The inevitable guilt complex

Lazy cyclist sleepingLife, I decided, is more important than cycling. Blasphemy. Nay, treason. Hang him from the rafters. Lovers who’ve come to terms with their love for one another and other people.

We’re not exactly on a break, no. We’re just open to seeing other people. And you know what, I’m enjoying it. Lazy lie ins, eating what I like, not dreading the turbo. This is the life.

What of cycling? I still ride hard a couple of times a week, add in my cycle commuting and I’m still riding 6 days a week. Some break eh?

It’s more about easing off the training and not taking myself so seriously. Unstructured structure is my training plan this year. One short, sharp set of high intensity intervals midweek followed by a longer sweet spot session at the weekend and the occasional epic endurance ride.

You see, I can still talk cycle talk, look at all those vaguely technical words!

Guilt

A neighbourhood cat often visits my garden. It will sometimes press it’s moist, cold nose against the patio window, big round eyes staring at me, pining, let me in, they plead. I never do. A pang of guilt always strikes. The trick is to never to make eye contact.

So it goes for Strava. Never open the bloody thing when you’re taking it easy. My oh my people are crazy. If they’re not riding hundreds of miles they’re swimming in icy open water, or skiing atop beautiful mountains. Oh the guilt. All these adventurous folk putting me to shame.

Never, ever, open the goddamn thing.

We need a break

So how’s the break going? Off the bike I’m having a good time. On the bike? Well, I can’t tell you. You see I’m not really measuring anything. My last FTP test was August. Now there’s a victory for the soul.

Trouble is this creates doubt. Am I slipping behind? Will I get dropped the next time I’m out? Time will tell. Or more likely my legs on my first proper group ride will not only tell but scream at me for being so lazy. Hang on boys!

The limited data I’ve seen suggests I’m where I need to be and that’s enough for me. Wishful thinking perhaps. Hard to tell. I no longer train by power but by the not so trustworthy numbers of heart rate. Yet combined with my perceived effort, I think I know roughly where I am. What’s a few watts between friends?

Ignorance is bliss.

Man up

Yes, yes, I hear you. But man up to what exactly? More hours on the bike? To what end? Progression past a certain point comes at a great cost. This is the point of diminishing returns where every ounce of effort returns less and less.

What of the opportunity cost of chasing such margins, such small victories? Even when making big gains last year I felt empty. Work suffered. Home life suffered. And boy did I suffer.

No more. I have manned up. I’ve chosen to face life. Quite the challenge. Give me an interval any day of the week!

And please can we have a non-gender specific put downs as opposed to man up? People up doesn’t have the same ring to it though. Cyclist up. Bike up. Lycra up. Hmm. Drink up, there, fixed it for you.

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8 thoughts on “The inevitable guilt complex

  1. Take it easy, convert or build a fixed wheel bike. Relearn the joy of just pedaling, of being directly connected to the bike!
    Learn to spin, to engage with the hills. Just enjoy your times on the bike, no pressure. Miles will fly by both metaphorically and physically!

    Liked by 2 people

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