My legs are aching right now from the ride I went on this morning. I’ve ridden the last three days in a row, which is part of the problem; I ride that frequently quite often, but not when the series of days begins with a race, which happened on Tuesday. I also rode hard today. I didn’t plan on it — this is one of those days I thought I would take it easy — but my legs had other ideas. They just took off up the hills, and there wasn’t much I could do about it.
I don’t really know if the kind of riding I’m doing — the types of rides, the frequency, the intensity — is what I need to be doing; I’ve got The Cyclist’s Training Bible and I sort of follow it, but its training plans are so super-complicated, it just isn’t realistic, and I don’t stick with it. I could do it if I had all the time in the world and the weather were always great. As that’s not the case, I try to follow its general principles and kind of make it up from there.
What I need — but probably won’t have unless I’m willing to pay for it, which right now I’m not — is a personal coach, someone who could help me figure out how to train most efficiently given the time and terrain and weather I deal with. Someone who could help me figure out what my strengths and weaknesses are and how to train to maximize or overcome them.
Anyway, something’s going right, because I had another good race on Tuesday. This one was faster than last week, about 24.5 mph, and longer, about 52 minutes. And again, I stayed with the pack the whole time, climbing up the last hill with everybody else. What was different this week was that the pack was bigger and the riding wasn’t as smooth. I’m not used to riding in a really large pack (for me, that would be anything over 50 people), and I got a little freaked out by the crowd and the closeness of the other riders. This meant I rode toward the back of the pack a little more than I should have — it’s much harder to ride in the back where there’s a lot of slowing down and speeding up instead of a steady pace, and where the squirrely riders hang out. Next week I will try to ride near the front a little more.