Today is the day after the night I had my best session at The CyclingCentre.Ca.
Charts and statistics don’t tell last night’s story well enough. What happened was after 10 months of intensive road and indoor training with Coach Petrina Tulissi I had my first session were I came out feeling better than when I went in.
When I say feeling better I don’t mean that gasping, red faced, fist-pumping moment when after two hours of crazy cycling the night ends and I realize I’ve lived through it.
No I mean I got off the bike and I felt perfectly calm. I wasn’t sweaty. My heart wasn’t racing. I wasn’t even breathing hard. Even the persistent soreness in my quads was gone.
Yes the night was what Petrina calls a recovery ride and I skipped my noon hour yoga class but we worked hard enough and harder than a newcomer would have liked.
So why all the self-congratulatory comments? It’s because I could never have done this on my own.
I have to thank the coaches (Petrina and Tracey) at The CyclingCentre.Ca who kept telling me to slow up. You see most newcomers to a sport like cycling start off exercising way too hard and end up burnt out, discouraged and so sore that they often are never to be seen again.
No the secret is to train within your own wheelhouse. Think of your level of fitness as a plateau (even if it’s a plateau that’s actually just level ground but it’s a starting place). Your coach will assess where you are on your fitness trail and design a fitness regime that will move you slowly from your present plateau to your next plateau. Aiming for the top of the mountain too soon is deadly.
So where am I now? (In photo: Petrina and the summer morning weekly training group.)
I’m on a plateau.
I can now pedal with reasonable efficiency at a cadence of 90 to 100 rpm and my average speed is rising to the point that there is some hope I can at least keep the summer riding group in sight. Last summer Petrina would tell me the location of the designated training area and after 10 kilometres of pedalling I’d ride in about five minutes after everyone else 🙂
If you’ve ever wanted to join a cycling club (Oakville Cycling Club‘s open membership period is coming up in a few days) and go on a group recreational ride or even participate in the many races and serious long group rides that take place in Ontario all summer long then you’ll want to take lessons on how to ride faster, stronger and harder.