What I do on rest days …

What do I do on rest days?

Not much.

Yesterday was a rest day. As I mentioned previously, I have changed things up, and am planning a rest day every 3 days. But a rest day doesn’t necessarily mean putting my legs up, and do nothing. It means no hard training. Yesterday, I did 15 minutes of stretching, followed by a 30 minute, simplified core workout, and then a 2 hour walk in the afternoon.

Test days are also days that I plan to complete a few chores & errands. For example, yesterday while out for a walk, I got a haircut, shopped for electrolytes, and coffee for the week. This way I keep training days free from errands when I have less time, or want to train more.

Sometimes, rest days include a recovery ride. Other times, I’m too tired to even do errands. So, I take each rest days as they come. If I’m feeling really well, I may skip it altogether, and fit in a workout. I have also discovered I can do upper body, or core weight training sessions more often than leg workouts. I may do arms, shoulders, or core training on rest days without affecting cycling recovery.

You can see rest days are flexible. I do as little, or as much, as I feel like doing. If I feel well rested, I do more, but don’t overdo it. If I feel tired, I may do nothing.

How do I determine how I feel? Well it’s somewhat subjective. First, I check my resting heart rate after getting out of bed. If it is in the mid 30’s bpm, I’m usually well rested. I have seen it as low as 31 bpm. If it is 42+, I need to rest. I have seen it as high as 45. I also pay attention to how my legs are feeling. If they are unusually stiff, or sore when I first get up, they usually need more rest.

Rest days are key. This is when your body adapts, gets stronger, and more flexible. It is a mistake to skip them, because they enable you to train harder when you return to training. But for me, these are the most difficult days of the week. I don’t like them. For years, I never rested. I’m so accustomed to getting up, and training for a few hours.

I need to work on this.

North westerlies … 😣

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Yesterday was a rest day.

Today I was fresh, and fully recovered.

I did my regular mid-week eastern ride to the lake and back. It’s only 35 km, and relatively flat although there is a 1/2 km climb mid-ride that averages about 5%. But, and this is a big but, there was wind. The normal wind for these parts. A north westerly. Which means it was helping on the way out, and hurting on the way back.

I started slowly, spinning easily for the first 8-10 km, and then picked up the pace averaging 25-35 kph depending the grade and wind. After the mid-ride climb, I felt strong. So strong that I hammered the whole way home into the hurting 20 kph headwind, averaging a 90-100 cadence.

When I unsaddled and sat down for a post-ride drink, I was surprised to see that I had spent over 30% of my ride above Zone 1. Who said I need hills to train effectively. I just need to work harder.

It’s funny. I got into this mind set that because it is relatively flat in these parts, It is easy cycling. It can be for sure. But if I challenge the wind, and hills, like I did today, and push hard, I can get into and maintain an effective training zone without long, steep hills.

Intellectually, I knew this. It’s just that where I live, there are no flat rides. There are always hills not matter which direction I head. It’s just that some are longer and steeper than others. I know it takes considerable effort to average 40 kph on the flats into a hurting wind. Even without the wind, it is hard work. That’s all I have to do while at Camp PedalWORKS.

So, as a result of today’s ride, I have modified my training schedule. One day a week, I am going to do this eastern ride all out, regardless of the wind. Warmup on the way out, and flat out  all the way back.

Sounds like a plan.

Rest days … 😠

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Rest Days.

They are the hardest. Harder than repeat hill climbs. Harder than all out sprints. Harder than a century ride. Resting when the weather is sunny and warm is difficult. I don’t mind taking a day off when it is raining or cold, but when the weather is nice, I’d rather be cycling.

This time of year, I have to force myself to rest. I know I must. I know that rest is as important as working out. I know that if I don’t rest, my workouts will suffer. I know that without sufficient rest, I am more prone to injury. I know that as I age, it is even more important. I know that full recovery takes longer now. As carefully as I manage my sleep and diet, I must still rest. I am careful to get 8-10 hours of sleep a night. At Camp PedalWORKS, I go to bed when the sun sets, and rise when it comes up the next morning. And, my meal plans include a 4-1 ratio of carbohydrates to proteins, proportions recommended by many coaches.

So, at least once a week (sometimes more frequently), I take a day off. No cycling. No gym workouts. A day to putter, do household chores, food shop, clean and tune the bike, and these days, sit in the sun.

When I was younger, it didn’t seem to matter as much. I recovered more easily. Or, thought did. I was invincible. I also suffered a number of injuries that I still suffer from today. I wonder why 🤔

So, today is a rest day. I drove to the dump to discard some “hazardous materials”, old paint cans, and met up with a local cycling legend for coffee. Like me, he is a “senior”, and organizes weekly, Sunday morning group rides in the lake region ranging from 30-100 km. I have decided to join them for the summer while I’m at Camp PedalWORKS to help prepare for the 2017 Whistler Gran Fondo, meet other road cyclists in the area, and learn new cycling routes.

Last week, I discovered a gym that I didn’t know existed. And today, I discovered a cycling group, some of who are also training for the 2017 Whistler Gran Fondo.

It is a small world.