Monday, April 14, 2014


After a heavy block of training and racing, the body is need of rest and repair. Normally, I can feel when this is the case and there are small signs that indicate that the body needs a break.

The alarm goes off in the morning and I still don’t want to move. I procrastinate about going for a ride and it takes all the energy that I can muster to put on kit and get on the bike. I look for any excuse I can find that suggests that I shouldn’t ride such as, there are 2 clouds in the sky so it’s probably going to rain or I suddenly need to do that odd job around the house that I have been putting off for the last 18 months. And if I do finally manage to get out on the bike, I can barely push the pedals hard enough to get down the driveway. If I notice any of these signs, then generally it’s time to listen to the body and have a rest.

Lately, between all of the races that I have been doing, it has felt like all that I have done is recover and that is all. Consequently, now that I have had a few consecutive days at home, all I feel like doing is ride my bike. I don’t feel tired and motivation is high. However, it turns out that I am still fatigued.

It’s the 21st century, so there is no more relying on the body or mind to tell me if I am tired. Instead, a simple blood test with several indicators is able to tell me if I am fatigued. Values such as Hematocrit, blood cell count, iron, Creatine Kinase, Lactate Dehydrogenase, Aspartate Aminotransferase and a few others can all tell me if I need to rest.

Every month or so, we get blood tests done and send the results to the team doctors and coaches for interpretation.  My latest batch says that I still need to rest.

So now, instead of fighting the urge to lay in bed and sleep, I am doing the exact opposite. I’m fighting the urge to go for a ride and under the strict instruction of my coach, I have to stay off the bike. I have to say, it is extremely difficult to not ride when you want to.

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