Category Archives: Yoga

Taking Care of Me Today

I took care of me today with a morning yoga class and an afternoon massage.

I’m surprised at how quickly I get out of shape when it comes to yoga. My legs quivered in most of the poses and are really squawking at me 12+ hour later. I haven’t attended a class since Christmas Eve due to my crazy schedule and needing to sleep in on the weekends. Today I was up early enough to catch an early class with my favorite instructor, Lisa, at Yogave. The nice thing about yoga is that it doesn’t take much time to get stronger and more flexible when you do take some time off.

I also haven’t had a massage since June or July. I scheduled one with Kevin, owner of The Athlete’s Touch. He was really good and I feel like he really worked those tight areas we cyclists tend to have. (He’s also an athlete so he knows first hand the issues we have.)

I need to make massage a regular routine, much like yoga.

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.

Yoga Sunday

Waking up to 27 degrees shouldn’t have seemed quite as bad as it did. Temperatures below freezing after a warm day with lots of melting on the roads is a recipe for disaster in the form of black ice.

Since I’m transitioning into my rest week I decided to go to yoga at Yogave instead of taking the bike on the road. I thought that a little yoga would be a lot easier than a 2-hour ride. Boy, was I WRONG! The first pose was rag-doll (basically stand with your head hanging down by your knees and your arms folded to grab each elbow with your hands) and my legs were quivering in short order. Not to mention I could feel how tight my hamstrings were. Most of the class was like that – quivering quads and dripping sweat. (Yes, you sweat a LOT in yoga if you are doing it right.)  Attending yoga on a more regular basis was good for me and I’ve gotten out of the habit and need to get back into it for strength training.

You see, I’m a higher intensity kind of gal. I think the only beneficial kinds of workouts are intense cardio workouts, to the verge of puking, even though I’ve read lots to the contrary. Weight training is very good for cyclists of all levels. Though I’m not one to hit the gym for weights. I find that all pretty boring. Yoga fits that bill for me – building strength while also encouraging some flexibility. Some also call it a “balancing” of the body, especially for those areas that are neglected while cycling, like the core and the upper body.

If I can lift my arms tomorrow it will be a small miracle. Another session of yoga is planned for tomorrow as I promised a friend I’d take him there to check it out. It will probably help flush my arms from the soreness that I can feel building already.

I’m also going to struggle this week with my rest. I know when I get on the bike I’m going to want to push hard but that’s not the goal. It’s going to take a fair bit of discipline to be on the bike and go easy. Being on the bike is still key without taking the week off the bike, which could be detrimental. Gotta keep the legs pedaling in circles ya know.