Thoughts on riding long, solo miles.
I tend to do a lot of training solo. For longer rides, there is a need to go out and press on by myself, as not many people enjoy 5 or 6 hours in the saddle. It seems clear that after you’ve completed a big ride, or pushed yourself to a new limit, you come back and wait for something to happen.
Some magic, some spark, anything… The truth is, nothing happens. Life goes on. You have a lingering sense of fatigue. If you are data driven rider, when you check your data all your metrics will probably say you can continue to press on, so back to training it is…
After a few weeks you can look back and enjoy the effort you put in, the power you produced or the new PB (personal best) you crushed. Or have the complete opposite effect by thinking you could have gone harder, pushed more.
Perhaps you feel both in equal and opposing parts? Either way, come race day, or the next bunch ride (group ride), you can take pleasure in knowing that you’ve done this effort. It’s in the legs and they will serve you well; it can help a lot on the mental side of things.
You never know how much others are training, or what efforts they do, but having these long solo efforts in training gives you a massive mental chip to play. You all know the feeling, when your legs are screaming, your body is aching and everything in your mind is saying “why bother going on?” Right at that moment you know you can press on!