Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Recovery Day

After yesterday's run-in with a car on top of a difficult three-hour training ride, I needed a good recovery day.

There's really no substitute for an honest-to-goodness recovery day---a short or moderate duration ride at very low effort. A lot of racers make the mistake of riding too hard when they should be resting. It's difficult sometimes because you get used to riding hard all the time and get bored or antsy when riding at a slow pace between 14 and 16 miles an hour.

I used to think a slow day on the bike was a wasted day, but I know better now.

Today I rode for an hour and never once reached a pace that made me breathe hard. I cruised through local neighborhoods and parks just admiring the scenery and enjoying the warmer temperatures. The deep bruise on my left thigh caused by the car's rearview mirror didn't hurt me at all, and while I'm a little sore all over, the overall experience was comfortable and relaxing.

My legs feel strong and responsive, my heart rate the same. Tomorrow I'll do a harder effort with trainer intervals if trapped inside due to rain or with hill climbing if able to get outside. The recovery ride today will help me get the most out of my hard work tomorrow. And come Saturday, I'll be in great condition for the next race.