I listened in on an archived USAT webinar this evening by Jesse Kropelnicki on Mental Fitness. I can't relate the entire hour here but I will present some of the highlights.
A previous webinar that I did from his selection covered the four fundamentals of athlete preparation: training, nutrition/rest, fueling and pacing. The 5th component is mental fitness.
Competition is simply comparing comparing your ego under a set of rules. The setting of the completion, the 'is', isn't as important as how the setting makes us feel. For the mentally fit the setting becomes advantageous allowing our fitness to show.
Intrinsic motivation is simply our love of the game or of competition itself. Extrinsic would be any rewards associated with competing like medals, recognition, etc.
Optimal mental fitness would be having no fear of failure, not thinking of our performance, having a narrow focus. Its truly being in the moment. Our best performance doesn't occur at the low end or high end of the arousal scale, its right in the middle.
There are two types of athlete motivation, those motivated by failure and those motivated by success. The failure motivated tend to choose event that are very easy or very difficult. This way expectations are either met or consider so outlandish that results aren't important. Any threat to self esteem is avoided. Positive reinforcement is needed in their support environment.
The success oriented athlete sees the challenge in the event even if the odds aren't there. They like detail in their training, see the reality of the situation and look for a challenge. Some punishment for not reaching goals is ok.
Managing our thoughts is about setting goals that are 100% under our control (deciding on races to enter, our training program, rest, diet, etc), targets (like run pace, power goals, etc) and then outcomes (race results) over which we have the least control.
Areas to practice mental fitness would be confidence, imagery, positive self talk, energy control and focus.
Due to rain I did these inside. I set my computer for 300 watts on the 2x12 and held that at around 80 rpms. I then did 3x5 at close to 30 and 1x3 at 317. I took pretty short breaks between all of these, 2-3 minutes. The problem inside is the cadence. That bike just doesn't allow 90-100 on a given power seeing for some reason . I may be buying the Stages SC3 to replace it. Checking HR during these I found it from 155-160 so right in the zone.
For the record I don't use any indoor software like Zwift or other simulated road programs. I pretty much set the power desired, put on some music and have at it. And I don't do Strava outside. I race enough and do enough intervals where I'm comparing to my previous metrics specifically power to see how I'm doing and progressing. Other than that my indoor rides are all bout watchingt tv and reading newspapers and books while logging endurance miles.
The Myth of Cyclists and Bone Density Problems
No data exists in the scientific literature showing that any type of exercise weakens bones. Bone growth depends on the forces exerted on them by gravity and contracting muscles. So any activity or exercise that causes you to contract your muscles will strengthen bones (Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, November 2009).
Previous studies showed that world-class cyclists had reduced bone densities in their spines. However, bone density tests do not measure bones strength. They measure how much bones block X-rays that try to pass through them. The only way to measure bone strength is to see how much force it takes to break a bone.
The most likely explanations for broken bones in cyclists are high-impact crashes and/or lack of vitamin D.
Get a Regular Vitamin D Test
I recommend that all cyclists get a blood test called Vitamin D3 in December or January. If it is below 75 nmol/L, then the cyclist is deficient in vitamin D and at increased risk for breaking bones.
To prevent fractures, you should do winter training in the southern sunbelt or take at least 800 IU of Vitamin D3 per day.
A recent review of 12 blinded, controlled scientific studies showed that oral vitamin D reduced non-vertebral and hip fractures in patients over 65 years of age (Evidence-Based Medicine, October 2009).
Blood levels of vitamin D below 75 nmol/L cause parathyroid hormone levels to rise too high, which causes osteoporosis. A main function of vitamin D is to increase calcium absorption from the intestines into the bloodstream.
When blood levels of vitamin D fall below 75 nmol/L, levels of ionizable calcium drop. This causes the parathyroid gland to produce large amounts of its hormone. Higher than normal blood parathyroid hormone levels take calcium out of bones to cause osteoporosis.
