On Saturday, I did my last long bike ride in training for the Surf City Aids Ride, my Century Ride. This Sunday, I apparently am going to cycle 100 miles.
I have to admit, I’m so relieved to be done with the training because I haven’t loved it.
I made an important discovery whilst training for this ride. Whilst I LOVE riding my bike, I don’t love TRAINING on my bike.
It’s an important distinction.
‘Cat, would you like to go for a bike ride?’.
‘Yes please, I’d love to.’
‘Cat, do you want to do ridiculously long rides every week, getting up at an ungodly hour so you can be sure to be back in time to pick up your Dude? Do you want your bottom to chafe on a weekly basis? Do you want to not stop to take photographs because you need to keep pushing the pace? Do you want to limit your cafe stops and ride the same roads every week because they’re the only safe roads around?’
‘No. Frankly that sounds grim’.
I’m generally not a moaner, and this is clearly a first world problem, but I got so tired of the training. ‘Training’ on my bike just sucked ALL the joy out of cycling.
The contrast was marked on Saturday. Last week’s ride was 85 miles, alone, into a headwind for every mile (seriously). I got back drained physically and mentally. On Saturday, I rode 50 miles with my brilliant friend Kat and I loved every second. 50 miles is such a lovely distance. It’s long enough to work your body hard, long enough to cover three big hills, long enough to justify a cake stop, long enough to feel the sun on your face…but short enough that you get home at lunchtime and are physically able to head out to the zoo with your boys immediately afterwards and have a great day. I’m kind of horrified at my average speed (11.5mph, who rides that slowly?) but I had a fab day!
So these are my big learnings from this training cycle.
- I don’t want to ‘train’ on my bike. I want to enjoy my riding.
- 100 miles takes too much time out of my life. This will be my only 100 miler until the Dude is much older.
- 50 miles is a delight.
- I think 100k rides are the way forward for me! 62 miles is a perfect stretch-distance.
- I LOVE training by running.
- I want to run forever more.
This next week, I’m going to be doing a few more shorter rides, get a few runs in and then taper for Sunday. I’m ready to do this!