Active Rest and other oxymorons about training


This is week 9 of 12 in my annual Base training program, but the program has been different this time. Why? Because for the first time in four years of doing this program every year, I’m following it exactly as planned, thanks to my new Zwift Hub trainer with a power meter. Using the Zwift Hub means that the power settings in the training program are exactly transferred into the resistance I feel while riding, making my training smarter than ever.

Discovering the Power of Rest

I’ve felt the ups and downs of training for about the last five weeks. Every three weeks, the training gets progressively tougher, and it’s been a mix of adjusting my bike, watching Harry Potter movies during my longer rides, and learning the importance of taking it easy sometimes. Even in training, taking a light day, which experts call “active rest,” is super important. It’s like taking a break without stopping completely. This helps my body recover and strengthen for the next hard workout.

The Magic of a Power Meter

Having a power meter this year changes everything. Joe Friel and Lynda Wallenfels always talk about how knowing how much effort you put into your training can make a big difference. It’s like having a magic wand that shows you when to push harder and when to back off. This game-changer has ensured I’m not overdoing it or taking it too easy.

Riding Through the Challenges

Every part of this training plan has thrown something new at me, whether adjusting my saddle or finding ways to stay entertained during those longer indoor rides. Harry Potter has been my go-to for keeping things fun on the longer 2 and 3-hour rides. These movies can make time fly by even when my legs are screaming at me to stop.

Learning and Growing

After doing this training plan for four years, having a power meter to follow it precisely has taught me so much more. It’s not just about riding a bike; it’s about listening to my body, understanding what it needs, and enjoying the journey. And the best part? I’m getting better at taking these active rest days seriously, which has been a big lesson this year. Slowing down sometimes is okay, if you don’t stop moving forward.

Looking Forward

With just three weeks left in the plan, I’m excited to see my gains. What’s cool is that I know more about how to train smart, thanks to my power meter and all I’ve learned from Friel and Wallenfels. And even though my Harry Potter marathon is over, the adventure of training and getting stronger doesn’t have to. It’s all about pushing through, taking those rest days when needed, and seeing how far I can go.


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