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Daily Archives: May 7, 2014

Frequency + Intensity = Daddy’s BACK! A Simple Look At In Cycling With Speed, Tenacity and Confidence Work Together

I had a breakthrough ride last night, but I’ll get back to that in a minute. We’re going to stroll around the yard and head home through the back door. Maybe even take a quick survey of the back 40 first.

I have very high hopes for this season. I have written before that not only do I want to build on my fantastic success over the last three seasons, my wife has taken quite a liking to cycling as well and she’s fast enough to make riding together a blast and slow enough that I get a great recovery ride and we get to spend a fantastic time together. I was worried I might lose some of my edge though. Riding that easy is nice. There’s no sweat dripping onto the down tube, no breathing drills to purge lactic acid after a brutal 20 mph climb and no gasping for breath while pushing to latch back on after a big pull at the front. When I’m riding with my wife and I want to kick it hard through a turn to feel the wind, I’ve got a ton in the tank for it… While that does sound like an awesome time, I still want to be just as fast as I was last year – and therein lies the rub. Add the gnarly cold spring and it’s been too easy to ease up on days when I should be kicking it hard.

Well about three weeks ago I was reviewing where I was at – a little slow because I had a pretty easy winter and had put on a few pounds…  I was feeling just a little lazy from time to time and working, but not really working.  I was getting invited to all of the long weekend rides and putting in 50-70 miles with the guys on Sundays but something was missing and I was getting dropped after 12 miles on the Tuesday night “A” ride…

Last year, at the end of a 70 mile ride I knew what “dancing on the pedals” felt like.  So far this year, the best I could do is hold on at the end of those long rides – and believe me, there was no dancing going on.  For the club ride, simply put, it’s been rough.  I can deal with getting dropped in the last third of the ride – the semi-pros I ride with keep the group lively for the first 2o miles but really crank it up for the last ten or so but I’ve been dropping off before we hit 15 miles…  So a few weeks ago I started making some changes.  My “on” for the “on” days was taken to a whole new level while I still vastly enjoyed the “off days” cycling with my wife.  Last night I finally hit that breakthrough where I was able to go from struggling to hang on at the back to riding with the gang and contributing.  Last night I made the leap from dead lead legs to “I’m back”.  I went from wondering if I’d be able have my cake and eat it too, to chowing down.

Without getting into too much detail about the ride, we did the first 22 miles in just a shade over an hour (on open roads, observing traffic laws – that slows the overall average by 2-3 mph).  Instead of keeping my head down and clinging, I was able to talk and really take part in the ride.  I took all of my turns up front and only had to hide for a few miles before we got into the hills (this is a strategy from last year, if I’m going to stay with the lead group through the hills, I need that little break to catch my breath before we hammer through them).  I was one of the last of the B guys off the back when the sprint went from 28 to 35+ mph (same mild downhill section every week).

So on pulling into the parking lot last night I was exuberant to say the least.  My legs are absolutely cooked today but that’s the idea.  Even though I had a lot of lingering doubt and negativity swirling (my weight’s up, my drive is lagging, can I have the slow days with my wife and keep my speed, etc.), I kept at it and gave it my best at every opportunity and only a few short weeks later I’m ready to rock.  Beating back those negative thoughts and replacing them with effort builds confidence that feeds right back into that effort.  After last evening’s breakthrough I know I’m ready for a great season and a fantastic couple of days a week spent with my wife.  From here it all snowballs.
Man, it’s good to be back.