Something we all need, when you have pushed your body or mind to far. With the training plan that I follow from British Cycling it works on slowly building intensity over three weeks, the 3rd and final week really stretching me. As I’m still working full time and training between 12-15 hours per week by the time the fourth and rest week comes around I’m ready to stop. Physically I know I need this down time for my body to repair itself and grow stronger however if you have trained really hard for something I’m sure you will understand when you stop to take a rest it feels like you are loosing everything you have worked for. For me after a few days rest I feel like getting back on the bike and doing hard sessions again. I should add at this point a rest week still requires about 7 – 9 hours of training!
The problem I have with time away from the bike is I start to think of all the adventures I’m missing out on as I’ve fully committed to riding for the British Cycling Olympic Development Program. Nothing else comes into my life besides Caroline (my wife) , full time work at Bike Revolution and training. Getting the balance right is something I think I’m still yet to master. I guess the problem is I love having adventures, whether that’s is hanging off a rock face, trying to catch waves on a surfboard or something simple like slack lining with your mates having a laugh.
While I’m in the intensive periods of my training I never wish for these things as I’m focused on giving 100% to that session. For me this type of commitment comes easy, I find when I set my mind to something I can stay focused for long periods of time and kill myself trying to achieve that goal even if its something silly like trying to impress a coach when the result really is nether here nor there. I don’t know why I’m wired this way but I have always needed goals to work towards, I’m not good at letting life past me by. This goal is by far the hardest goal I have ever set myself, to try and win an Olympic medal. I’ve held both a silver and gold medal from the 2012 London games and they have a special feel about them, a kind of priceless feeling, something money can’t buy type of feeling. It really makes you want one, knowing if you have one you have really worked hard and earned it. Maybe that’s what I need to think about while on rest weeks is that feeling of those medals.
To put things in prospective I’m not in any position to get on the squad to go to Rio 2016 yet, this team will be selected 7 weeks before the games. I haven’t even raced yet to see how I stack up against other riders to see if I will even be good enough to become a full time athlete (a long term dream and goal of mine, at 36 I’m taking my time). At the moment it feels like I’m standing at the bottom of El Cap looking up with a world of doubt in my mind thinking why do I do this to myself.
However if I can get through this rest week staying focused, I’ll be a week older, it will be a week closer to the games but more importantly, I’ll be stronger, faster and one week closer to finding out if I will achieve this incredible goal.