Race Brain ... and Its Cure?

A light bike doesn't replace good fitness.

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by worstshotever

Idle reflection. Looking back on my first season of racing, it seems to me that something about the act of racing completely scrambles my brain. More specifically, I regularly found myself burning matches without feeling like I was pushing my limits at all -- indeed feeling strong -- until suddenly seemingly out of nowhere the legs are burned up and gone. Oops. When I'm in a race, and unlike a fast paced group ride, I often have trouble telling by feel how hard I'm going ... my RPE guage is haywire as it were. I attribute the cause to a combination of nerves, adreneline, and inexperience, but I wonder how usual or unusual this may be, and what do people do about it? I've got a PT but find it difficult to pay much attention to the headunit while in the middle of a race. When I do look down and am surpised at the number I cool my jets a bit, but I hardly have my eyes glued to the display (and the wheels around me appreciate that). Anywho, as I said, idle reflection, but I'd be curious to hear about the experience of others.

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by devinci

This is why I race sans PM.

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by Geoff

Actually, that is one of the reasons you should race with the PowerMeter.

Nothing says 'idiot' louder than a file that shows you throwing away your matches needlessly dragging the field around the countryside. You will learn more from reviewing one of those files than looking aimlessly through the results sheet.

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by Tapeworm

Racing and training WITH power and racing and training BY power.

Two very different things.
"Physiology is all just propaganda and lies... all waiting to be disproven by the next study."
"I'm not a real doctor; But I am a real worm; I am an actual worm." - TMBG

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by Mr.Gib

I always followed a very simple race philosophy: do the absolute minimum effort to position myself exactly where I wanted to be. I didn't make too many friends but that isn't what I was there for. This was prior to the invention of power meters (and heart rate monitors) but I imagine it would still work pretty well today.
wheelsONfire wrote: When we ride disc brakes the whole deal of braking is just like a leaving a fart. It happens and then it's over. Nothing planned and nothing to get nervous for.

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by dustbin

Practice/use simulation in training, group rides, and training races (and your lower priority races). Doing this along with racing with a powermeter/HR monitor (or both) can get your efforts and tactics dialed in for races.

You want to be stimulated and pumped up for a race but being overly so isn't always the best idea. Practice finding the balance between calm, collected, and focused (i.e. cold and calculating!) and having your adrenals pumpin super hard. I had this problem myself and by practicing in group rides and training races and by constantly focusing on it during races for a while I have really been able to find my zone/flow and am racing much more effectively.

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