As you may recall: last year I put my name in the lottery for Midsouth Gravel on a whim. Not only did I not overthink it, but I also didn’t really think about it AT ALL.
This is a huge gravel event; what are the chances? There are plenty of other Women aged 40-49 that will sign up and get chosen.
But secretly, I thought it would be cool to get in. And the Fates saw it favorable to choose me.
The moment of learning I got in was both euphoric and terrifying. Because now I had to actually do what I’ve spent years NOT doing:
So here we are on week 7 (of 14) using TrainerRoad and I am not sure I’m cut out for this. Or maybe I’m just not used to having structured workouts at a regular cadence. Or maybe …. just maybe …. this is not the time of year to be doing this.
It’s literally the middle of winter, when all the vibes are cozy, comfortable, stretchy pants, hibernation, hot cocoa with whipped cream or marshmallows.
It’s a time for fat biking. It’s a time for slow and low. Cross training. Snowshoeing. Hiking. Sleeping.
Decidedly not regularly pushing myself to new power heights. Because the part about picking an AI-enabled training plan that adapts with you means it literally never gets easier. If you crush a workout, it just serves you harder workouts next time.
Personal Reminder: The goal is to be prepared for 100 miles on dirt in the middle of March. Not to race, not to podium. Just enjoy the ride.
So … week 7. I completed my latest ramp test and the first workout was a level 6 Sweet Spot 2x23min workout at 92-95% of the new FTP. My legs felt so heavy and it took a bit to find my groove tonight. I had to psych myself up through the each section of the 23min interval (every 5-7min the power target changed) – just 3 more minutes … just 2 more minutes … one more minute and then the watts go up a tiny bit.
Last week I did all three workouts PLUS went outside twice, which Garmin deemed “unproductive” because they were more challenging than a training plan would schedule. I wanted to go ride bikes with friends outside so I have zero regrets – but I’m definitely in need of some rest.
I’m mildly paranoid about missing a workout, mostly because I don’t want to fall off the wagon. But it’s becoming clear to me that I am not in a place where riding every single day (or more days than not) is viable. I’ve never been that person – I’ve always needed/wanted a bit more rest time than others while still doing cool stuff.
It’s not summer, Laura. Summer volume of riding is literally the exact opposite of the universe’s energy right now. Don’t fight too hard. It would be a shame to be totally burnt out when you get to the starting line.
For all my years of riding bikes, I’m a super noob when it comes to indoor, structured training. I’m not afraid of being new and learning. But woof – this is tough.
Thanks for reading and hopefully I’ll be outside more soon (replacing the 90min weekly workout instead of in addition to that workout).