New year, new season, new you! Hope the Christmas break was good for everyone, that along with family obligations, good food, and parties, that you were able to catch up on some sleep, rest up, and regenerate. It's been stated before that rest is the most important part of training, it's the time when your body will re-build itself and make itself stronger for the demands that you expect of it. That said, we're moving in to tougher training sessions at the Cycling Centre and the question is, how hard should you push yourself?
We tend to enjoy working on our strengths, pushing ourselves to work harder during an effort that targets our strengths, but asked to dig deep during something we don't like to do, that targets a weakness, and it's a little tougher. But it is during these times that we need to push ourselves to accomplish more, to try a harder gear, or a higher cadence, or increase the watts, or hold a high heart rate longer then you have before. It is by pushing ourselves that our body understands that it needs to bulk up and get stronger, that the expectations we have for it have increased, we have more demands and our bodies need to prepare themselves.
Hard training sends the message to our muscles that we want more from it, rest gives our muscles the chance to rebuild and come back stronger. So to answer the question, you should push yourself hard, expect more from yourself, then take the time to properly recover and you will come back stronger and faster.
So the next time you do an interval or an effort, have the guts to go beyond what you think your limits are, ignore your numbers and see if you can do a little more. You just might surprise yourself.