In February ALP Coach, Alison Powers, disclosed that she had signed up for a bike race-Steamboat Gravel (SBT GRVL), a 141 mile race with 100 miles on dirt/gravel roads. Now, 2 weeks out from race day, she’s been blogging every day leading up to the race. She blogs about the specifics of her training, her preparation, head space, etc. All the things that lead up to race day that not everyone gets to see or understand.
14 days to go- Sunday August 4th
The most exciting part of training plans are the workouts. I know this because I enjoy seeing workouts that other coaches prescribe, and anytime we post workouts on this blog, the website gets far more hits than when we post about mindfulness, recovery, etc. But, in reality, the rest and recovery parts of the plan are the most important. An athlete can not sustain quality training and peak performance, if they are tired.
I woke up Sunday morning feeling exactly the same as when I went to bed Saturday night. It was like I didn’t sleep or recover at all. My legs ached, I was sleepy, and my energy was very low. I had a 2 hr mountain bike clinic to teach and that took all energy I could summon. The clinic was awesome and minus me almost eating concrete demonstrating going over a curb, the women learned, we all had fun working on skills, and it was a success.
When I came home, I was dunzo. We had family nap time and it was a very relaxing and much needed chill afternoon. I did some rolling and stretching before bed and that felt great. I had hopes of waking up Monday morning ready to ride and do a solid workout.
13 days to go- Monday August 5th
I woke up and my legs felt like they weighed 100 pounds each; just while laying in bed. I had hopes that after coffee and moving around a bit, my energy would magically return and I’d be ready to ride. But, if I am honest with myself and my body, I am still tired. The ache in my legs is gone but the fatigue is still there.
While it is disappointing that I’m still tired and I pulled the pull on any kind of ride today, the most disappointing thing would be waking up on race day with tired legs. I know from both personal and coaching expierence that pushing through this kind of fatigue, this close to race day, is not a good idea. In 2013, I did not listen to my body and tried to do TT intervals leading into Nationals. That nationals was a giant disappointment filled with fatigue, sickness, and poor results. The next year, I errored on the side of doing too little and won both the road race and TT race.
I know my body will come around and it takes patience and trust to give it the time it needs. To rest is to recover.