Resting Your Way To Fitness

When ambitious riders want to improve, naturally the thing they focus on is their training. Usually they take the "more is better" approach, piling on more hours, miles, and intensity. To a point, those are the basic ingredients for getting stronger; you train hard, you get better. "Ride lots" is zen-like in it's simplicity, but it works. And yet, training is only half the story.


Mountain Bike Recovery

In a previous article, Adam talks about the importance of rest, recovery, and the difference between the two.

Sick and Tired

It's going to happen to all of us at some point in year. Things are going well, you're on top of your form and riding strongly, and then it starts: scratchy throat, stuffy nose, itchy eyes-- that's it, you're sick! Many riders make the mistake of overtraining (or underresting), depressing their immune system, and making themselves vulnerable in the first place, but also don't give themselves enough time to fully recover from fear of losing fitness. It's a recipe for an early end to your season.


Vacation Time

It never fails. After a winter of logging long miles and a spring of racing into top shape, summer rolls around and the bottom drops out of your form. With the first half of the season done and many target races come and gone, July is notorious for being many road and MTB riders' worst month of the year. A summer stage race or criterium series is a great incentive in the early season, but can turn into concrete shoes once it's over. It can feel like you haven't trained in ages, the heat's making you lethargic, and there's just no motivation to get out the door and ride anymore.

Multi-Day Race Recovery

No matter what your body type or racing preference, most of us at some point will find ourselves focusing on a stage race or multi-day criterium series. Each region of the US has that one big event that local riders anchor their season around. In New England it's traditionally been races like Killington, Fitchburg, and Green Mountain. In Wisconsin it's now Tour of America's Dairyland, and Superweek before that. Those are just a couple of examples, and I'm sure you have one in mind for this season.


Intense Rest

Whether you did a fall base period or a full cyclo-cross season, if you live in a cold climate January and February are the most difficult months to train. If it's not already something they focus on, I encourage my clients to take advantage of the cyclo-cross season as a way to maintain fitness through the New Year before they're forced off their bikes or indoors because of weather. Another way to utilize this time period between the end of the road or mountain bike season and beginning of winter is to try to do a fall build-up period.