Full disclosure: I spent the afternoon/evening in the ER with my children as our 8-year-old had an injury at basketball camp today. He is fine, but I have no idea what happened in the race, though I did receive the “all clear” text from Rory so I know he is safe and sound. For today, we are going back to the question board! Rory answered many of the questions posted in the last few days and I will focus on his answers instead of chatting about the race today. Sorry, we will be back to the race tidbits tomorrow!
When there is no gas in the tank, how do you continue?
This is a question asked by many because it relates to all levels of cyclists. We have all hit the wall at some point in a race or training ride and knowing how to climb out of the hole is important. First off, just keep moving. Focus on the small tasks—-taking sips of water and eating small bites of food as you continue to pedal. Just. Keep. Moving. If you have someone with you, distract yourself with light conversation. Focus on the scenery around you. Focus on anything but the pain in your body. Rory has faced feeling a couple of times during this tour and the main thing is to keep moving and not give up. Riding with a group of friends or coach can really help during these low times. That is what coaches are there to do—-help motivate you to continue when times are difficult.
How do you know when you are experiencing training fatigue?
Also a very important question and one often overlooked by many. Have you ever been out on a training ride and things don’t feel…good? You haven’t been sick, you have been getting a decent amount of sleep, but your heart rate and power numbers are just off? Maybe the numbers are still okay, but you just feel like something is not right. Many athletes ignore the sensations of the body and continue to train harder and press on…wrong. Take a day off. Listen to your body and allow it to recover before ramping up that training again. This is where a good coach can really help you. With a solid training program you can avoid overtraining and train in a balanced manner that enables you to make consistent gains.
Doping control—-Is is true you have to tell them where you are every hour of every day?
A lot of people assume athletes are only tested at events, but doping control can happen anywhere. Yes, Rory must provide his “whereabouts” to anti-doping officials. There is a website where he can quickly log in and make last minute changes, but he has to outline where he will be during each hour of the day. This can be tricky with the realities of life, but he is hyper-vigilant and keeps track of everything. We have had testers show up on family vacations (sorry kids, we have to leave Disneyland), family birthday parties, weddings, etc. It may seem like an invasion of privacy, but the easiest thing is to let them do their jobs quickly and efficiently so you can get back to life.
Tomorrow we will see what stage 14 has in store for us!