The Art of "Not Training"

Habits are hard to start… and to break. Getting up an hour earlier each day – that’s hard and just takes time. Not checking my Training Peaks app each day to see what workout is on deck and how I’m doing for the next event – that seems to be harder.

After BC Bike 2019, I decided that I need to restoke my love for riding, become a bit of a better rounded athlete, and not be in “training mode” all the time. Don’t get me wrong, BCBR is still the #bestweekonabike but it takes a lot of training to get to the finish line, much less meet personal goals!

I started feeling exhausted and ashamed of workouts missed, sessions that were too short, not intense enough, and was anxious at seeing my fitness numbers plummet after the race. Nope, no coach looking over my shoulder and no event on the horizon, just the committee in my head passing harsh judgement (again!).

At first, I was all excited to mix in non-MTB activities into my routine. I signed up for a yoga studio, the dog was going on long hikes, I was attempting to run again. And I was still scheduling all of these activities; planning their duration and intensity.

The schedule showed skimpy workouts, my body was aching because it hadn’t run in years, and let’s face it – hot yoga when it’s 90F degrees outside in August just isn’t all that appealing. So, I ditched that and tried a new plan.

I started not to plan any workouts… and, well… that backfired. I wasn’t working out at all, sitting on the couch more, and my nutrition went to sh*t. (Meanwhile, internally I was going bonkers).

And in a fit of frustration (and relapse?) – I signed up for races in 2020. Moab Rocks and the BWR (Wafer Only!). Yes, I just put a whole heaping layer of expectations on my fitness and ability to perform on a bike (again, no coach, no financial ramifications of not winning, just good old self-imposed expectations).

Moab: Spring time tune up, big rocks, blue skies, & beers

BWR: More blue Skys, long course(s), spandex…

So now I’m at the next stage… I’m planning workouts, but not putting in intensity or duration. I’ll admit that I’m purposely trying to spend as much time with my enduro & downhill boys that seem to enjoy themselves a lot more… (or is the amount of post-ride beers involved?)

Honestly, I don’t know if it’s going to work – but it’s worth the try. I know that if I just get out there and keep myself reasonably fit, my love will come back again and I’ll start to perform better as a result. THAT you can’t measure in fitness or form numbers.

We’ll see if it works.

I’m ever the eternal optimist! Wish me luck!!

Note: While I was writing this post, I pushed off to yoga and had a mini-meltdown when I realized that I didn’t have my Apple Watch to “track” my yoga class. Ugh! I have a long way to go!

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