July 5, 2017
Summer officially started only two weeks ago. We should, in theory, all be feeling pretty strong, fit, and excited for our events/races.
Many of us spend winter and spring training, preparing for our summer events. We dream about summer whilst working away on the trainer when it's snowing outside. We long to be able to ride in just a jersey and shorts. We ache to have the cyclist's tan lines. To set PBs on Strava segments.
And now that time that we've longed for, trained for, visualized...it's here. Are you enjoying it?
If you're reluctant to admit that you're fresh, strong, excited, and fit...that's okay. You're not alone. Many of us are already starting to feel fatigue. And/or are getting distracted by all that summer has to offer outside of training and racing. For many of us, our summer schedule differs considerably from our more reliable, consistent winter and spring schedule. As such, it's more challenging to adhere to a consistent training/riding schedule during the summer. We feel out of sorts, perhaps.
You'll know if you're trending upwards in terms of fitness and performance, or trending downwards. The key is to be honest with yourself and call it for what it is.
If your fitness is trending upwards...if you're excited for the group rides...for the racing...for the training...keep going! Milk it for all it's worth! The start of next summer is, heck, 11.5 months away. So enjoy this summer for as long as you can!
If, on the other hand, you feel your fitness is trending down...if you're feeling tired...unenthused about the group ride, the race...feeling worn down...not sleeping well...or sleeping too much...it's okay. Take action. That action to be taking rest. Recover. Rejuvenate. You're likely not completely worn thin, burned out, overtrained, etc. You're likely only in need of a brief reprieve from the daily grind of training. Give yourself a week or so off or very very easy. Easier than what you think you should. Abstain from the weekly club ride(s) for a week or two. Or stay off your bike altogether. Something, anything, different than your normal routine. You'll come back refreshed and feeling eager once again.
Summer ebbs and flows in your motivation and energy towards training and racing are natural. We tend not to anticipate them when we're deep into the winter training. And when they hit us square in the face in July, we often don't know what the heck is going on.
Be honest with yourself. Treat yourself well. Training and racing should enhance your quality of life, not harm it.