Sometimes The Little Ring Is Big

Ice Bath

We all like to go hard. The challenge of pushing and redefining our limits is what gets us out on the bike every day. Racking up the miles, catting up, standing on the podium is all very addictive and just makes us want to go hard all the time.  This must be how the pro’s train right? Wrong.

Most people say they understand rest. They do “recovery” rides. They foam roll and stretch but in my experience they really don’t. The magic isn’t in the training the magic is in the recovery.  A good night sleep will give you a bigger boost than a hard interval session.

You only really have 2-3 hard days in you a week, including weekend races. Pro’s know this. If they are racing every weekend that is the intensity. They are not doing intervals during the week they are doing endurance pace rides and saving their matches for the races. Compare that to the local hot shot. Tuesday night crit, Wednesday Night Worlds, Thursday TT and then racing on the weekends. That is not sustainable for most.

Ice Bath

Natural Ice Bath

If you are going to do the work that means doing the recovery. Are you getting 8 hours of sleep every night? How many contrast showers or ice baths a week do you take? On your Zone 1 rides do you sit back when the commuter on a MTB and knee socks flies by you or does your ego kick in and you chase him down? In my coaching business every new student tells me they take recovery serious but so far not a single one has been able to show me a sleep journal or a years worth of morning heart rate readings. A look at power files shows “recovery rides” at 60% of FTP or higher. Don;t push The Big Ring unless you are willing to spin the little ring..

 

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