Yes! And Here’s How
I sympathize [Coach Fred Matheny writes]. I have trouble riding slowly, too. But we need to remember that we don’t improve when we’re going fast. Intensity is only the catalyst for improvement.
The actual improvement comes when we’re resting and the body repairs the damage from hard rides. Then the general adaptation syndrome kicks in as the body adjusts to the stress and gets stronger.
If you think about how a nice, easy spin makes you stronger, it can help you keep your irrational exuberance under control. Here are 4 ways to make yourself slow down on at least some rides.
Ride a “town” bike. Getting on your good bike makes you want to ride fast. Riding a cruiser makes you want to, well, cruise.
Ride with a slower person. Go at their pace. Promise not to drop him. I often ride with my wife on my easy days. She’s fit but I’m stronger on the bike, so my easy cycling day is her moderately paced ride. It works great for both of us.
Ride on bike paths. Substitute them for your usual training roads. Pedestrians, skaters and people riding slowly will make you ride slowly, too.
Don’t train. Instead of getting on the bike for a workout, use it for a trip to the coffee shop or post office. Wear casual clothes rather than riding clothes for the proper mindset.
Coach Fred Matheny is an RBR co-founder who has four decades of road cycling and coaching experience. He has written 14 eBooks and eArticles on cycling training, available in RBR’s eBookstore at Coach Fred Matheny, including the classic Complete Book of Road Bike Training, which includes 4 eBooks comprising 250 pages of timeless, detailed advice and training plans. The Complete Book is one of the many perks of an RBR Premium Membership. Click to read Fred’s full bio.