I managed a semi easy road ride yesterday. One of our party blew up so I nursed him back home which was a real result as it fit in perfectly with yesterday's plan – an easy 50 miles. It is sometimes hard to ride slowly.
In every single training plan the most important part is the recovery. There is no point trying to go hard if you are still recovering from the last effort. Of course riding hard all the time can be tremendously rewarding both psychologically and physiologically. You feel great, burn up fuel and get everywhere quickly. In fact, apart from a period when I was racing Vets and on a specific training program, I have always ridden that way and it has served me well.
I have got away with doing a few races and more recently the South Downs Way but, that it is, I have got away with it. Usually on Tuesday I pushed riding to the limit and that gave me enough high intensity training to make sure that I could punch above my weight. All seemed good in my cosy world. But things have changed.
The Tuesday Thrash was a bit of selfish self indulgence where I could go to places I never thought possible. The pain may have been excruciating but the euphoria was even more intense. As you may have read in previous Blogs the resultant high from such rides would leave me buzzing for hours afterwards and the best I could manage would be 4 to 5 hours sleep. But it was worth it. It kept me reasonably fit and fast.
Things have changed or I have, I can’t keep up. There are new riders, fast ones, so instead if it being a masochistic HIT session with all its resultant benefits, it has become a tortuous endurance workout. No sprints, no leading from the front, no joy, no smiles just pure hell. I am not strong enough to keep up and so can’t get the extreme intensity and as a result I am going backwards. The HIT training was perfect for my physic.
Something needed to change! I needed to try to get fast enough to stay with and have fun with the fast boys. So I took two weeks off. So as not to waste it I learnt to use rollers. My first ride back was a mountain bike race. I would like to blame my bike handling skills but in reality I never found that extra oomph that has always been a part of my mountain bike racing and, of course, the Tuesday Night Thrash.
I can’t bare the thought of all of my mates riding away from me so I am on the lookout for a coach.
Here's the ride on Strava.