Author Topic: Pre Event Nerves  (Read 3181 times)

Pre Event Nerves
« on: June 09, 2017, 04:31:24 pm »
Not sure how everyone gets on with this.   I've always had a habit of tying myself up in knots in the run-up to a race/long audax.   I tend to obsess about potential points of failure*, despite usually being pretty well prepared.   This results in me losing sleep and starting events a bit drained.   In the last couple of years, as I've started to get a bit faster, it's got a lot worse to the point where I start to dread hard training sessions as well.

I've tried :-

- Reading the Chimp Paradox, but I failed half way through.
- Met up with a sports psychologist a couple of times who tried to tell me that I was just going on a bike ride.   I wasn't convinced.
- I had a couple of hypnotherapy sessions which were more general relaxation/sleep techniques.   I did see some improvement after this and should probably go back for a top-up.

All in all it makes me hell to be around in the run up to an event but blissfully happy for days afterwards.   I'm not sure that it contributes to my overall health and may well knock the racing on the head after this season.

Anyone else had similar experiences ?



Rob


* As an example I took the TT bike off the turbo and fitted the race wheels last night and the head set felt pretty stiff - think it's a bit worn after a very wet 400k a few weeks ago.   Obviously it's too late to fix now and Sunday's TT is up and down a straight road, but it doesn't stop me stressing about it.

jiberjaber

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Re: Pre Event Nerves
« Reply #1 on: June 09, 2017, 05:16:13 pm »
Yes - I suffer this before any audax, to the point where I struggle to sleep the night before... I'm bricking how I am going to cope with it relative to LEL which is one of the reasons for going for the 16:00 start so I can try and get as much rest as possible...
Regards,

Jason

mattc

  • n.b. have grown beard since photo taken
    • Didcot Audaxes
Re: Pre Event Nerves
« Reply #2 on: June 09, 2017, 06:38:46 pm »
This guy on Facebook sounds pretty chilled:

Those blissful few days before a big ride when all the training is done and all you have to do is ride gentle and eat.

Do you know him Rob?
Has never ridden RAAM
---------
No.11  Because of the great host of those who dislike the least appearance of "swank " when they travel the roads and lanes. - From Kuklos' 39 Articles

Re: Pre Event Nerves
« Reply #3 on: June 09, 2017, 07:43:20 pm »
I think it depends on your personal perspective.
When I was playing team sports (primarily American Football), I used to make a list of all the things I needed to know/have - once everything was ticked off on the list then it meant I could relax. Once I knew I was properly prepared, the rest was down to how it went on the day. But I felt the same when I was doing other things like exams - if I was properly prepared then I was fine - if I wasn't then I was terrible.

Pedal Castro

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Re: Pre Event Nerves
« Reply #4 on: June 09, 2017, 07:45:41 pm »
I have a stressful job so the build up to a race is never going to compare but the principle would be the same. Whenever I get worried about something, which is often, I simply ask myself if there is anything I can do about it, if there is I do it, if it is out of my hands then I accept that there is nothing I can do. For me this very effective and allows me to stop worrying, although I do worry that to others it may appear that I don't care!!

Kim

  • 2nd in the world
Re: Pre Event Nerves
« Reply #5 on: June 09, 2017, 07:52:06 pm »
Yes - I suffer this before any audax, to the point where I struggle to sleep the night before...

Not so much the cycling event itself, but I suffer a similar problem with pre-bikes-on-trains nerves, and I'm rubbish at sleeping if I know I have to get up early.

Events that start later in the day, when you've had some proper sleep, are much easier.
To ride the Windcheetah, first, you must embrace the cantilever...

Re: Pre Event Nerves
« Reply #6 on: June 09, 2017, 08:04:52 pm »
very much agree.  In my day job I am totally chilled.  I am the goto person when there is a problem. 

Cycling I am a complete wreck before a ride.  I have the bike, I have the kit, I am as trained as I can be but i am sitting here worried about tomorrows ride.

LittleWheelsandBig

  • Whimsy Rider
Re: Pre Event Nerves
« Reply #7 on: June 09, 2017, 09:00:58 pm »
Not too much for me nowadays. I know I've prepared nearly enough for the event and extra worrying won't actually make it easier.

