“There is something that I am hearing a lot of lately, and I myself am guilty of saying, thinking and feeling it, as well at some point. Here is what I am hearing, “But I am SO slow at the moment! I won’t be able to keep up!” That wouldn’t have been the first time you have heard that, nor will it be the last!
We have our professionals in all sports. Individuals who devote THOUSANDS of hours to their sport, which is their job. With a winning combination of genes, time training, and devotion these individuals achieve amazing things in their chosen field. And hold onto your hat (or sperm helmet) because they are fast!
As a weekend warrior, we also devote THOUSANDS of hours to our profession, what ever it may be… And at the end of the day when we have finished our 9-5 job, we train for hours on end. Then go home to be a girlfriend, wife, mother, and somewhere in there we have to find time for ourselves. Often some of our slowness comes from not having enough recovery time amongst our busy schedules.
To be truthful, there are lots of weekend warriors that are undoubtably fast and have the merits in forms of medals and Championship tickets to prove it. So we wont categorise pro’s as fast, and weekend warriors as slow. Because that is blatantly incorrect. Each of us are gifted with our own capacity, our own set of skills, strengths and abilities. And thats okay, that is what makes us all unique.
In my busy schedule of working a full-time job, I try and juggle and balance life. I try to be a kick arse girlfriend to my better half, though sometimes I am sure I fail! I try to satisfy my delight for cooking and baking, though again sometimes I am sure (in-fact positive) I fail! And I try to keep training as honest as I can.
I’ll be honest that my training has hit a slump this winter. But not because I have the Winter Blues. Maybe something to do with a combination of post Cairns Ironman blues (which only my partner raced in, and did a fabulous job – Well done Sean!) and my teaching semester, between late nights working and early morning starts for training, I was exhausted. The slump that I hit didn’t mean I still didn’t want to train, it meant I just didn’t want a schedule. I didn’t want to think of efforts, speed, time, or distance. I wanted to do as I pleased, when I pleased.
This got me thinking, how important it is to come back to the basics. To remember why we started in the first place. When I started, I never had a goal that was orientated around a time or speed. I just wanted to ride my bike, with friends, and then drink coffee. There is a very fine line between riding a bike for competition and it being a leisurely activity, and it is easy to fall between one and the other. And that is okay too, I am guilty of playing in each half. But remember, you don’t have to ride a bike purely because you have a race coming up. You can ride it, simply because it is fun! You don’t have to go fast, you don’t have to go slow, you can just go.
So if your goals aren’t to race, or you are enjoying the off-season, maybe you can pick some other goals, such as:
- to get fitter
- to meet new people
- to ride every day
- to ride somewhere new every week
- to explore the world around you
- to conquer that hill climb
- to ride the furthest you have ever ridden before
- to get more km’s in elevation
- to ride your bike to work every day instead of driving the car
- to ride to a new coffee shop every day (I’m in!)
- or to earn those waffles for breakfast
But what if you are on the other side? What if you are the one who is hearing the “But I am SO slow at the moment! I won’t be able to keep up!” I am definitely guilty of saying this to my speedier, faster, and better-all-round-athlete partner. And I often feel horrible when I feel like I am holding him back when we train together.
If you are a speedy Gonzales trying to get a not-so-fast friend or partner to come along for a ride there are a few things that you can do:
- You can reassure them that on this ride, the speed is up to them, they are in the drivers seat.
- You can do hills together, and the faster/stronger rider can come back and finish the rest of the climb with their riding partner and encourage them along the way.
- The not-as-fast rider can sit on the wheel of the faster rider, and enjoy a good ol’ draft.
- Make the ride an easy recovery ride, spin those legs around, and have a good chat.
- Do efforts or intervals, and in the easy riding between, ride together and chat.
- If it is a group ride, always have a back up plan if someone get’s dropped!
What ever you decide to do, always be encouraging and supportive. Because remember, speed isn’t everyones objective every single ride! Every ride adds km’s into the legs and into the bank, making each person a stronger, fitter, and eventually a faster rider.
Whether you ride because it is fun, or you ride because you are fast, what ever reason, make sure you are loving it. Don’t let that slow feeling, slow down your love and enjoyment of simply riding a bike. And definitely don’t let that slow thought get in the way of having an awesome ride with your friends!
Happy riding xx