Last Cleves for 2016. Rode a 22:42, 90 rpms, 27.23 mph at 367 watts. A pretty average effort for the season. One more in Dayton in two weeks. Pretty balanced first and second half on the power with speed just slightly faster on the second half. That seemed to be the biggest issue this year....I just wasn't putting out that bigger power and faster speed the second half. in years past I was averaging over 28 mph on that section. I was close to that on some of the faster nights but not like I was able to do when I was in my mid 40's. I suspect my power was also pushing into the 380's. I can do that on the shorter time trials of 5k and 10k. I'll be racing in the 55-59 next year. I suppose age is finally having that impact on sustained power.
Why Training Fails, from CTS
Smoky Mountain Century
Today hundred mile ride started at our house in Gatlinburg, went to Newfound Gap, Clingmans Dome, Cherokee, NC, back to Newfound Gap, down to Sugarlands, out to Elkmont and then back to the house with 10,000' of climbing
14 mile hike
14 miles from Newfound Gap on the AT, to Sweat Heifer Creek to Grassy Gap to Dry Sluice and back on the AT near Charlies Bunion and back in on the AT
2nd last Cleves Time Trial
A rather uninspired effort tonight. Did well at 22:45, 27.2 mph but only held 355 watts. Had I put out more I might have had PR for the year but I only had one other rider with me at 5:30. it was essentially solo effort for both of us after two miles. I kept a steady pace but certainly not an all out effort by any means.
2 min steady state/30 second tt/1 minute ss/1 minute tt x 3
Used the crit course for these. Power for each 2 minute/30 second/one minute/one minute went as follows: 338/389/308/380, 337/409/312/383, and 335/390/304/395. The one minute at steady state was always a little low because of the second half being downhill.
New Helmet Technology That We Should Look For
After lifting Monday night, racing Tuesday night, and doing both classes yesterday I wasn't expecting much today but these went fairly well. On the 60 second high cadence I held 117-120-118-118-119 (did one too many). On the 2 and 3 minute efforts with 3 minutes between I held 452/400, 431/393, 430/391. Still not hitting the 460+ and 440+ that I held for 2 and 3 minutes in the state time trials but I know I can get there. On the stomps (15 seconds in the saddle using 53/13 only) I averaged 596-649-692-743-681, and that was with about a minute between. I used SR 52 from Coney Island to New Richmond and back for these.
Supposed to rain here Saturday so I may go for an easy but long ride tomorrow.
Link: Riding the Perfect Time Trial
Decent night at the Blue Streak. Rode a 21:51, 27.5 mph at 371 watts with the first half at 375 and 28.23 mph. The turn looks it takes 20 seconds at just 18.4 mph. Average dropped 1/3 mph before I picked it up again. Held 367 on the way back at just under 27 mph.
Had a late evening with Looking East (my band) so I did the 2 hour endurance ride inside with some 90 second high cadence efforts. Set power at 210 for the entire ride. Will be at the Sunflower Revolution ride tomorrow as the emcee.
Average performance. About 3 miles in I really thought that I shouldn't be doing this. Just not physically or mentally into it and then I had a semi pull out in front of me around mile 8. Power dropped to 190 and cadence to 52. Still ended up at 360 watts, 27.2 mph average. Not a bad ride all things considered. I'm actually glad that the effort I put out Sunday was enough that I still feel tired a couple of days later. Those races meant something to me. Cleves #316....not so much.
Kentucky State 5k and 10k time trials
Here are the stats from todays events:
5k: 6:29 (last year 6:34), 415 watts avg, 88 rpms, 28.7 mph
10k: 13:41 (last year 13:47), 387 watts, 89 rpms, 27.2 mph....that tight turn at the halfway point costs at least one mph
1st place in the 50-54 and overall. Last year in that bracket, 55-59 next year.
This is one of my favorite courses. Its along the Kentucky River. Lots of nice sweeping turns and little climbs and very fast sections.
Day Before Ride
Pretty easy indoor ride with just four x 1 minute efforts going from 300 to 330 to 350 within each. Other than that, just very low endurance.
The stomps were using a 53/13 from pretty much a dead stop and just going for 15 seconds. Then I took 2 minutes at about 200-210 watts between each. I used the stretch at Ault Park behind the pavilion going clockwise. Power averages on these were 535, 525, 560, 566, 563, 570, 560, 576, 584 and 570. All in preparation for the Ky State 5k and 10k this Sunday. Tomorrow is a rest day after having the Cleves TT Tuesday, two classes yesterday and todays training.