I am back home in Girona after an eventful Tour de France. Thank you to everyone who followed along with our blog entries! The last day of the Tour was pretty exciting. Everyone on the team was happy and looking forward to getting to Paris. A sense of relief was felt throughout the peloton as we had all survived the race and could enjoy the sensation of riding on to the Champs Elysees.
Coming into Paris was one of the most unique experiences I have ever experienced. The crowds were incredible and I was so thrilled to be racing on such an iconic stretch of road with my teammates. The cobbles were actually quite hard and it was not completely flat, so we had to give our last effort to make sure Alex was positioned well for the sprint. After the race I was able to join my family and we were grateful for the time together after a long month apart.
We took the train back to Girona from Paris and I was immediately pushed back to reality. My five-year-old could have cared less about my fatigue and all of the normal things awaited me at home. My body has really shut itself down after the Tour and after years in the professional peloton, I know this time is integral to the training process.
One cannot underestimate the importance of recovery after a major event and this is where an experienced coach can help athletes of all levels. You must understand what your body can handle and the level of recovery required after a major event. Some people don’t take enough recovery time and end up over training and getting sick. Others take too much recovery time and lose precious training time. It takes knowledge and experience to read the body and understand the recovery process.
I have allowed myself a few days of recovery and now I am back to training for the next event. It has been great to enjoy some downtime at home, but I am heading up to the mountains to continue my training for the rest of the races this season.