How to avoid mid-season burnout
by William Townsend on August 08, 2019
Active Root Ambassador and 24hr Ultra Mountain Biker Adrian explains how and why he has changed his racing plans this season to prevent a mid-season burnout.
Hello again, my name is Adrian Beale, Veteran (55) Ultra Athlete specialising in 24hr solo mountain biking, I also am vegetarian and now gluten free with some IBS thrown in for fun. We (I say we because without my amazing support crew and coach and mentor I am just a heap of jelly) had our best ever year in 2018 by achieving podiums in all the ultra races we entered;
So a bit of an update so far this year;
• The Manx LDLR (Longest Day Longest Ride) 24hr MTB, hosted by Loughtan Loaded IOM – This, for my money, is one of the best and toughest mtb 24hr races to do. It’s a short fairly non-technical course with 60+ laps being the ballpark for podium land. Tough because of the mental strength needed to focus and not switch off over so many laps. Lose focus then the mistakes happen. This event seriously needs to be on any 24hr mountain biker’s calendar (teams as well) for its friendly well organised atmosphere.
We used Active Root to great effect here, making up the calories when the stomach wasn’t interested in food. A nice choice of tasty flavours averted the dreaded flatness when the food wouldn’t go in. Thanks to this and the improved training over the winter and a new race approach we had a great podium of third in an open class event.
For the rest of the year, I wanted to focus upon not burning out, which is always difficult when racing over 24hrs. Looking back at last year, mental overload issues had a big effect upon my racing and I was having to heavily practise what I preach. I was extremely lucky not to burn out, a testament to my crew looking after me and coach listening to what was happening. Yes it was a great results year but it could have also been “career” ending. So for the year ahead we re-evaluated and are reducing our workload to keep rider and crew fresh. Never be afraid to listen to that little voice. It’s been a good call already, and i'm feeling a lot fresher. We pulled entry from the much anticipated Manx 200 ultra and have gone for the British Marathon mtb champs held here on the IOM over the tough Manx 100 course. Once the decision was made coach crew and mentor have fully backed this, thus vindicating the tough change of plan. So a good lesson to constantly look at how your feeling and never be afraid to move targets. This is allowing us to focus on the big prizes:
• The European Championship 24hr solo mtb in September, Portugal
• The British 24hr Championship solo mtb in October, Fort William
What have I learnt from lat years successful but overly tiring season? And how have this changed this for 2019?
• So look at your previous events, what worked and what didn’t, refine and check in training. It so easy to try something new in race conditions and pay for it, been there and done it.
• Focus on how you felt during the event.
• Get a debrief from close associates, they can be brutally honest. How did you seem during the race and how were you after are great reflections on your performance.
• It's no good destroying yourself in one event and ruining the rest of your year.
• Look at your mental health, often very overlooked. Ultras rely on mental strength so afterwards let your emotional banks recharge as much as your body. Its no good having a top of the range sports car if the control electronics are not working well.
Big love to all.. Lets do it.