Why do you train?

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  • It's a question that I've seen asked regularly on the various training/TrainerRoad/Zwift threads, so thought it might be good to have a place to say what you hope to achieve and your personal goals, however big or small. Not really a 'why do you ride', rather what specific reasons you might have for putting in countless hours on the turbo trainer or in the gym? Are you still full on training, despite the lack of actual racing this year? Future goals? Do you even know?

    Plenty of people on here train for actual races, but I don't think that necessarily makes their training more 'important' than those who don't. So, apart from ( and including ) people on here who have stepped on a podium in their lifetime, what makes you want to put yourself through it all?

  • Plenty of people on here train for actual races

  • Plenty is more than 5, right?

  • Anyway, I just saw some of your reasons

    Nah, there's lots of reasons.
    To better a time/speed/distance
    So I'm not the last on our weekly cafe ride
    Because if I don't, I want to murder everyone

    Winning races happens so infrequently for most people it can't be why so many people "train".

  • Yeah, there's lots of reasons to train, but obviously 'trying to win a race' is the bestest.

    Even if I'm not racing I would likely do what people consider 'training' vs. just riding, because I like the structure and I like having a good habit to balance the bad habits.

    My missus can get on her bike and just ride around, exploring. I hate that. 95% of the time I can't do that. I need a goal. No goal. No ride.

  • I was questioning myself this yesterday when doing an over under interval session and feeling I was about to vomit. I don’t race, and haven’t ridden a bike outdoors for pleasure in almost a year. I do ride for work purposes.

    Covid happened and I was aware I was overweight and cardio fitness wasn’t good either. But I had decent core strength and flexibility/range of movement. So I started to do TrainerRoad again as being fat and out of breath both complicate Covid symptoms.

    Weight has dropped and cardio fitness has increased by almost 25% in the lockdown period. I feel better, clothes that I couldn’t squeeze into now fit again and if I do get ill hopefully my risk levels have reduced.

    I hope to get out on road and trails soon and generally enjoy riding more when not struggling. I’d rather suffer at home on turbo but have this offset by Netflix or YouTube and then when I ride outdoors I can enjoy the terrain, views or company better. Also I am aware that the compact structured nature of TrainerRoad workouts is probably a more efficient way to increase ftp etc than trying to do intervals on the road and contend with other road users.

    But yesterday’s moment of nausea did lead me to question why I was training so obsessively. Though the answer seems to be I am obsessive, but am also enjoying the product of the pointless training.

  • My missus can get on her bike and just ride around, exploring. I hate that

    I love a bit of exploring, and would not enjoy riding nearly as much without it, yet often ( less often recently ) try to ride a familiar route a bit faster, or do unpleasant intervals on the turbo. I've entered a total of three races in my life and have been distinctly mid-pack in each of them

    My main motivations currently seem to be:

    1-Having been a fat, inactive kid. I'd like to never return to feeling that way about myself

    2-Leading the Epping Forest Badger rides with people who are sometimes half my age, and not wanting to completely embarrass myself by feeling knackered all the time

    3-Daydreaming about entering future endurance events, like last year's 24hr attempt

  • Hoping the title of this thread doesn't get @Ecobeard too excited

  • I've always been active. But even as a kid I would sprint around the house on my BMX with a stopwatch running, trying to beat my time. I guess some people just get born competitive. I wonder if it had something to do with being first born followed a couple of years later by brothers.

    The only time my missus did formal training was before the team 24hr we did. She would much rather do random loops outside and tackle some QOMs than sit on a turbo, whereas I would much rather sit on the turbo then ride aimlessly around town.

    I don't know what this means, other than different strokes for different folks.

  • why does @6pt train?

  • Such a good question. Other than a few seasons of spin classes and a bit of track, I’d never really trained on the bike, preferring to save that for fun: long rides, touring and day trips. I’m currently dabbling in Zwift because:

    a) I’m under virtual house arrest with a small person so maximum efficiency is everything.
    b) my usual training (rowing) is off the table for the moment for various logistical and fitness reasons
    c) I want to try and claw back a little bit of fitness for when things (and I) get back to normal and I can get out on a bike / in a boat

    I’m not tracking much at the moment - if this continues I might try and do more of training plan, but as it is I’m very happy to follow the numbers slavishly for a snatched 30 mins and feel tired at the end.

  • Strava KoMs.

    Back in the day.

  • maybe he can share some hacks to up the average speed like starting and stoping garmin at certain points etc?

  • I train so I can drop @andyp on rides

  • I personally don't need events to train for - it's more discipline but during COVID it's added an element of structure to the days/weeks/months and an opportunity to experiment with what works or doesn't.

    A few general things for me...

    • If I'm fitter, I enjoy the fun rides more.
    • It's nice to know I could get off the sofa and ride most things
    • Long term health benefits
    • There might be no racing this year but if you can push into new fitness levels, you can be better placed next year.
    • it takes ages to get fit, don't want to lose it
  • I eat too many snacks and need to avoid getting even fatter.

  • But seriously,

    I was a fat kid and only got slimmer when I started cycling. If I back off or get too busy at work the pounds pile back on.
    I also find it great as a stress reliever. Doing some exercise almost over day has helped a lot during lockdown. Seeing numbers go up and doing some Zwift racing has been surprisingly rewarding.

  • 6pt isn't the one I see doing several Sufferfest sessions each week...

  • I never cared about training and thought it was a bit silly unless you're racing but then I started working with a lot of cyclists and going on regular rides with my colleagues and had the occasional bonk trying to hang on the back but generally kept up and friendly competitive. Until Lockdown when I barely left the house and they all carried on riding so now I'm terrible at bikes and have bought a trainer so I can catch back up and make my social rides less of a struggle and have a bit of friendly competition with my mates.

  • I 'train' mainly so

    a) I can point myself at a ride I fancy doing wherever it might be and not worry too much about getting round it, and
    b) a point of reference - hopefully I'm riding quicker / more efficiently / faffing less / Smashing teh KOMs more than last time I tried the same thing
    c) increase calorific deficit in a structured way to allow for structured beer intake

  • distinctly mid-pack in each of them

    You're still lapping yourself who would have been sat on the sofa, as the saying goes. I think modern times set extremely a high bar for what people should be achieving, most of us don't get there and beat ourselves up because of it. Strava, Instagram etc. are the culprits. Sounds like you have the right balance there anyway; do what you enjoy, keep active, push yourself a little, don't get too wrapped up in the numbers. It's all good. :)

  • I started "training" originally because the thought of trying to ride up a French mountain scared the shit out of me. Then I was training because I'd had a lot of time off the bike due to illness and injury. Now it's because the people I used to drop, now drop me, so if I don't do it I'm the old guy at the back

  • my mates

    i dont have any

  • he does more than me, just all of his rides are secret unless they cross 19mph

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Why do you train?

Posted by Avatar for BareNecessities @BareNecessities