Summer Doldrums

Last year I remember hitting the summer doldrums pretty hard. We had a lot of rain during the summer months so I spent a fair bit of time off my bike after the Trek Across Maine.

This year I found myself in the same position. Though this year I couldn’t attribute my doldrums to the rain.

In talking with some of my other riding friends, they also feel the summer doldrums. I’m not saying that people are bored with summer, but some are bored with riding. Unless you have clear goals or events to keep you focused on training and riding, it’s pretty easy to slip into a general sense of malaise when it comes to riding.

The weather has also been pretty hot lately. We have bouts of pretty high heat and humidity – that’s usually a good reason for me to be off the bike a fair bit as I don’t do so well in heat and humidity.

Still, with the heat I managed to make it on the bike a couple times a week during our normal women’s rides to keep me generally riding. That also gave me some pretty decent recovery time in between rides.

I was afraid that too much time off the bike would cause me to feel a bit flat legged and not be able to keep up with our groups as others’ fitness continued to improve. However, it seems to have worked out okay since over the past week or so I’ve actually been feeling a little stronger on the bike and pushed my heart rate a bit higher than I’ve seen all season, a definite sign of improved fitness this season.

Another thing that might be attributing to me feeling slightly stronger is getting back into yoga classes. I went about a month without participating and now that I’m back to it I feel better on the bike. I even finally participated in a restorative yoga session designed for athletes to help them recover. It was more passive than I thought it was going to be but I found I had great legs the following day for my ride.

Now that summer is winding down I feel like I’m ready to spend a bit more time on the bike – not a ton, but perhaps an extra ride or two mid-week. We’ll still continue to have some hot days but the weather should be decent and not so oppressive. Let’s hope it turns out to be a good fall with continued improved fitness until the end of the season.

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