Tortoise and the Hare Lessons

Hello everyone! It's been a few days since my last post, so let's get caught up to speed. This past Thursday my dad and I attempted our first century ride since late February. Unfortunately, I only made it 60 miles before straining my hip flexor on one of the biggest hills in town, so I had to bow out of the ride early. My dad wanted to make sure I got home in good time, so he came with me back to the house where he finished his century on the stationary bike in the basement. As I tried to stretch out my legs and ice my hip, my dad gave me a little piece of advice that I have taken to heart since then. 

During the past few rides outside, I noticed that I have been pushing myself far past the amount of effort necessary if I want to maintain a strong, steady pace during our month long trip across the United States. Rather than moving at a reasonable 16 or 17 mph, I have been trying to rush through my workouts at a more challenging 19 to 21 mph. Instead of slowly climbing up the hills in town, I attack them as if I were back in spin class.

While this is an excellent method for cardio training, what I should  be focusing on is the slower, steadier pace that will be getting me through these upcoming 100+ mile rides. Just like the tortoise and the hare, I need to have less hare and more tortoise in my training regiment. Because it is the slow and steady pace that will ultimately win the day while I ride with my dad.

As he put it, "it's not about the speed, it's about time in the saddle." 

Tomorrow I will be putting those words of wisdom into action as I continue to prepare for the big trip. With my hip still a little sore I'm going to start out slow, making sure to include plenty of time to stretch and loosen up my muscles before really getting involved. With less than two weeks to go, it is more important than ever to make sure that I not only keep up my training, but that I train smart, and not just hard.

Danielle Rivenbark