It was mostly a problem when I still raced. Back then, it seemed more important if I did well or not. Mostly I spent too long staring at the ceiling imagining how the event might turn out. Some relaxation techniques generally got me settled down.
Wheel meet again, don't know where, don't know when...

Re: Pre Event Nerves
« Reply #8 on: June 09, 2017, 09:20:03 pm »
Some interesting thoughts, thanks.

There was a time when cycling was my escapism from a pretty stressful working life.   Now, I work for the same people, having left the fold for a few years, but we have a new name above the door and we're all a lot older and more chilled.

Moving back to racing when I became a, ahem, veteran has led to me finding more improvements than I ever expected.   Then, though, I started to break the odd club record and get close to others and I got a bit more visible than I used to be.   The other thing is that I am now asking friends and family to help me out on the longer events and I really don't want to waste any of their time if I fail.   

The early morning thing is interesting and I have found myself in the - I need to sleep as I have to get up at 4, I can't sleep as I'm putting pressure on myself to sleep - loop.   I've only had a couple of early starts this year but it's still a problem.

This leads me onto the next point, though, which is for all of the stress in the run up there is the positive of how you feel when you achieve your goal.   I had a little blurb at the roadside a few weeks back when I took a decent chunk off my 50 PB.

Re: Pre Event Nerves
« Reply #9 on: June 09, 2017, 09:22:59 pm »
This guy on Facebook sounds pretty chilled:

Those blissful few days before a big ride when all the training is done and all you have to do is ride gentle and eat.

Do you know him Rob?

Yeah, alright.   That was a couple of days ago.  It gets worse as you get closer to the day.

Feanor

  • It's mostly downhill from here.
Re: Pre Event Nerves
« Reply #10 on: June 09, 2017, 10:55:44 pm »
Yes, it's The Fear. It comes to us all to a greater or lesser extent.
It's creeping up on me right now in relation to another event, but I'm ignoring it.

zigzag

  • unfuckwithable
Re: Pre Event Nerves
« Reply #11 on: June 09, 2017, 11:06:19 pm »
when you think about it, of all the fears 99% don't materialise, so it's just an unnecessary energy expenditure. i try to visualise my ideal outcome and this seems to dissolve any associated fear/trepidation. i still have to go and empty my bowels twice in the morning before the event.. ;D

Re: Pre Event Nerves
« Reply #12 on: June 10, 2017, 12:47:43 am »
Try to rationalise your fears in terms of risk and assess them in terms of probability x severity with respect to your minimum expectations. Despite the best planned approach the unexpected can always happen, so try to accept that that too as part of your mental preparation. 
Most of the stuff I say is true because I saw it in a dream and I don't have the presence of mind to make up lies when I'm asleep.   Bryan Andreas

Re: Pre Event Nerves
« Reply #13 on: June 10, 2017, 06:59:37 am »
Today is the day you worried about yesterday and it didn't happen.

Mrs A is the arch-worrier, if I joined in it would be like armageddon was about to happen. 
Sic transit and all that..

T42

  • Gaulois réfractaire
Re: Pre Event Nerves
« Reply #14 on: June 10, 2017, 07:55:41 am »
I'm t'other way round, I think: I get the bike ready and pack methodically by my checklist, and set out with the principal aim of enjoying myself.  The elation of being under the sky with a long road ahead is so wonderful that I can only look forward to it.  I realized something else a long time ago, too: I'm not defeatist but I'm not afraid of failing. I just ride to the best of my capacity, and if I'm late home, inshallah, I'll still love it.

It's afterwards that gets me.  There are a few days of afterglow, but as soon as I get back on the road and see the same cracks in the tarmac and the same bits of gravel that I've already seen a hundred times, the back-to-the-cowshed feeling rushes in and crushes me. I get fed up after 20k and start taking shortcuts.

