Question: I bought a road bike about four years ago and did 2,500 miles the first year, 3,500 the second and 5,000 last year. I was excited about improving and last winter did many hard workouts on my trainer.
About six weeks ago I was really feeling tired. I went to my doctor, who told me I had Epstein-Barr virus. I took a break from riding, but when I started again I had discomfort in my stomach and chest. The doctor told me to “take it easy on the bike.”
I want to do a 100-mile ride in two months. What can I do to regain my form quickly enough? — Charles H.
Coach Fred Matheny Replies: I can’t advise you on your medical condition. Your doctor is your best source of information.
From a coaching perspective, it sounds like the hard indoor workouts pushed you into a state of overtraining. It’s fine to go hard on the trainer, but you also need to build plenty of recovery into your training plan.
Now that the damage has been done, you need to regain fitness slowly. You can’t hurry recovery! It takes time.
Setting a long-ride goal is probably a bad idea. It will force you into a training schedule and that could result in another physical setback.
It’s better to gradually increase your riding with your physician’s approval. Listen to your body. Let it tell you when it’s ready to begin doing more.