When I saw the word “rest” on my training plan I was a bit nervous. I’m not very good at resting. I’m one of those athletes that likes to do lots of load, lots of intensity, lots and lots of everything. I’m one of those. I’m not so good at taking days off or recovering. So when I saw the word rest for Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday, I was a bit perplexed. What does this really mean? I don’t like resting or taking days off the bike.

But after talking with my coach and understanding why I need to rest. Essentially to get the most bang for my body’s buck with the last four weeks of load, I need to give it some time to re-charge and get ready for the next phase. Makes sense. But still. Rest? Not ride? Hmmm.

Well, wouldn’t you know it, as ususal, Coach Steve was on the money. Today I woke up and really I was ready for the rest. Today I could ride – 60 – 90 minutes at a recovery/sightseeing pace. Perfect. The timing worked perfectly as two more housemates arrived yesterday. So I took advantage of a nice slow ride to show them around. We even stopped at a nearby cafe for some food and warm drinks. A true recovery/rest ride.

But I have to admit, it is still a challenge. I’m so conditioned to be out there riding hard or at least riding for a long time or even doing a double day. But I’m listening to the expert and taking it easy. This reminds me of some words of advice Tim Harris gave me last year “the hardest thing for a cyclist to do is to not ride”. How true. Especially now when I look at my race calendar and see some big races coming up. The temptation is to get out there and practice technical skills, to throw in some start intervals, and to get some long time in the saddle. But in reality this is not going to help my racing in the next few weeks. Probably it will just make me tired.

So I’m resting. Did the easy ride. Just about to go stretch out these old bones and muscles with some yoga. Then I’ll plunk myself down on the couch and do some reading. Come to think of it, I could get used to this! Ah well, plenty of time for a real rest in February when we’re home in the land of snow. Right now I’ll enjoy these few days and get ready for the upcoming races and get myself organized for the World Championships.

I’m racing on Friday at Scheldecros and then on Sunday at the Kalmthout World Cup, so be sure to swing by and say hello if you see me warming up or after the race. And of course if you’re watching the races – be sure to cheer loudly when I ride by. Happy pedaling or maybe if you’re lucky – happy resting!

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