Workouts have been really willy-nilly for me the last couple of weeks. Two weeks ago I felt like I didn’t work hard enough – to many slow cruises, not enough hard efforts. Last week was the exact opposite – almost all hard efforts with the exception of one easier(ish) cruise. I’m certainly not sweating anything like an injury coming on, I feel great (or my approximation of great). Still, I absolutelydo notwant to end up with an injury. The reality is that my workout plan, or schedule if you will, has pretty much been pedal to the metal for the last year – go as hard as I can as often as I can for as long as I can – if I’m feeling sore or tired, change-up and throw in a recovery ride.
After reading a year’s worth of blog posts by real athletes over the last seven months, I know I’m “doing it wrong”, but when I mull over an actual workout regimen I would have to stick to I always come back to the same question: Why change?
I have no desire to compete, even though probably I could with a little more effort, time, energy and an easier job (two of which I don’t currently have – time and an easier job) – I can already kick the snot out of 80% of people who clip onto a bike if not more. The point is, if I’m already happy with where I’m at, why bother going any farther… I have no good answer to that, especially when considering the fact that I’m not single, nor do I have a desire to be.
That said, I do have to pay attention to recovery days if I’m going to continue riding, running and swimming on a daily basis. Last week I gave an all-out effort way too often, and I’m beginning to think that my recovery rides are too fast as well. For instance, my normal recovery pace is only 1-1/2 to 2 mph under my “race pace”. What got me off on a tangent was my ride yesterday. It really got me thinking about how I’ve been doing things. I was battling a steady 15 mph north wind on the way out and I knew I was riding hard tonight at the group ride, so I really took it easy… 15 mph into the wind, 18 with a cross wind and 23 with the wind at my back for an average of 17.8 mph…and even that was probably a little too fast. Either way, my legs are starting to come back after last week’s grind. Another problem is a lack of planning and the Tuesday evening ride really throws a wrench in the works – it’s on exactly the wrong day because if it’s my every other week Tuesday I have to take it easy on Sunday and Monday – and that, I don’t like. Otherwise, I have a tendency to go more by feel so I end up with weird weeks like the last two – either all off or all on and that’s just a little silly.
If that’s not bad enough and to add to the melodrama, riding with Tim the other day on the roads after the trails, if knocking 20 minutes off a 13 mile trail run wasn’t enough, I realized that I’ve morphed into something of a strong(ish) cyclist… While we were out looking for the ladies we were pushing it pretty hard to find them, but certainly nothing ridiculous, when we happened upon a few skinny tire road bike riders, full kit decked out, and blew by them on a series of rollers. I drafted behind a one of them for a minute just to be funny (mountain bike, cargo shorts etc), but when I went by I didn’t inch by – I tore him up… So that gets me to thinking that the way I am doing things isn’t so bad after all.
Truth be told, this crap is confusing every now and again. Ah well, it’s a good problem to have… I’m not injured, I don’t have any major aches or pains, and instead of sitting on the couch I’m worrying about how much is too much rather than how little is enough. I’ll take it, till I get this figured out.