It happens. Buy a bike. Join a riding group. Redline to stay with the pack. Excel.
Do a race. Fall off the back. Suffer. Middle of the pack or lower. Defeat.
Desire to improve. Reassess goals. Rewind. Start again.
If you've followed that chain of events in your lifetime, you are not alone. Keeping up with the neighborhood guys and doing your first race are vastly different situations. If you desire efficiency and a cohesive body/bike, it takes a little back pedaling.
Many cyclists and runners are on the fast track to nowhere. Our hearts are pumping at a rate that yields lactic acid too quickly. Our fit bodies are burning carbs instead of fat. We're not losing weight, we are maintaining it.
Which brings me back to the rewind stage. BASE training, those long conversational rides and runs, don't need to drive us to our knees. There is a time to go fast, but there is a time to go steady, too. A VO2 max test will put things into perspective. Are you a Porche running in third gear? Or are you a fuel-efficient Prius that gets 45 miles to the gallon? Get a test and figure it out.
Intense, off-the-charts riding and running does not need to be done on a daily basis. Many coaches recommend a three-to-one ratio of moderate rides to gut busting ones. You need to train your body to go fast. That is important. But you also need to train to be efficient. That means keep it slow, watch your heart rate, check your ego at the door, and enjoy the ride.
It's time to become that sexy Porche. And watch yourself zoom off into the sunset with gears to spare.
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