Question: This is my first year of serious riding. I started on the trainer February and have been going strong since, riding hard four to five times a week. I’ve raced several times and want to do more until fall. The problem is that my rides feel like a chore rather thanfun. My legs burn when I ride. How can I get my enthusiasm back? — Bud R.
Coach Fred Matheny Replies: You’re experiencing the expected burnout from an intense season. You’ve been going at race pace for half a year! That’s a lot longer season than in other sports. It’s no wonder that you’re losing momentum and your enjoyment of cycling.
It’s possible to race more than a hundred times a year. The pros do it. But they have a huge endurance base. They do nothing but ride, rest, and eat. They’re getting paid for it. The rest of us have to parcel out our efforts among training, racing, work, and everything else in our lives.
Take a week off the bike to rest. Then resume mild training and see how you feel. If you’re raring to go, try some races but only if you’re genuinely enthused about them.
Next season, start slower, build a better endurance base with more moderately paced rides, and monitor your recovery. Your peak fitness and your enthusiasm will last longer.