Toolbox: Sure you’re an athlete, and sure you may be able to roll out century rides easily. You might even be a keen racer. And all the cycling you do is supposed to improve your health, decrease your risk for major illnesses, and help you live to a ripe old age, right?
Christine Pardee is not one to back away from a challenge, as indicated by her year-long commitment to go 100% car-free and do all of her commuting by bike. But it wasn’t just the physical challenge that inspired her to go car-free—it was also a long-lost connection to her own happiness that compelled her to pick up her bike again.
When you have a great day on the bike, you feel invincible. You feel strong, you feel fast, you feel like you can handle anything that comes your way. And although the endorphin high is partly responsible for this feeling of invincibility, cyclists do generally live healthier lives than the average Joe.
Most frequently, coaches write about training and racing on a bike with the goal of improving an athlete’s performance. Improving performance on the bike is why we dedicate so much time and sacrifice so much of our busy lives. Performance improvement is very important and requires an immense amount of time, patience, and effort to attain. But is it the only reason we ride and train?
There’s the classic saying that “those who don’t understand history are doomed to repeat it.” The same is true of our training and fitness progression. While useful throughout the year, it is especially important to carefully assess how your training and racing went this season before you can truly plan for the upcoming year.