The Value of Rest
Riding here. Travelling there. It would be easy to think that all this bicycle riding is all go, go, go. Non-stop. An endless trail of activity. Perhaps you’re exhausted just reading about it. Well, huddle in. I want to tell you something that I haven’t written in this blog before.
I like resting.
In fact, I’m a big fan of resting. And it seems that’s a good thing. Actually, even better than I’d thought.
Pedalling through my bicycle experiment in 2015, choosing the bicycle over the car where I could, I expended more energy getting from ‘a’ to ‘b’. I adjusted and adapted and ended that year fitter than I started. Then in 2016, training for the GreatVic elevated my weekly kilometres. At the outset, I was a little worried about how I’d go with this extra mileage and extra energy output.
Then I discovered that rest had a place at the training program table. Yes, thank you.
Every fourth week in the training program was designated as a recovery week. This was a week for fewer days riding and fewer kilometres. A week to allow the body and the mind to recover. I liked this idea but I made an interesting observation.
You see, some part of me wanted to keep riding and not have that recovery time. I like riding. It makes me feel good. I’d even say riding gives me an enjoyable high. So when each recovery week came around, I felt disappointed that I wasn’t going to have as much bicycle time that week. I also worried that I might lose fitness during the break.
But I didn’t. In fact, taking recovery time made me stronger. Continuing without a stop was likely to be counterproductive. I would have become tired, perhaps bored and less excited about riding. Taking the recovery time allowed my body and mind to rest. It sharpened my motivation. And, rather than losing fitness, this was the time when my body built fitness.
This fact was a touch counterintuitive for me. You see, although I have always enjoyed rest and been reasonably adept at giving myself rest time, I’d seen it as ‘time out’. A time of non-doing. A time for stopping. But I hadn’t given rest its full value. I hadn’t seen how rest can make me even better. During rest time is where my well-being begins.
Seeya later. I’m going for a snooze…. 😉