We leave for Portugal one month from today. That means three more weeks of hard training before my taper begins. My training involves riding my bike(s) 2-3 hours per day at variable intensity levels and with variable amounts of climbing. Without having taken a leave from my practice, I could not do this. For that leave to have occurred I needed backup and am so fortunate to have 3 colleagues, Gearoid Oneill, Arash Aryana and Peter Jurisich who stepped up, without complaint, and covered my practice. I am forever indebted to them or at least until they want me to take more call.
The value of rest to a training athlete cannot be over-emphasized. Especially as we age, our bodies need more time to recover from the trauma of training allowing for new muscle fiber developement and increased strength. The rest I am able to enjoy by not having the stress of work allows me to train that much harder. Training is a lonely endeavor and is obviously necessary for improvement.
My goal when I started training for the world championship a year ago was to not only win the worlds, but,more importantly, give myself the opportunity to fully immerse myself in the process of training. That goal has been realized and I feel very lucky to have the support system and the physical abilities that have allowed that to happen.
So, while it may sound like I am complaining about the solitary hours I spend spinning the pedals, I am not. Nonetheless, training at times takes me to my aerobic and muscular limits. In the end, I guess that's the point.
More to come from Portugal.
Thanks for reading.