All the Pros Do It

Professional athletes will build towards targeted events and taper off the volume and intensity just before so they have the right balance of stress and recovery to ensure peak performance.
If it works for them, then obviously every overweight/untalented Masters athlete should do the same thing. At least, that's my plan.
Of course, professionals usually don't stuff their faces with immoral amounts of processed fat bombs that they could never hope to burn off. I'm starting to pay for yesterday's excesses, but I'm fairly sure the bill won't be settled for quite some time. No matter. It was fun while it lasted.
Yesterday I rolled out from work into sunshine and warmth. This was quite unexpected, as my workplace has no windows and I had pre-conditioned my body for chilly and a bit damp. My enthusiasm for effort just wasn't there, and I rode at an easy pace. Halfway through, a rider blew past me and my initial instinct was to chase to shut down the breakaway. My next thought was a more reasonable, "Why?"
I continued meandering along, selecting routes that didn't include headwinds or hills. Avoiding effort was the name of the game. It was all too easy to be lazy. Maybe not as easy as not riding at all, but still a little too easy for my liking. Usually I have to hold myself back to get in an easy ride. My head wants to go, my legs want to go, and the only thing holding me back is the mental image of Janice shaking her head in disgust. Actually, I imagine Janice's normal state when reviewing my training records is revulsion, because I mutilate her carefully-crafted plans with laser precision. If there's one thing I'm good at, it's getting in the way of my own success. I've got mad skills.
I am a little afraid that I'll get accustomed to riding easy, and won't be able to kick up the intensity when required. It's happened before. I hit a peak of intensity and volume, then draw back for a little recovery, and can't find my stride again. I went as far as I was able, and didn't realize it until it was too late. Maybe that will happen this time, maybe it won't. I'm just not in tune with the signals my body sends me, other than those coming from my stomach.
I do know that after a couple days of riding easy I'm mentally ready for something a little more sporty. It may not be a good idea and it may not be in my legs, but sometimes not knowing is worse than being a little under-recovered. We'll see...


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