It’s official; the flu is back. And so, I found myself sniffling, coughing, and laid out sick under the covers. Did you read my previous blog about “taking rest on time”? You would think that I learned my lesson about cycling and training while being rested. However, it turned out not to be so simple.
Writen by: Hadassah Groenewold-van Steen
I discovered cycling and mountain biking 3.5 years ago, and it has since become a true passion of mine. For the first 3 years, I simply enjoyed riding around without any structured training, but I realized that I wanted more, to become better and work towards specific goals.
Pausing a training schedule?
If you unexpectedly can’t train for any reason, you can skip your training in JOIN. You can even pause your training plan, but more on that later. You can give different reasons for “skipping,” including “sick/injured.” If you choose this option, JOIN automatically pauses your training plan for a number of days under the pretext of getting well first.
It sounds simple (especially as I look back on it now), but I wanted to have control over when I would be fit enough to resume my training. I did not want to take rest aimlessly! And besides, what is actually the definition of ‘sick’? I didn’t have a fever (because then it’s clear. Never train with a fever! That’s my real wisdom so far) and I was not sick on the couch. To me, there’s a huge gray area between not feeling 100% fit and being really sick with a fever.
I understood that you can’t push yourself to the limit when you’re not feeling 100% fit. But a easy ride should be possible if you’re not 100% fit, right? So I skipped my workout under the pretext of ‘not having time.’ This way, I got another workout session the next day. At that time, I could feel for myself whether I was fit enough to train again.
Sick or fit enough to ride my bike?
Sick, but when do you feel fit enough to ride my bike? When does a training session help you get over your dip in fitness, and when is it counterproductive? When does cycling give you energy, and when does it cost you energy? I can’t see into the future, I just wanted to cycle again and work towards my goals! At the same time, I was worried about not reaching my yearly mileage (I know, it’s only week 1…) and saw my JOIN score decrease with the message “try to do more.” A useful fact: if you want to ignore your JOIN score because it makes you anxious, you can. You have to consciously swipe left to see your JOIN score #thoughtthrougheh! Kudos to the app makers.
Did I feel fit enough to train again the next day because I really felt fit enough? Or did I get on my bike because I was worried about my goals, mileage, JOIN score, etc.? It made me really insecure and restless. I actually want to cycle today because it’s still nice weather, and it’s going to rain in the coming days. Should I take (extra) rest at this moment or not?
Starting with a leisurely training session
There is really a lot to say about whether you are fit enough to train or not. Ultimately, you can only feel for yourself whether you are fit enough or not. I decided that if I wanted to cycle because I secretly find cycling very enjoyable and relaxing, I could (so not ‘should’) just do that. I chose a calm training routine to start and skipped the planned VO2-max training. It was a wonderful and relaxing way to get back into my cycling routine, along with my cycling friend(s). I rediscovered that cycling is primarily just very enjoyable, pleasant, social, and relaxing, even without goals, JOIN scores, and wanting to improve. Although next time, for more tranquility in my training, I might just use the ‘Flu button’. After all, that button is there for a reason.