It’s really just common sense. You apply stress to your body (training) and then allow your body to heal in a way that it can handle the stress better next time (recovery).
My problem is that I love to train hard and to train often. It’s just fun. So I find myself (like last weekend) where I have very little gas left in the legs, knowing that if I’d just settle down and heal they’ll come back even stronger.
But it’s hard to not ride your bike. On a beautiful day with the hills softly calling my name, my heart can conjure a thousand reasons why it makes simple sense to ride 50 miles or do a few hill-sprints. I try “active recovery”, all that stretching and core body exercises. Great, I just used up 20 minutes – can I go ride now?
Tuesday was to be a ride day (YEAH!) but I’m still officially in recovery mode so I chose an appropriate recovery route – just down to the coast and back. Highlight of the ride is the very short but steep climb up Torrey Pines (in the park). I told myself that I would just set a reasonable time up the hill to guage how my recovery is doing. There was a lot of traffic entering the park so I wasn’t able to build a lot of momentum, but when I hit the bottom of the hill my legs said, “Allez! Allez!” and next thing I know I’m flying up the lower portion of the hill. I get on the straightaway leading to the first curve and it’s all I can do to contain myself. It’s like I accidentally let the dog out after being shut in alone all day.
I posted a time of 4:27 to the stop sign (just 1 second short of a new PR) and 7:39 to the stoplight at the golf course. God that felt good!
Toodled home as slow as I could and still beat my average speed for this ride by more than a mph. Saturday is a mountain day (Palomar Mtn) and I’m either going to go completely apeshit on the first ascent or try and do it three times. We’ll see.