rocker, I am the roller, I am the out-of-controller! I'm the Nightrider, baby, ..."

I did eat a protein bar just before starting so I speculated that it might not have kicked in for a while. Some days the motivation level is not as high as others. Ended up a positive experience though.
 

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Tool
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1,973 Posts
Be careful not to go out too hard, which people are more prone to doing if they're stoked up about their ride. Everyone's body has a warm up exertion threshold that, if crossed, will affect their peak power and endurance for the entire ride.

Of course, independent of this, anyone can and should expect to have off days from time to time.

Related to this, I've found insufficient sleep to affect my balance as much as my power/endurance.

-Pete
 

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Some my best rides are when I go out with low expectations, like, "low energy", or "really hot", or "really cold", so "I'll just take it easy". Then I get into a groove and the energy levels come up and I clean stuff and I finish with a tired sweaty smile. Seems to work the opposite if I'm expecting to nail everything with high energy.
 

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I have days like that. Usually if I throttle it way back and go super easy for a while I can push through and start feeling better. I also find that if I feel good and push right out of the gate without warming up that feeling sets in after the first climb or so and it can be a real bear to get past. Sometimes I'm just dead though, maybe not enough sleep, not enough food, not enough water, too much booze... Sometimes all of the above. Sucks to bail out on a ride 1/2 way through but I've done it a few times.
 

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the giant.
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720 Posts
i get like that. i usually ride to the spots i ride, and sometimes i crank too hard because im to amped up, so by the time i get there im beat and dont even feel like riding.
 

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I have gone out! Geared up, Put the bike on the stand and tinkered. Drank the post ride beers and never got on. Still happy.

I usually start out slow and easy. Hike some and sometimes it's 30 minutes before I kick in. Some of my most epic rides are when I was just going out for a quicky.

I don't stress anytime. I ride, I have fun. Expecting to kick ass and drop anyone is not my game.

I raced for 25 years "Offroad" I have learned to Mtn bike with zero concern. I do try to clean sections though.

When my gal's have asked how my ride went. It's always good.
 

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Blood, Sweat, and Gears
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226 Posts
:crazy: Man can I relate, I think I am wired wrong..... I seem to feel better the second half of my ride than the first. I think Pedalphile makes a good point of not starting out to strong and blowing your load to quick. On my ride tonight I tried to keep in mind that and what the_owl said about pacing yourself more slowly and I think it helped me. I have tendency to want to go balls out and burn to much energy in the beginning, reading this earlier today made me concentrate a bit more on my gear selection and cadence.

I notice my diet really effects my energy levels and I was considering carrying some Gels for that mid ride boost, has anyone had any success with Energy Gels? If so which ones?
 

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TRANCER
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2,770 Posts
I also came to the conclusion that when I have to drag myself out to ride is when I usually have my best rides. I also noticed that I usually do better on my second lap of a 7 plus mile trail I go to. And of course there are those days that no matter what I just plain out am useless.
 

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Yea I definitly know what your talking about. Theres times When im convinced that my disc brake is bent enough to rub against the brakes because i feel like theres know other possible way im going this slow and or its this hard of a ride.
 
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