Thursday, May 23, 2013

The Burnout Cycle

I would say it takes about 10 years to become truly proficient at something. It starts with a learning process starting from immersion to mastery and proficiency, with the threat of burnout always looming. Below is the Burnout Cycle, which I have experienced in various sports. I would say my burnout cycle is about five years, which is more like a bell curve with a peak period where my best performance can’t be  surpassed hence lack of motivation and diminished returns. Maybe you get re-motivated when you are placed into a new age group, category or do something different.

Soccer (duration 4 years)
Start 1980
My peak 1982
End 1984

Road Cycling  (duration 5 years)
Start 1986
My peak 1988
End 1991

Cricket (duration 6 years)
Start 1992
My peak 1996
End 1998

Track Cycling (duration 5 years)
Start 2006
My peak 2009
End 2011

Master Track Cyclist and School Teacher Larry DeSario’s thoughts on the Burnout Cycle:

I think it's human nature to get burned out on just about anything. For example, a person's occupation, relationships or sport can end depending on certain circumstances.  There also has to be a number of variables that can influence whether someone can grow tired of a particular endeavor.  From my own study in the area it's necessary to set realistic and plausible goals.  Goals that are too easy or too difficult can prematurely end one's desire to continue participation.

I quit the bicycle game for five years starting in 1973.  I was burned out and I took up tennis.  I played varsity tennis and some local tournaments, but it wasn't anything big. I grew tired of it and ended up running competitively.  I really enjoyed the running even though I was a middle of the pack finisher, but the number of injuries that occurred (shin splints, stress fractures) turned me off.  In 1978, I returned to cycling.  I've had my ups and downs but I have managed to stay motivated.  I really enjoy the riding but I have to say that the season is structured to peak at a certain time and I cycle the training to avoid burnout.  The period from May to August is the most arduous.  By the time I reach the end of the competitive phase I'm relieved to scale down the intensity and just go for easy rides.

The month of May and beginning of June is the most challenging for me.  It's the last month of school and both the teachers and students are exhausted.  At the same time I have to step it up with the workouts.  No longer can I just settle for sitting in on group rides.  Now, I need to make some numbers happen on the stop watch and I must say it can be a miserable time indeed.   We'll see how it goes this year.  However, accomplishment of the goals is so very satisfying.  To persevere is where the motivation comes from.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Garmin Edge 305 Cycling GPS

I have really gotten a lot of mileage out of my $250 Garmin Edge 305 GPS bicycle computer, it is probably the only piece of equipment which I have bought for cycling that is an excellent value for money, and can be used for other purposes. All that other stuff like Casco Helmet, Zipp wheels, Disk wheels were poor value for money. I am not saying they were not good, they were just too expensive and the return on investment was not what one would expect after spending that much money. I also think we get ripped off when it comes to cycling products.

The Garmin Edge 305 GPS, although an older model, has really served its purpose in providing valuable data which can be used for debriefing and analyzing a ride. I also discovered it works in the cockpit, so I carry it with me when I fly to record the flight track and other useful information for later analysis. This is definitely a plus for a device that was designed for use on a bicycle and at the same time works flawlessly in an aircraft.

Two weeks ago I did the Five Boro Bike Tour - it was mentally tiring riding amongst 32,000 riders on unfamiliar roads and bridges, did 70 miles in about 10 hours. Last week I did a cross country flight from Farmingdale Long Island to Groton Connecticut. Today I did my first track workout just for fun to see where I stand after riding a spin bike for the past 16 months and doing P90X and Insanity workouts. All these trips were tracked on the Garmin Edge 305.

5/5/2013 Five Boro Bike Tour

5/14/2013 Cross Country Flight from KFRG to KGON
5/14/2013 Cross Country Flight from KFRG to KGON
5/14/2013 Cross Country Flight from KFRG to KGON

5/14/203 Cross Country Flight From KFRG to KGON

5/14/2013 Cross Country Flight From KFRG to KGON

5/18/2013 Kissena Track Workout

5/18/2013 Weather data at 1:00pm for track workout:
Temp - 17C 63F
Dew Point - 12C 54F
Humidity - 78%
Winds 150@7kts
Pressure - 30.30"
Visibility 10 miles
Ceiling - 12,000 feet
Pressure Altitude - minus 299 feet
Density Altitude - minus 150 feet

Standing start one lap (400 meters) 
Gear 48x16 = 81"
Wheels - Mavic Ellipse
Bike - Tiemeyer
Time - 33.5 seconds

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Derrick Davis at the Trinidad 2013 Grand Prix of Cycling

Derrick Davis is still winning match sprints in the over 50 year old category.