- Does having time off from riding make you a better rider?
Had a couple of weeks off from riding under medical advice…
Before the time off I’d been riding a couple of times a week over the winter but nothing rad to the power of last summer and definitely not at the same fitness level. It’s almost as if I could feel certain skills slipping away with each ride. My confidence was knocked a little on each journey, whether it was due to my back, stumbling through the singletrack with the grace of a angry fundamentalist swan or just generally being crap… the result of decreasing skills over a few weeks was a silly crash that forced my time off the bike.
However yesterday everything felt rather sexy, I felt confident on the bike, I felt “in the zone” for most of the ride and didnt think twice about the tracks in front of me. Could it be the time off thats helped or could it have been that my focus was on the event rather than my own riding?
There must have been many things influencing my riding yesterday and there’s a big chance if I had been in a different speed group I would’ve come home feeling rubbish about my riding… however I can’t help but feel the 2 weeks off have reminded me how much I love just being out there on a bike with friends, by re-focusing my mind on the social side I think it might have opened the door for my mojo to creep back in.
Anyone else found this after some time off?Posted 7 years agomolgripsSubscriber
It can do yes.
I did one of my best ever Polarises (this was pre proper training) when I did literally nothing for four weeks due to work issues. Jumped straight on the bike and had a blinder.
Some people suggest that’s why many endurance sportswomen come back better after having had a kid – they benefit from the rest.Posted 7 years agoImabigkidnowSubscriber
I reckon it’s 2 part thing:
Part 1: you’ve given your body a rest and recovery .. so long as it’s not too long a period then the first ride back you’re full of beans. I’ve had this before, but feel worse on the 2nd and 3rd ride (sorry to potentially rain on your parade)
Part 2: You’ve been away long enough to miss riding so are actually enjoying it a little more than the little bit of routine that it has maybe become?Posted 7 years agobuzz-lightyearMember
I think it’s about concentration. Do the same trail a lot and you get mentally dulled and don’t concentrate/focus naturally. A break helps.
But time off bike and I lose the feel of the bike handling. Even swapping bikes I find detrimental. It takes 2-3 rides to come back to me.Posted 7 years agothisisnotaspoonMember
Yes to an extent. I feel like I lose the top 10% of fitness if I dont ride in a week, but the next few weeks ont really seem to matter as much.
And when I get back on the bike I can think my way through sections appying all the good bits of knowlage/skills, but I’ll have forgotten the bad habits.
Alternatively I’ve just gotten 10% slower, but not lost any skill so I may be pedaling flat out but compared to before the break my skills can now keep up.
Someone commented yesterday that they thought deerstalker has a good speed to it for the perfect flow, but I reckon that it definately gets faster with practice, so if your legs arent working (or in my case my wrist) your self percieved speed is quicker as you make less mistakes.Posted 7 years agono_eyed_deerMember
Yeah… I can see this. 🙂
I used to have a belief / feeling that riding less actually made me fresher and zippier. This was when I used to go out once maybe twice a week for a few hours – not exactly overdoing it then. If I had a few weeks off from this, I used to find that getting back on the bike would be a new exciting thing again and my legs would be clamouring to go! Go! Go!.
Now (a few years later), I’ve been taken in by all the twaffle regularly spouted around here and don’t feel as if I can even consider myself a mountain biker unless I’m doing at least 250 road miles per week, plus 150 on the mountain bike, with an off-road hundred miler on a sunday – in a blizzard. In the Cairngorms… 😉
So I haven’t had ‘time off’ for a long while now.
I had a blinder yesterday though. Actually felt I reached some sort of riding god status, somehow. Totally in the zone, flowing, easy, carefree. The conclusion I came to was that I hadn’t actually suddenly reached cycling demi-god status – I just think that it was due to the warmer weather and especially – dry trails. Compared to riding in the winter where you are 1) all the time worying about hypothemia, exposure and shock if you come off and 2) slithering all over the place on treacherous slippery rocks that are trying to make you come off and hurt yourself, this sort of riding is a blast!Posted 7 years agoHarry_the_SpiderSubscriber
When I had “the fear” a couple of years ago I had a month off and the mojo returned.
After a recent lay off due to being busy I have discovered that I can run again. When I was riding my bike I used to expire after about 5 minutes on the tread mill at a resonable pace. Now I am awesome.Posted 7 years ago
even riding in the 8″deep mud over the winter i was loving riding, the slipping and sliding all over the place and slow gloopy trails helped my biking fitness i think, my balance is better and my legs are handling climbs better than before. it was the mojo that was being lost as apposed to fitness i think.. definitely a mental thing in my case i thinkPosted 7 years ago
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