The Rest Week

Pic from Sunday's ride, where I earned a rest week!Photo by Ben Choong

Pic from Sunday’s ride, where I earned a rest week!

Photo by Ben Choong

After riding the bike 11 hours two weeks ago, I took most of last week off and only went slightly crazy. I generally take Monday’s off from riding, but every month I take a week easy to recover and regroup. The time I normally ride are instead spent cleaning, maintaining and upgrading the bike as well as doing active recovery for myself (walking the dog and cleaning the house, too). Of course this didn’t go to plan and I spent most of the week fighting a cold, and then did a 70 mile ride on Sunday. Oh well.

Three weeks of riding almost everyday, at least an hour a day, takes a toll physically and mentally, so it’s important to take this time to unwind and remember why you love riding, instead of incessantly training for some goal. I actually got things done around the house last week, as well as those that always take a back burner to cycling, like getting my hair cut and going to the bank.

The rest week for me is also a good time to get back on track with stretching and hydration, since sometimes you forget to recover properly from every ride. Instead of inhaling breakfast and then running out the door to catch a group ride, I make sure to down a glass of water as soon as I wake up. At night instead of getting bikes ready for the next day, I take 20 minutes to get some good stretching in, and take it easy.

Taking it easy is the goal of a rest week, and it’s not hard to do here in Penang. Something about island living, right Darryl?

So how do you guys take a step back from regular training to recover, or is this something you need to start doing? I want to hear from you!

  • gswbike

    While I have ridden in and actually chosen to ride in the rain and heavy wind, I admit it, I am mostly a fair weather rider. I’m sure I’m like many cyclists… constantly watch the weather forecast. During my peak season, I try to ride as many continuous days as possible and plan my day off around a rainy day or very busy family days. Sometimes dealing with a flooded basement or helping my family with something that is important to them takes priority. However, I also try to listen to my body and riding an easy day or a taking a day off when my body tells me. I also like to schedule maintenance of my bicycles on my day off as well. While regular after ride bicycle wipe down and lube helps to extend the need for more major work, actually there are times that I rather look forward to a rainy day just to work on my bikes. Because I see a bicycle as an amazing beautiful piece of art and craftsmanship, I view my involvement in maintenance as another rewarding aspect of cycling.

  • Julie Starling

    I ride every day. I’m now closing in on 1000 days. I have light days as needed for recuperation or busyness. So far a mile to the park and back or the on the trainer is always doable, even on my worst days such as when I’m sick, have a stomachache, or am blood-sugar crash tired. I can’t compete in mileage or speed but I can get my butt on a bike. :-)