So, I have been home for a while now, I hit the ground running and got back into the swing of training and felt like things were going well getting back into a routine and they were, physically.
After a couple of weeks, it all finally caught up with me and the fatigue set in. I felt tired, grumpy and if I’m honest, a little depressed.
This crept its way into my training and although I was smashing the shorter, more intense turbo sessions, on the long steady rides I found myself feeling lethargic and unable to overcome the mental tribulations you encounter on those long hours in the saddle.
I’ve got many coping mechanisms for when I am out on the bike for a long time, my usual trick is just to listen to music (gasp! I know headphones on a bike… Well I only have one in and its curb side and not loud so I can still hear what’s going on around me!). I’ll tune into the music and sometimes even sing along if I’m feeling chipper, well actually even if I’m feeling angry – I’ve found that angry music even helps me go a bit faster too lol.
However, even this strategy didn’t seem to be working and I was getting frustrated and I was left wondering why I felt this way.
I refused to believe that it was mental fatigue that was holding me back, ‘it just cant be’, I thought, ‘I’m fine’.
Now, without sounding like a sad Sally, I’ve been through a few things in my little life and I have always found a way to cope mentally and even separate it from my training, in fact training has always been a sure way to help cure any stress.
After a few phone calls with the coach and one clean blood and urine test later, I had to accept that I was just mentally worn out and so we backed off the gas in my training schedule.
I didn’t like having time off from the bike, without the bike I had nothing to focus on, to keep me going and distract me from dealing with it, but I needed this time to offload.
Once I had accepted this, I started to think about all the stress I have been under lately and it all just came pouring out in the shape of little salty tears.
After a bit of sulking in my pyjamas, lots of writing, some mind mapping, a healthy amount of larking about, plenty of chocolate buttons and some mandatory gin sessions I have finally bounced back and feel like a massive weight has lifted, I feel refreshed and ready to conquer the world again!!!
Part of my stress has been the worry of my physical fitness and if I am progressing enough to reach my insanely high set goals, however a strategically placed FTP test has also helped to lift my confidence and see my progression in real results, Coach has real good way at doing that! Cheers Gary.
If you are thinking about getting a coach, I would highly recommend it. A good coach will be worth his weight in gold, someone to keep you on track, understand any limitations and push you in the right way to get you progressing without overloading you.
So, all in all, I think it is important to have some time to just ‘check in’ with yourself, whether its just taking a few hours out to go for a walk or to leave the Garmin at home and have a two wheeled cruise down by the river. It’s all too easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of ‘life’ and soldier on and not really pay attention to what has been going on in your head and in your heart and sometimes, just every now and then you just have to let it all out.
So that’s what has been going on for the last couple of weeks, but ready to hit it hard now, got some exciting rides lined up, and a special announcement coming up at the end of the month..
Love n hugs y’all!