The last few years, I’ve come screaming into the beginning of race season with a strong winter start on great fitness, excellent endurance, and high expectations for myself in the early season races. However, this year, the buildup to Worlds involved mostly low-volume, high intensity training. So, since I got back on the bike after a little January off time, I’ve had to dive headfirst into the ice cold water of high volume training in a slight scramble to take what top-end, 45 minute fitness I’d built up, and turn it in to something that will be useful for 4-5 hours.
In a “perfect” world, the buildup in training volume would be slow and gentle. Unfortunately, the endurance race season starts next Saturday, so I started back earlier in the month with 11 and 19 hour weeks. It’s not that I really mind (to the contrary- I actually prefer the challenge), it’s just that it freaking HURTS. Basically, any time I ride for more than 3 hours, my back, butt, and arms hurt like hell.
It’ll go away- it always does. It’s just been a painful wake-up call to realize that I’m not fully physically prepared to take on the first few races of the season, which, to add to the challenge, are stacked with more incredibly strong women than in years past. In light of this realization, I’ve come to accept that most of the racing I do for the next couple of months will serve as very hard training rides.
That’s OK, and I think that once I’ve built myself back up that it will turn out for the better, but until then, (as my dad would say) I’ve got a long row to hoe.