A Week Off Training for Le Tour
With just over 6 weeks to go until Challenge Almere I took a short holiday with the girlfriend to France to catch the end of the Tour De France in Paris. The trip was a 30th birthday present she had organised for me alongside my family and we had a camper van to explore and move around. I took my bike along in the hope of squeezing a few rides myself and also my running kit. I was politely reminded several times that it was also her holiday and guilt tripped into not training over the week long trip. Fair enough. I couldn’t leave her sitting on a campsite while I disappeared on a bike for 4 hours.
I went for a nice 40 mile spin early in the morning around Epernay which made up the start of Stage 7 of the TDF, but that was my only significant ride of the holiday. I also knocked out a 10 mile run around Lac D’Orient but this was easier to negotiate as Lynsey rode my bike alongside me and enjoyed the scenery with me. I usually train alone, so it was nice to have some company and also share the experience of where and what I see when I go out.
Too often I get back from training whether it be a ride or a run and try to convey how beautiful it was or what I had seen on the adventure so it was nice to have Lyns alongside me and it ticked off the mileage quite easily.
So a week with only 2 hours clocked up on the bike and 10 miles in the legs training did take a step back. I took a 30 minute open water swim in the lake one afternoon, but very leisurely. I indulged in a few Patisserie stops and enjoyed some nice rich French cooking. It was good to take a break from training, reset the body and return with real impetus for the forthcoming 6 weeks, which will go quickly. I hadn’t lost any running form when I did my first run back in the UK and I also set a session PB in the pool.
A break can be good and it certainly helped me rest and enjoy some time away from lycra – for me anyway, the tour boys took over that part. I originally felt a few alarm bells ringing when I got back, thinking my plans must need amending accordingly to the lack of time and effort put in over the week. My coach Paul Savage reassured me the time away was a good thing and to just stick to with the plan.
Perhaps I was over evaluating and causing a bit of mild panic because of the high standards I set myself. I am dedicated to training and the thought that I was slacking felt strange and not being able to train everyday was noticeable more mentally than physically it would seem. I need to stop beating myself up and this week away has really underlined how much I enjoy training for one, and secondly that I can afford a bit of a break before I head into this final push and big block of solid training. Then I’ll have earned a proper break!