From Mountain to Road - A New Challenge

How I Learned to Trust the Process

The Beginnings:
A little background on myself.  I have ridden bikes in some capacity my whole life.  From BMX to mountain bikes to road bikes.  I started riding on the road in high school with a converted Specialized Hard Rock that I put slicks on.  There were no power meters around, no heart rate monitors, no GPS, just going out and riding as hard or as easy as you felt for the day. 

The First Fire:
Fast forward a couple years and I’m introduced to proper mountain biking. 

I’m instantly hooked.  I sneak off to ride every chance I get.  Even for a 20-minute lap of my favorite trail, even in the rain, even by myself, every chance I could.  Again, I had never heard of a power meter, heart rate monitors were for elite athletes and GPS, well, at some point I found out about Strava. My rides become a race against the clock and I start to learn about measuring things to track performance.  My mindset is still to go out and ride as hard as possible, for as long as possible, to get better.  “Overtraining has entered the chat”, is the best way to describe my method. Did I get better? Yes.  Did I get the best results possible and did I understand why the adaptations were happening? No. In this time I find myself on a road bike again. 

I train and commute on the road in addition to training in the dirt.  I enter some races. I do ok against others who probably have no clue what they are doing either. 

 

A New Challenge:
Fast forward some more years.  I discover VeloPro and get invited to join a team that is using the program to reach a lofty goal of riding a Century on the road bike.  Up until this point I had not logged a ride much over 40 miles…. I start training….

I find myself questioning the methods in the beginning.  Why am I riding easy for a workout? Why am I taking days off?  What does “heart rate zones” and “perceived exertion” have to do with going out and completing 100 miles in a single ride?  I start to trust the process and trust the program to do what it is engineered to do, adapt to my performance and continually build my program and fitness towards an end goal.

 

Trust the Process:

In a relatively short time, I can feel myself getting stronger on the bike.  I set new distance PR’s, I set new Strava segment PR’s, my distance PR times get shorter, I can train/ride back to back days, I can get out of the saddle and sprint without blowing up.  I am getting fitter, faster and becoming a better cyclist. A better athlete. I am excited to continue to get better!

The Non-Measurable Benefits of Cycling:

Some of the best parts of training are getting out and seeing things from a perspective that you often miss when traveling at the speed of internal combustion. Here are a few pics to show the places my bike has taken me.


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