Do You Have A Training Mindset?

If you’re like me, when you think of ‘training’, as it relates to sports, or cycling, you immediately conjure images of athletes training for sporting events such as the Tour de France, Ironman Kona, or the Olympics. Isn’t that what training is all about? Getting the skills, experience, and conditioning in so that you can compete, or perform, at a higher level? Yes, but I think the word ‘training’ can apply to more than just professional cyclists and athletes. I’m not just talking about my fellow cyclists who are riding centuries every other week, climbing 8000 feet a weekend, or racing at the amateur level. I’m talking about people out there, like me, who have weight to lose. It takes a lot of effort and commitment in order to lose that weight. Or to get into better shape. Or to finish that century in under six hours. I’m not saying we’re going to compete in the 2011 Quiznos Pro Challenge but can we take a page from the pros and adopt their mentality and work ethic? I say yes. Being In Training Means A 24/7 Commitment Too many of us, myself included, think of our cycling as a 1-2 hour per day commitment and we can get what we need out of it. We spin our miles before work, at lunch, or in the evening. We catch a group ride on the weekend to get a few more miles in. But are we actually pushing ourselves to do our best by only devoting a fraction of the day to our training? Hardly. There are some of you out there...

Cycling Takes Dedication

Each morning after my ride I log my stats into Dailymile. Once I click on ‘share’ my ride stats and comments are transmitted to the Biking To Live Facebook Fan Page and on Twitter @bdewberry. This morning I said something about the moon looking great at 6:15. @marijolamarche responded to my shared workout on Twitter with: “On your bike at 6:15 Bryan? That’s dedication!” You know what? She’s right. Cycling does take dedication. Am I any more dedicated than someone else? Probably not but for any of us getting out there to ride it takes some measure of dedication and motivation to do it. We have to make sure our equipment is ready to ride. We have to hydrate properly before riding and after. We have to eat right (which I’m still working on) and, probably harder than anything, we have to make time to get our cycling in. For me, I like cycling in the morning. So Why Do We Do It? We all have our reasons why we’re dedicated to cycling. Some of you probably have the same reasons as I do but others will have different motivations. We all have them. Here’s what @eqtmgr said when I asked on Twitter why you were dedicated to cycling: “This is going to sound weird, but for me its the punishment. Its the pain that I put myself through every time I ride.” Why Am I Dedicated to Cycling? As most of you know, I’m using cycling to lose weight and get healthy. There’s really no other major reason. And last week I was reminded of that. I won’t...

Seven Reasons Why The Morning Is Best Time For Road Cycling

Last week I asked you to vote in a poll about when you prefer to ride. 18 of you responded and Early Morning beat out Mid-Morning by a vote of 7-6. Evening came in with 3 while Afternoon got 1. There was 1 other. I asked the same question on Twitter and got the following replies: From eqtmgr: “I prefer morning.” From Eric_McWhirter:”Right in the morning, but the temps get to a point that I like 60/70 range anytime would work.” From daveydave999: “I prefer to cycling at night. Sometimes after dark. I never was a morning person.” From mx4789: “ride time: usually anything except *early* AM.. hate getting up to alarm clock on weekend just to ride.. I’ll sweat instead.” Just looking at the results, it appears that most of my readers prefer to ride in the morning. I couldn’t agree more and believe the morning is the best time for road cycling. Seven Reasons Why The Morning Is Best Time For Cycling Before I headed off to Dallas for 18 months I had gotten into a routine of getting up at 5 AM to ride. Getting up wasn’t that big a deal to me as long as I got plenty of sleep the night before. Getting enough sleep is a big problem for me though (a bad habit left over from my military days). Anyway, a long time spent in the military got me conditioned to getting up early so doing so to ride wasn’t a big deal. Now that I’ve returned from Dallas I have pushed my wake-up time to 6 AM. Here’s why I think...

DailyMile Virtual Training Group

Over the last few weeks (and continuing into next week) I’m adding base miles so that I can get time in the saddle and get accustomed to riding long again. Upon my return to Florida, and after settling in, I plan on starting to train for a century again using the same 10-week plan I used last year. I probably wouldn’t need to go through this plan again except I spent so long without a bike over the winter that I think I need to. Plus I saw great improvements in my endurance and weight while I was doing it last summer so why not do it again? This time around though I’d like to try and do this virtually with other participants. Don’t get me wrong, being able to ride with a partner or group is awesome but not many of us have partners/groups that could make time available to ride with someone either just starting out to ride or doing some specific training – like training for your first century. For instance, if the century training plan calls for 4×8 intervals on Tuesday, what are the chances of you finding someone locally who is doing the same thing? Probably not very good. That’s the way it was with me last year and why I ended up doing all my training alone. It doesn’t necessarily have to be that way. Why Not? You’ve heard me mention in my last few posts that I’m now using DailyMile to track my rides. It’s a free training log like many others where it lets you define routes, enter workouts, and write...

Deeds (Rides), Not Words (Excuses)

Besides the wind the weather here in Dallas has improved dramatically over the past few weeks. It’s getting darker later each night and that makes for great riding in the evenings after work. I should have started my evening riding about three weeks ago but only got out there the first time last night. Got a Good Ride in Last Night I was actually supposed to pick up a bike rack last night but when that fell through I wound up with time to ride. The wind was blowing but I decided to go anyway. I’m glad I did because I had a great ride. Here’s a link to the route/numbers for the ride over on DailyMile (which I love by the way). 16 miles at 13.2 avg speed. Not bad for my first evening ride of the season. The wind was an issue on part of the route but I just dealt with it. The ride up The Three Sister (three hills on the way home) actually went OK but I have a long, long way to go until I’m riding up them with any kind of form/speed. Those three hills are killing my overall average speed. My body felt good during the ride and I actually worked up a good sweat. I had some issues with my right leg (discomfort on the right inner thigh, a little knee discomfort, and a hot spot on the right foot). Left side was perfect so this left me a little baffled. When I got home I gave everything a once over and noticed my saddle was pointing to the right....

Why We Need A Beech Mountain

Beech Mountain near Boone, North Carolina was made famous in Lance Armstrong’s book It’s Not About the Bike: My Journey Back to Life. His bicycle ride up that mountain was the culmination of his recovery from cancer and the re-launch of his cycling career. He flipped a switch on that mountain and faced down some demons that were holding him back. We all the know the story that unfolds afterward. I think we all have, or need, a Beech Mountain. Whether it’s life, weight loss plans, or cycling goals each of us has either had, are experiencing, or will experience a Beech Mountain. Why We Need A Beech Mountain A Beech Mountain is nothing more than symbolism for an event in our lives in which our actions will define us. Perhaps it was an ascent or group ride that we struggled with. The loss of a relative or close friend due to illness. Or the loss of a job. How we react to those situations will shape our lives. We need a Beech Mountain because it rips off the scabs in our life and exposes the bleeding sores that reside at our core. It can put our faults on center stage and test our morals, ethics, and values. It shows us what we’re capable of and what we’re willing to do in order to achieve what’s right in our lives whether it’s family, career, or health. A Beech Mountain reveals the man or woman we truly are. Cycling Is My Answer I can remember three distinct Beech Mountains in my life. The loss of a 16-year military career in...
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