This doesn't happen during an SR series, only after the main event of the year, but a couple of times I've been so depressed I've almost jacked in the bike completely.  I usually come out of it in a month or two, though.
Tout à gauche sur le plat

dim

Re: Pre Event Nerves
« Reply #15 on: June 10, 2017, 06:07:19 pm »
I'm doing my first long ride tomorrow .... (200km Audax Cambridge Diss'd Clare ) .... I've not registered to do this, but I've been building up for longer rides, and I need to try a 200km. (I'ts actually approx 225km from my home and back)

I'm crapping myself, as this will be the longest ride that I have ever done .... wind does not look too good (up to 28km/hr in the later stage ) .... I'm hoping to get to Diss in good time, then will spin into the wind on the way back (side wind for most of the way and some headwind in places)

I've been riding some 140km rides recently, but have always got home feeling 'knackered' ....  :(
“No great mind has ever existed without a touch of madness.” - Aristotle

Re: Pre Event Nerves
« Reply #16 on: June 10, 2017, 11:23:20 pm »
Good luck. Take it steadily and remember even if it takes all day you will have DONE IT

mattc

  • n.b. have grown beard since photo taken
    • Didcot Audaxes
Re: Pre Event Nerves
« Reply #17 on: June 11, 2017, 07:48:27 am »
Today is the day you worried about yesterday and it didn't happen.


Nice.  :thumbsup:
Has never ridden RAAM
---------
No.11  Because of the great host of those who dislike the least appearance of "swank " when they travel the roads and lanes. - From Kuklos' 39 Articles

CrazyEnglishTriathlete

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Re: Pre Event Nerves
« Reply #18 on: June 11, 2017, 10:54:56 am »
I still get nerves.  I find beer and lasagne the night before helps.  Seriously. 
Eddington Numbers 122 (imperial), 167 (metric) 511 (furlongs)  110 (nautical miles)

Re: Pre Event Nerves
« Reply #19 on: June 11, 2017, 10:49:49 pm »
In my youth when I did TTs I never had nerves; I used to look forward to the races, it was fun. Now I don't race any longer but the only thing that gives me nerves on a bike ride is not being sufficiently prepared physically (the anticipation of it hurting and of something going wrong); I still look forward to riding.
On the other hand, organising for the others - that is seriously stressful!!!

LMT

Re: Pre Event Nerves
« Reply #20 on: June 13, 2017, 10:43:34 pm »
Not sure how everyone gets on with this.   I've always had a habit of tying myself up in knots in the run-up to a race/long audax.   I tend to obsess about potential points of failure*, despite usually being pretty well prepared.   This results in me losing sleep and starting events a bit drained.   In the last couple of years, as I've started to get a bit faster, it's got a lot worse to the point where I start to dread hard training sessions as well.

I've tried :-

- Reading the Chimp Paradox, but I failed half way through.
- Met up with a sports psychologist a couple of times who tried to tell me that I was just going on a bike ride.   I wasn't convinced.
- I had a couple of hypnotherapy sessions which were more general relaxation/sleep techniques.   I did see some improvement after this and should probably go back for a top-up.

All in all it makes me hell to be around in the run up to an event but blissfully happy for days afterwards.   I'm not sure that it contributes to my overall health and may well knock the racing on the head after this season.

Anyone else had similar experiences ?



Rob


* As an example I took the TT bike off the turbo and fitted the race wheels last night and the head set felt pretty stiff - think it's a bit worn after a very wet 400k a few weeks ago.   Obviously it's too late to fix now and Sunday's TT is up and down a straight road, but it doesn't stop me stressing about it.

You should have finished it, then you'd realise that with respect to a long audax/race, what will be will be. And if there any issues more often than not can be managed and overcome.

This was my mindset going into PBP and it worked a treat. Ride went well.

Pre Event Nerves
« Reply #21 on: June 14, 2017, 12:02:05 am »
I sailed in 2 World Championships. I went into 'mode' at least 2 weeks before any big national, selection or big event. Deep stuff.

At my peak (ish) the then British Fireball champion (2 man dingy) would get overwhelmed by the noise of stays on masts and sails flapping while everyone was rigging up to race. Then puke his guts out. Then leave shore to race. Then blinkin' win!

I must have missed a nutrition class at some stage. Food fuel? What's that?

Re: Pre Event Nerves
« Reply #22 on: June 14, 2017, 11:05:53 am »
Couldn't sleep the 2 nights before this weekend's 12hr.   Smashed my PB on a hard day.   Maybe nerves are a good thing.