Rest and Recovery

Even though I know how important rest and recovery is in developing and maintaining fitness, it is the one aspect of my training that I struggle with. I like to keep on going and going and going. I like to imagine that the dead leg feeling I have will go away and the over all body fatigue is nothing to worry or bother with. Luckily for me, I have a coach who knows this and makes sure I take some serious rest days during my training blocks.

As luck would have it, this past Monday marked the first day of a four day rest period. In typical fashion, I didn’t really “think” I needed to rest… So even though the calendar said Day Off Bike – I went for a ride. Just a little teeny tiny short one with Marc – it is not often we get to ride together so I was eager to go. We rode for a mere 35 minutes at a very pedestrian pace. But let me tell you, that pace felt like I was racing again. Yep – turns out I was tired and needed a break.

And today was the last of my four day rest and recovery block. These past three days of riding have been super easy chilled out rides of nothing more than 90 minutes. Kind of nice actually. Lots of time in the small ring. I found myself taking in my surroundings a lot more on these rides and really paying attention to how my body was feeling.

What I find interesting is I get in the same mindset each time I have a few days of rest scheduled. Initially I don’t believe I need them and then by the end of the cycle, I’m really enjoying these rest days. Funny how this is.

But I do admit, as much as I enjoy the super easy days, I crave the long days in the saddle. I think one of my favorite types of rides is a three or four hour ride with some intervals thrown in. Of course, I’d gladly trade any ride for a cyclo-cross ride at Averbode forest, Kasterlee, or at my local training grounds in Ottawa. Can’t really beat getting out on the ‘cross bike for a few hours and playing around in the trees, mud and sand.

Tomorrow I’ll be out for a longer ride with some tempo intervals thrown in to shake out the legs – all the while thinking of the upcoming cyclo-cross season and racing my bike for 40 minutes.