This is a copy of a post I made to a thread of the same name over on the TrainerRoad Forum back in January. I figured I would post it here as it may help or inspire someone else.
I’ve learned that sometimes you need to just go back to the basics of what you enjoy about cycling. Also having a cool place to train helps.
Back in March when I started working from home, I, like everyone else figured it would be prime time to train and get fast! Well it didn’t work out for me that way. You see my pain cave is also my office, and it used to be a place I went to for fun, training or just relaxation. But now I was working in that room 8-9 hours a day and I just didn’t want to spend any more time in there, so after a few weeks I slowly stopped training. But it’s not as if I sat on the couch and ate bon bons either. We had only been in this house 9 months at the time and this was the perfect time for me to get started on my other man cave, the garage. I built two work benches, purchased my dream tool box, did some drywall work and primed about 1/3 of it so far. I also spent a lot of time on rehabbing my lawn and other odds and ends needed around the house.
No of course being in SC, the weather got warmer so I could have gotten outside but since I let my fitness slip I didn’t want to embarrass myself so my fitness slipped some more. You know a catch 22.
By August I was craving to get back on the bike as I had a Hincapie event in October. I got back on, but I don’t think I went about it the right way, at least for me, as it was short lived. IIRC I did one easy Zwift ride and then jumped right into a training plan with a dismal FTP test and then a couple of weeks of training. I found i boring, uninteresting and I really wasn’t making progress. Plus I was still in my “work” office and the training side of the room had been neglected and still wasn’t what I wanted it to be so my motivation just fizzled. Needless to say I bailed on the Hincapie event.
Then comes December, I’m getting the itch again and now I’m making plans. And, to be honest, some of the Vegan Cyclists TLAP videos in December motivated me even more. For starters I rearranged the room, or at least my office desk, giving the room a bit more space. Then I got some cool LED lights for around the desk and behind the bookshelf where the TV is on. I picked up one of the
knockoff Wahoo Confidence Fitness desks, hung some art that had been sitting on the floor and some other odds and ends. There is still some things left to do but I can now separate work from play which helps me. So now I have a cool space (to me) to train, next up back to basics… This time I didn’t just want to start with a training plan, I’m just riding to have fun. It’s all been on Zwift so far. Some days I’ll do a group ride, some days I’ll pick a route that I don’t have a badge for, or I’ll do a special event like the Fondo or TDZ. I’ve had 3 huge TSS weeks and am loving it. There are challenges, things to do, setting PRs etc. And my fitness has come back quick. I’m about at the same level I was last year at this time which isn’t bad. Now just need a few extra pounds to go away and we will be ready for spring. My plan is to finish TDZ before I start on any formal training plan. I will probably at least do a ramp test soon so I can get some more accurate TSS numbers. But for me, it’s all about enjoyment for now and structure will come later.
Note: Since I wrote this I did a ramp test and the results were promising. I’m exceeding the fitness I had this time last year so despite being off the bike for about six months I’ve bounced back nicely and continue to improve. Also we will be travelling in the near future and I will also have a bike at that location so will be enjoying some new scenery. Because of that, no structure planned until at least after that, but we need to see how the season shapes up and what I would train for.