This week, I got on my bike for the first time since the end of November.
Cycling is awesome for your mind, body and soul but I went on a “bike diet” only because I knew I was going to do it for at least 9 months out of the year so I wanted to focus on other forms of cardio and lifting heavy ass weights at the gym. So for a month and a half, I’ve been lifting more heavy weights, less circuit training and less cardio, although I’ve been occasionally hitting up my good old elliptical with a lot of high intensity interval training. I didn’t touch my road bike at all while the air pressure on my tires slowly dropped and I tried to resist the spin bikes at the gym (although I think I caved twice but I swear they were only really short HIIT sessions).
Most importantly, I’ve been more committed to recovery.
I’ve always stretched but I stretch and foamroll for even longer after every workout. I lie painfully on golf balls or foam-roll while watching TV at home. I get into all these weird positions and stretch while working on my computer (hip flexors, glutes, ITB, calves, back, shoulders, arms, you name it). I get a painfully wonderfully massage once a week. I started seeing the chiropractor again and I’m also trying to commit to wearing my custom orthotics (got them for my flat feet last year but never wore them regularly).
The results from my bike rides this week?
I remember my last couple rides at the end of 2013 were brutal— the hills I use to rock made me tired, it was hard breathing in the cold air and I felt a little discouraged. The first couple rides of this year was completely at the other end of the spectrum! I’ve been feeling less tired on the hills and I feel like I can ride for longer, even while breathing in this frigid winter air. I think my body was definitely over-trained but this much-needed bike diet put me back on track. It definitely feels great to be riding again!