SBT GRVL: A happy bike racer is a fast bike racer

SBT GRVL: A happy bike racer is a fast bike racer

"I'm a big believer that bikes are meant to be fun."

by Alison Powers, ALP Cycles Coaching

In February ALP Coach, Alison Powers, announced that she had signed up for SBT GRVL, a 141-mile race with 100 miles on dirt/gravel roads in Steamboat, Colorado. With race day approaching, she’s been blogging every day leading up to the race. She blogs about the specifics of her training, her preparation, headspace, etc. All the things that lead up to race day that not everyone gets to see or understand.

Yesterday, Sunday, I wasn't sure if I was going to ride. My energy levels were fine (not needing a rest day), but stuff (around the house and work) needed taking care of. Plus, it was Sunday, a day to be with family and chill. So, when the opportunity to ride mountain bikes with my Husband came up, the answer was an obvious 'yes.'

I'm a big believer that bikes are meant to be fun. Yes, they are a training tool for fitness, goals, performance, etc., but at the end of the day, riding bikes is fun and they have provided me lifelong enjoyment (unlike my ski racing and desire to go skiing). Perhaps this desire to have fun on all kinds of bikes was a bit of a limiter in my own bike racing career. I like riding road bikes, CX bikes, mountain bikes, single-speed bikes. I couldn't imagine riding just my road bike (or TT bike) every day and being a slave to the numbers. This is also why I was a challenge to coach and people like that are a challenge for me to coach.

While playing and having fun on bikes isn't necessarily the best for headspace and staying happy; which in my mind is more important than forcing a "training" ride or intervals. A happy bike racer is a fast bike racer.

Day 29 - Saturday, July 21st 

Before riding, I spent some time doing core strength and push-ups. No Foundation training today. Planks, bridging, toe taps, etc. I'm not sure how long I did core strength but it was a decent session. Upper body and core strength are my strength sessions these days. I was being diligent with my full-body strength training until about 3 weeks ago. At that point, I decided I would rather focus my leg energy on the bike and recovering from bike workouts. After Steamboat is over, I'll go back to full-body strength training a couple of times a week because I like it and it makes me feel good.

Then we went mountain biking. It was fun and my technical skills were not bad. Duration was close to 2 hrs (no Garmin on MTB rides). My low back started to get tight and was tight the rest of the day (thanks core strength workout-hope it feels better tomorrow). I ended the day with a short foam roll and stretch session (could have used more, but oh well).