Thursday, March 31, 2011

The Rest Week

Anyone reading this blog can ride hard. Hard enough to vomit, hard enough to be sore for days afterward, hard enough to hallucinate and meet god. If you didn’t like to ride hard, you’d be reading another blog. While training hard takes discipline, most of us relish a hard ride. We live for it. We are more than willing to suffer on the bike, even indoors and in darkened basements. If we didn’t enjoy the suffering, we’d go on slow group rides or take up pedestrian sports like golf or bowling. Becoming fast requires discipline and we have it in spades.

Herein lies the paradox: the rest and recovery week. I struggle with it. I feel fast and fit, so I want to ride fast. Consciously, I am aware that the body needs a rest to rebuild and to ultimately allow me to ride even faster. But my unconscious work ethic kicks in and encourages me to subvert my rest. I feel lazy doing deliberately slow rides. Rest feels like laziness.

As I sit typing this, I am on a rest week, tapering for the most important race of my early season. I have put in the hours, done the intervals, climbed the mountains and counted the Watts and kiloJoules. In short, I am as ready as I will ever be. But instead of enjoying the reduced training load, I am chomping at the bit to climb more mountains and do more intervals. My legs are sore from resting. It takes me more discipline to rest now than it did to ride the trainer for 3 hour stretches in early February.

Instead of riding today, I will do some mundane household chores, secure in the knowledge that cleaning my laundry is making me faster.

The race is won on the rest days. Rest hard.


TimJ said...

This is actually good reading now. Strong opinions are great as long as other people don't need to be put down in order to express said opinions.

Good opinion: "I am really great!"

Bad opinion in same vein: "Other people are really not great."

Good info on the rest week.

gary! said...


TimJ said...

That gary! is one goddamned funny mofo. Pure entertainment

mike said...

gary, i believe the current term is "cancellaraJoules".