Since my alarm was set a hour earlier than normal (one can only presume would be to catch the live footage of a cycling race across the globe, in a foreign language) I figured it was appropriate to write a quick recap of how riding has been going now that there is a lull in local races here in southern California.
Along with a more conscience diet & sleep pattern, a focus I have chosen goes back to previous posts mentioning the ability to stay focused when the times in the saddle get dark. Also learning how to handle the dark time when they come, and eventually go. The best part about this is that I don’t need to be on the bike to practice this. Things like mental focus can be applied to any field we so choose. I’ve noticed I get very attentive when it comes to food preparation. From buying groceries, to organizing them in the house, to preparing and cooking, and finally clean-up. All fields get equal and concentrated focus by me. Such does riding nowadays.
I had to cut back on distances rode to build up a mental endurance for the future. My speed hasn’t changed much. While I still think a lot about what my goals for a particular ride or race may be when it comes down to finally saddling up, I try and put all of that mental chatter on “mute” for the time being. People have said that my speed has increased, while I would argue that my pace has been steadier (and slightly accelerated.)
I have decided to continue commuting to and from work for multiple reasons. It keeps my fitness steady and prevents a yo-yo type of form since I am not the type to center my riding to a hour of arbitrary uphill intervals. And also because I dislike driving. I could go on about my dislikes of operating a vehicle, but that’s a story for another post.
Commuting allows me to get to other riding locations sooner due to my work’s location. I can hit a four hour route, rendezvous back home, and still have enough time to eat, shower, and nap before my next shift.
I find that this new mental focus naturally compliments both slow and fast twitch muscle types. When I’m in the zone, I usually become a little more flexible when there is a change in pace or gradient.
The plans for this morning are to take a trip out to the foothills of Angeles crest. I admit that warming up to this comfortable flow is probably the most difficult part. I am constantly swarmed with phrases like, “I’ll just take it easy this ride. I can go hard another day.” This new type of training I’ve been missing out on has lead me to want to ride solo more often. Before, this used to be a mind-killer for me. Now it has become a bit of a preference; less distractions, less excuses, and it gives me an opportunity to analyze my own progression based off of a sole effort, and not the pace of the pack.
Well that is my brief summary of recent riding progress. No significant milestones just yet. There are a few races coming up at the end of the month that will be the final test of all of this mental backtracking.
The live feed for the Strade Bianche is up; time to go.