Tuesday, April 13, 2010

April Slump

It's happened enough that it's time to give it a name.  The April Slump.  The last three seasons now, my fitness and motivation have fallen off a cliff in April.  It's a combination of things really.  A long off-season spent doing hours upon hours on the trainer or rollers in the garage.  A fairly race-heavy March with the Banana Belt series and the rest of the early spring classics; big events taking up nearly every weekend from the middle of February to the end of March.  And finally weather that is as fickle as a bride on her wedding day.

I've come to terms with it.  Think of it this way: I've been training since November.  By April, that's five months of almost pure training under my belt, most of it indoors or slogging through the rain.  So by April, month six of training, my body is saying "fuck it" and my training hours fall to essentially zero.  I think the only way around this slump is to start training in February; the downside being that my form will suck in the spring classics, and those are really fun races I love and have loved doing since I started racing.

To get through it, I have to remind myself the facts of the matter.  Summer, when the racing fun is in full swing and I can race practically every single day of the week if I so desire, is still months away.  I have time to take a little break and recover my form.  Truly, as the Training Bible (and just about every other training source) says, fitness is always changing.  It's either going up or going down; keeping a high level of fitness for a significant amount of time is impossible.  It takes too much energy and puts too much stress on your body.  Eventually you need to recover.

So, recovery it is.  I figure that I'll lay off a little; ride when I feel like it and kick the trainer and rollers back into a dark corner of the garage and make them not appear again until next November; and in a couple weeks, after the Cherry Blossom Stage Race, really get back in the swing of things.  The timing will be right about right.  Don't fight the slump.  Understand it.  Let it happen.  Let my body tell me when it's ready to get lean and mean against for summer.

PS: Definitely a trend.  Check out the post I made right about this time last year: April Doldrums.  Forgot about that.