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#happiness watts

August 02, 2019

#happiness watts

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

by Alison Powers, ALP Cycles Coaching

In February, I wrote a blog post called Training to Train and in it, I disclosed that I had signed up for a bike race-Steamboat Gravel (SBT GRVL), a 141-mile race with 100 miles on dirt/gravel roads. We are now 4 weeks out from race day and I thought it would be fun and interesting to blog every day leading up to the race. I will blog about the specifics of my training, my preparation, my 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). 

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ABOUT ALISON POWERS

Alison Powers

Alison Powers only recently retired from cycling, finishing her final season on the UnitedHealthcare Women’s Team. Her career has spanned a wide array of wins, including the 2013 USA Cycling Professional Criterium National Championship where she won in memorable fashion by soloing after an early breakaway that obliterated the pro women’s peloton. Other standout results during the 33-year-old’s 2013 season include the win at Redlands Bicycle Classic, second at the Tour of Elk Grove, third at the US National Road Championship and the US National Time Trial Championship, and stage wins at Cascade Classic, Tulsa Tough, Tour of the Gila and Redlands Bicycle Classic. Hailing from Fraser, Colorado, Powers has been racing bikes professionally for eight years and is a true athlete with her career beginning as a teenager in mountain bike racing. In her mid 20s, she added in alpine ski racing before switching over to the road. In addition to being the current Criterium National Champion, Powers has two other national championships (Time Trial, Team Pursuit) and 2 NRC titles (2009, 2013).

 

About ALP Cycles Coaching

ALP Cycles Coaching is located in the mountains of Colorado, and is a cycling coaching company with over 25 years of professional sports experience. ALP Cycles Coaching is unique in that we have 4 coaches, Alison Powers, Shawn Heidgen, Jennifer Triplett, and Patricia Schwager who each brings her own coaching strengths and personal experiences. We work together to create a training plan that works for each and every person. Visit them online at http://alpcyclescoach




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